This champion Austrian transformed vaulting into art at last weekend’s international competition in Pezinok, Slovakia.
I will preface this post by stating that I do not know much about the sport of vaulting — but in some ways, that keeps the experience of watching a good performance a magical moment in which I can simply be blown away by the athleticism of horse and rider working in harmony.
Such moments include Isabel Fiala’s performance at last weekend’s international vaulting competition in Pezinok, Slovakia:
Fiala won the individual female competition with these three performances. Each routine seemed to build on the previous performance’s intensity and skill, but maintain a certain level of grace and natural flow (I personally liked how the musical theme from the first performance was echoed in the third.) While Fiala suffered a few bobbles on some of her landings, her balance, strength and athleticism was pretty clear, even to a vaulting novice like myself.
I don’t know that I’ll ever understand vaulting. Sure, I will learn how the scoring works, what the judges are looking for, and understand how it works as a sport … but I will never understand just how exactly these amazing equestrians are pulling off some of these feats on the back of a cantering horse.
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