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Equestrian Vaulters Awarded Championship Titles

Livermore, CA - The dust has settled and the vaulters and horses have returned home with the knowledge that dreams can come true. The American Vaulting Association highest honors have been awarded in 17 divisions to equestrian vaulters. National Champions and Reserve National Champion status to be coveted for the next year, until the opportunity to defend their titles occurs in Denver, Colorado in August, 2002. Titles are awarded in Individual, Pas de Deux and Team events divided into levels distinguished by the gait of the horse and earned levels of the vaulters.

Crowds of up to 1,000 were awestruck by the spectacular performances inspired from gymnastics and dance performed to music with the moving horse. Many spectators made the trip to the Robertson Park Equestrian Center to view the sport for the first time. After seeing the six A-Teams perform their freestyle (Kur), Jan Hart of Livermore, CA made her way to the AVA booth to make a donation to assist the championship team with their trip to the World Equestrian Games in Spain. Hart stated, "It's absolutely amazing to see the vaulters working with their horses - it's a beautiful sport to watch"!

In the A-Team division, Mt. Eden struggled in selection trials but overcame obstacles to secure the Reserve National Champion title. The Free Artists - Creative Equestrian (FACE) team of Moorpark, California continued to own the division, and used this opportunity to distinguish themselves one last time before the fans and judges. The group left for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain immediately following the National Championship competition. Jaclyn Adkins (15) of Milford, Delaware is a member of the F.A.C.E. team headed for Spain. A member of the United States Pony Club, she began vaulting at the age of 8. She quickly fell in love with the sport of vaulting. "Vaulting is so exciting! You can really feel the horse and you know you and the horse are like one thing working together! It's a fantastic feeling AND I love the crowd's reaction. They (the crowd) totally give you so much back." Adkins, who also competes in dressage events added, "My dressage scores went up immediately after I started vaulting and my seat got so much better"!

In the Women's Gold Division, Mari Inouye (17) of Woodside, California was a favorite entering this competition. She was disqualified after equipment difficulties in the first round. Pam Geisler rose to the occasion to capture the Women's National Championship title with a stunning performance. Geisler along with Reserve Champion, Jill Main, will also head to Spain to compete at the World Equestrian Games IV.

There were few surprises in the Men's Gold Division with Devon Maitozo regaining the championship title from Kenny Geisler of Diamond Bar, California. Scoring in the men's division was tight, but all three top men will also go on to represent the United States at WEG IV next month.

American vaulting was born in California almost 30 years ago, and vaulters from California have historically dominated the sport. This year Championship Titles were also awarded to vaulters from Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. Fifteen of the 33 vaulting clubs participating in this California event traveled from outside the state to attend representing 14 states. The sport continues to grow throughout the United States.

The American Vaulting Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for the education and promotion of vaulting. Vaulting is the sport of gymnastics and dance performed on and in harmony with the equine partner. For more information about vaulting please visit our website at


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