For about 80 Northwest vaulters, the Winter Warm Up Fest is a competition weekend of “firsts.”
All winter long, vaulters refine their compulsory move skills, experiment with new free-style routines, and stretch their limits of physical conditioning. For some, this is their first competition ever and for others the first competition at a new level. The first competition of the Spring is a chance to see the fruits of a long winter of preparation.
Warm Beach Vaulters were blessed to win first place in all but two rounds of competition and there they won second place. Vaulting is a team sport with every vaulter supported by parents, horses, lungers, coaches, and fellow vaulters. Such a strong showing at the first competition of the season is a tribute to the dedication of each vaulter and the team of supporters that surround them.
Congratulations, Warm Beach Vaulters!
Warm Beach Vaulters comprise nearly half of any regional competition they attend. Their positive influence, uplifting attitudes, and support to other clubs contribute mightily to the strength of the region. Even more important than their accomplishments in the vaulting ring is the influence they have as God’s love shines through these amazing athletes, coaches, and staff.
The next competition is May 28-29 at Fallbrook Farms in Hillsboro Oregon and then Regionals June 18-19 at the Washington State Horse Park in Ellensberg, WA. We hope to see you there!
“I was amazed. I was expecting more like 20th,” said Copper Individual Women’s Reserve Champion, Kalli Roberts. She was even more excited for her best friend Hadessah who took first place. “I was SO happy for my friend Hadessah who got first. She did amazingly well and I am so proud of her.” Hadessah Rynning, Copper Individual Women’s Champion, exclaimed, “I was very surprised and couldn’t have dreamed of a better nationals! What made it so special was having my best friend getting second and standing next to me on the podium!”
Hadessah started vaulting with the Warm Beach Vaulters consistently in December 2009 and Kalli January 2008. They were competing their first year in the Copper level, which is the beginning canter class. Along with the rest of the Warm Beach Vaulters, Hadessah and Kalli practice several times a week all year long at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, WA. In addition, they attend camps and perform at exhibitions and competitions throughout the Northwest. For Kalli, Nationals in Santa Barbara California, were the best ever. “I will never forget this Nationals all my life.” Hadessah agreed saying, “It was a once in a lifetime experience for me!”
Vaulting is the art of dance and gymnastics on the back of a moving horse. Dating back to Roman times when vaulting was used for cavalry training, it has become more stylized and closer to gymnastics. Popular for many years in Europe, vaulting came to America in the 1970’s and has been gaining in popularity ever since.
Vaulters perform on the horse as it travels around a sixty foot diameter circle controlled by a person in the center called the Longer. They demonstrate the required seven compulsory exercises where they are judged on the basis of balance, form, relaxation, and rhythm with the horse. In addition, they perform a one minute freestyle routine to music, which enables them to show off their artistic and athletic graces.
Just a month prior to Nationals, Hadessah worked with her family fishing in Alaska. “I worked hard on stretching and keeping in shape as I did not want to fall behind my team mates,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without Patti, my amazing coach. She believed in me! And of course, I loved my horses, Promise and Tanner!!”
“It took a lot of hard work and training,” Kalli exclaimed. “The coach’s were a great support as were my teammates. We all help each other with our vaulting. I could have never done it without them and without God who helped me prepare and led me along. Whenever I wanted to quit, He kept me going.”
The girls are looking forward to the fall vaulting season in September where they will begin preparing for competition at the Bronze level. Canter vaulters perform at four designated levels, copper, bronze, silver, and gold. Each level carries higher expectations for form, artistry, athleticism, balance, and harmony with the horse. In addition to performing individually, the Warm Beach Vaulters also compete in teams of six performing four minute routines with up to three riders on the horse at one time. The Warm Beach Trot Team won first place in national competition this year and Warm Beach Vaulter, Camille Birch won Reserve Champion for Women’s Individual Trot.
by Mark Cutshall
Imagine standing on the back of a young teenage girl riding a 2,000-lb. horse cantering in a 60-ft radius circle while holding your stance, arms outstretched, for four, five, six, seven, eight seconds. Whoooa.
During this actual move, one she’s done countless times, 15-year-old Alexandria Jaynes confesses, “As a flyer, I have no control of what my riding partners (“bases”) are going to do or even of the horse.”
Talk about trust. It’s what Alexandria has learned in her three-plus years of vaulting, a combination of dance and gymnastics on a steadily moving horse. At Warm Beach Camp, vaulting is more than sport…it’s a fun, demanding challenge that builds faith.
“In vaulting, you have to trust others as well as the horse. The horse has to hold up everything. Without that foundation, we couldn’t make it at all,” says Alexandria who will travel, along with her fellow participants and their parents and staff from Warm Beach Camp to Lexington, Kentucky, this summer for the World Equestrian Games.
“Vaulting has shown me how to trust God instead of trusting my own individual instincts. In vaulting, you can form great friendships built on trust.” All this, while enjoying the ride of her life.
On March 6, 2010, three Warm Beach Vaulters received awards at the national convention of the American Vaulting Association (AVA) held in Portland, Oregon March 5-7, 2010.
Coach Patti Skipton received the “2009 Trainer of the Year” award in recognition of her outstanding horse training ability. Nancy Stevens-Brown, AVA past president told Patti, “I am giving you this award because your horses always look so happy when they compete.” Patti will also be coaching the Friendship Team at the World Equestrian Games held at the Kentucky Horse Park this fall in Lexington Kentucky.
Stanwood High School Graduate (2009) and Seattle Pacific University student, Kimberly Barnes, received the 2009 Silver Women’s High Point award. This award recognizes vaulters who accumulate the most points in at least three AVA recognized competitions throughout the year.
“I was so surprised at first. I really didn’t expect it. It was an awesome way to end my vaulting career, since I’m off to university now,” said Kimberly.
Twin City Elementary Fifth Grader, Kaleb Patterson, received the Bronze Men’s High Point award. This is Kaleb’s second 2009 High Point Award, having received the Copper High Point award for 2008.
“Winning two times in a row was really exciting and showed that I earned may way to the Silver level,” said Kaleb.
Vaulting is the sport of dance and gymnastics performed on the back of a moving horse. Since arriving from Europe in the 1970’s, this sport has made its way to Snohomish County in a big way. The Warm Beach Vaulters, from Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood Washington, is the third largest club in the nation growing from just a few vaulters in 2006 to over 40 today. Warm Beach Vaulters are based at Warm Beach Camp in Stanwood, Washington.
Situated on a picturesque bluff overlooking Port Susan Bay, Warm Beach Camp hosts over 300 church, school, non-profit, and governmental agency groups a year. In addition to hosting camps, conferences, and retreats, Warm Beach Camp also provides programs for all ages including environmental education, challenge course team-building, horsemanship camps, special needs camps, and the Northwest’s premier holiday event, The Lights of Christmas. For more information on Warm Beach Camp and the Warm Beach Vaulters, log on to www.warmbeach.com
by Kathy Rynning
There is definately something special with this team. It still makes me tear up to think about it. It's everything.......first and foremost, the Lord is right in the forefront, and the evidence of it is everywhere. From the group prayer before entering the arena to the special one on one hugs by the coach, Patti Skipton, before each vaulter goes out, to the hugs/tears/smile/laughter when a class is completed. This is very rare and very very special. I think back to when coach Patti and I, Kyle and Danielle all met up to talk and pray, and how Patti explained why she put such an emphsis on team, well, I saw it 'in action' and it was truly a beautiful thing to witness.