For nearly a year, the Warm Beach Vaulters have trained and prepared for a competition season that began in March in Lynden, WA and concluded with American Vaulting Association national competition July 31-August 3 in Eugene, OR. The Vaulters put many hours into their routines from music selection, uniform design, to the development and practice of their routines both individually and as a team. You could say they put their heart and soul into their sport. The Warm Beach Vaulters light up the arena with joy and enthusiasm wherever they go.
Each vaulting competition is unique with its own drama and sense of the surreal. Drama at this year’s Nationals began with the veterinary checks of each horse, for no one wanted their horse to fail a vet check and have to perform on a new horse. Thankfully, all of our horses passed vet check. Also, many of the Warm Beach Vaulters were new to national competition and both the size and scale of the event. They performed with great composure and joy. They showed good attitudes and sportsmanship, often cheering others on from various clubs around the country. Several Warm Beach Vaulters finished in the top ten in their class. The team routines thrilled the audiences and challenged vaulters and trainers alike. In the end, everyone was exhausted with a sense of disbelief that it was over so quickly. There was a surreal sense of having experienced something beautiful, thrilling and one-of-a-kind.
This year was the Warm Beach Vaulters eighth national competition and it ended with a surreal and melancholy note as our founder and coach, Patti Skipton, led her last nationals as the Warm Beach Vaulters coach before moving to her new home in southern California. We will always be grateful for Patti’s tireless efforts in bringing the club from a small group of recreational vaulters just “trying it out” to one of the nation’s largest clubs. Patti taught us the value of teamwork, encouragement, prayer, camaraderie, sportsmanship and so much more. We look forward to seeing Patti take her new club, Encore Vaulters, into a bright future.
Vaulters learn that change is a “constant” in life. No two routines ever go the same and no two seasons are ever the same. In equestrian vaulting, like in life, you learn to move in harmony through the changes and challenges and enjoy the journey along the way. As we move into a new season, we welcome Kim Bell as our new Vaulting Program Manager and look forward to what the future holds for the Warm Beach Vaulters.
We thank our premier sponsor, Rhodes River Ranch, for their generous support of our 2013-14 season and the many other wonderful supporters listed on our website, www.warmbeachvaulters.com. Visit us on facebook at Facebook.com/WarmBeachVaulters and keep an eye on the website for the 2014-15 schedule and program information.