Children's TV presenter Helen Skelton has been showing off her new vaulting skills for an episode of Blue Peter to be aired later this year. Helen took part in a British Equestrian Vaulting (BEV) affiliated competition on 24 April at Moulton College in Northamptonshire.
The presenter undertook three weeks of rigorous training with the BEV. "I'm totally in awe of what those girls and boys can do on the back of a horse — jaw dropping is the best word for it," said Helen. She took part in a walk team freestyle class where she was part of the four-minute routine that won her a first place.
Team coach, Julie Newell, said: "Helen was a delight throughout the training, and took to vaulting very quickly. She has natural balance and good expression and performed beautifully in competition on our horse Willium." After the competition Helen was presented with her winning rosette.
The event was held as a fundraiser to support the British vaulting team to pay for their horse "Go for Gold" to be transported to Kentucky to represent Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games (25 September-10 October). The British Olympic and Paralympic equestrian teams are supported by lottery funding via UK Sport, but the non-Olympic sports do not receive funding.
"Even though I've only met the British Vaulting Team a handful of times, I am incredibly proud of them and looking forward to seeing them fly the flag for Great Britain in Kentucky later this year," added Helen.
Helen took on the challenge after seeing a demonstration by the British Vaulting Squad at the European Dressage and Showjumping Championships at Windsor Castle last year. Blue Peter hopes to air the programme in the autumn.
Photo: Helen Skelton Tries Her Hand at Vaulting