Look Out World - American Vaulters Strong As Ever

Saratoga, CA - July 1, 2001 - They arrived from Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark and Germany to join American Vaulters for RIDE THE EDGE CVI* Saratoga sponsored by Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards. The twenty-seven horses and fifty-six vaulters dazzled the appreciative audience as they created their unique visual poetry. Musical selections from classical to alternative rock could be heard throughout the event as competitors showed the creative and athletic talents required to perform in harmony with their equine partners. Competitors must coordinate musical selections with choreography designed to showcase their flexibility and strength, while demonstrating their ability to be at one with their horse, who provided the dependable and balanced canter strides.

American vaulter, Mari Inouye clearly led the field of 41 in the women's division. From the moment she and Faustus began their first round of compulsories until the final moment of her freestyle routine, the audience sat motionless as they admired the elegantly choreographed kur in the second round. Faustus is owned by Phoebe Hearst Cooke of Woodside, California and was deftly longed by Inez Rudolph.

Thirty American women have now earned required CVI* scores and may now begin the journey to earn qualifying scores to represent the United States at the next World Equestrian Games IV (WEG) to be held in Jerez, Spain in September 2002. Only three of these women and their horses will make the journey to Spain. Strong showings by Samantha Smith(16), Ginny Kaufmann (16), Jill Main (18), Jessica Ballenger (19) and Melissa Williams (15) will make this an exciting competition year. Only Inouye has represented the United States at a previous World Vaulting Championships in individual competition.

The men's division may be the one to watch. Brent Dahlgren (19), Kenneth Geisler (20), Devon Maitozo (25), and Erik Martonovich (22) are four men who have been to World Championships before. They all want to make the final cut for WEG 2002, but only three men will be selected. Stephen Czyzewski (17), Blake Dahlgren (17) and Christopher Littmann (17) are not far behind. Maitozo, former World Champion in 1998 placed a disappointing 3rd after the first round of competition. He was just behind protégé and student Brent Dahlgren. Erik Martonovich placed 1st at the end of the first round. He over rotated in his final dismount of that round and sustained an injury, which sidelined him for the remainder of the competition.

Additional highlights included retired competitive vaulter, Kerith Lemon, who showed that she is a multi-talented horsewoman as she skillfully longed Diplomat for Austrian and American competitors. Vocalist, Cynthia Taylor, riveted all those attending with her a cappella presentation of the American National Anthem for the Flag Ceremony. Pas de Deux and Team events were also conducted at this FEI and AVA sanctioned competition, which was enhanced by the scenic backdrop of the Saratoga mountains provided by the Garrod Farm. This event generated over $7000.00 for beneficiary Camp Costanoan a project of VIA Rehabilitation, Inc. The next opportunity for individual competitors to earn qualifying scores will be August 11-14 at the American Vaulting Association National Championships in South Hadley, MA. The final date for American vaulters to earn scores for WEG 2002 is June 26, 2002. Complete results can be found at www.cvisaratoga.org.

CVI* SARATOGA -- Partial Results

TEAM Overall 

1 USA, FACE 7.115 

2 Germany, RVV Schenkenberg 6.920 

3 USA, Tambourine 5.972

WOMEN 

1 Mari Inouye, USA 8.577 

2 Samantha Smith, USA 8.061 

3 Ginny Kaufmann, USA 7.605 

4 Jill Main, USA 7.566 

5 Melissa Williams, USA 7.212 

6 Karensa Douglas, USA 7.101

MEN 

1 Devon Maitozo, USA 8.128 

2 Brent Dahlgren, USA 7.965 

3 Blake Dahlgren, USA 7.844 

4 Kenny Geisler, USA 7.552 

5 Chris Littman, USA 7.203 

6 Colin Schmidt, Canada 7.000

The American Vaulting Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for the education and promotion of vaulting. Vaulting is the sport of gymnastics on and in harmony with the equine partner. For more information about vaulting please visit our website at www.americanvaulting.org. or contact Jan Weber, VP Development janaj40@aol.com or (805) 494-4192 fax (805) 379-0522.




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