Mill Spring, N.C. – In their final appearance at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, the U.S. Vaulting Pas de Deux of Kathryn Keville and Florence Rubinger as well as, Daniel Janes and Haley Smith made their presence known on home turf, in front of the U.S. crowd as they competed for a spot on the podium. The Freestyle scores from Wednesday were combined with Thursday’s scores for total results.
After a personal best score on Wednesday, a few bobbles in the routine led to a score of 7.130 and 10th for Keville (Cotati, Calif.) and Rubinger (Santa Rosa, Calif.) with Revlon, Kathryn and Sean Keville’s 20-year-old Warmblood gelding, and longeur Mary McCormick. This is McCormick’s first world championship as a longeur. Finishing in ninth overall with a score of 7.538, the duo and McCormick were happy with their music, their performance, and their horse.
“Our theme is Pitch Perfect from the movie,” said Keville. “We started the season wanting to do something really dance-y, and really fun because we love having fun. We started doing this routine a year ago, [but together as a] pas de deux the year before.”
[Revlon] was there for us,” said Rubinger. “We were a little bit bumpy [when we were standing] and he felt it. When we are really relaxed, he goes with it, but when we are tense he tries to save us.”
“This is [Revlon’s] first big event like this,” continued Keville. “So I really couldn’t ask for much better.”
Fellow U.S. Vaulting Pas de Deux pair Janes (Monroe, Wash.) and Smith (Parker, Colo.) with Diva 506, Pacific Coast Vaulting Club’s 15-year-old Oldenburg mare and longeur Carolyn Bland were a crowd favorite. They performed their freestyle from Wednesday, with improvement in their balance and formation.
“[We are] really happy, really pleased with the result,” said Janes. “Not just the score, but for how we felt. It was what we wanted to show. Yesterday, there was a move where I didn’t let go [of Smith] with my arms, and today I did and when we do that move, it is like the perfect feeling of balance and strength, and an interesting shape. We just love to show that. We just felt the emotion the whole time throughout the routine.”
Seventh in the order to compete, Janes and Smith took the lead as the first to break a score over eight. With a score of 8.175, they finished sixth in the freestyle and overall, with a score of 8.244.
The Individual Female and Individual Male Technical Tests also took place on Thursday. The U.S. Vaulting Team’s McCormick, Tessa Divita, and Elizabeth Osborn all advanced from Round 1 (compulsory and freestyle tests combined), to begin Round 2 with the Individual Female Technical Test. The top 15 individual female and individual male vaulters overall will move on to perform the individual freestyle tests on Saturday, for a shot at the podium.
The individual technical tests require five technical exercises with additional freestyle exercises included. Technical exercises include the ‘shoot up mount,’ ‘kneeling forward to stand backwards,’ ‘backwards stand split,’ ‘roll forward from croup to seat forward on neck,’ and ‘push up backward.’
Performing the Individual Female Technical Test first for the U.S. Vaulting Team was McCormick (Cañon City, Colo.) with Paris, her 14-year-old Percheron mare, and longeur Christian Ramos. While the majority of the test was clean, a few small mistakes at the end put McCormick on a score of 7.229 and in 12th place. Her overall placing after the three tests is 14th with a score of 7.361, advancing her to Saturday’s Individual Female Freestyle Test.
U.S. teammate, Divita (Portola Valley, Calif.) with Romeo, Summit Equestrian LLC's nine-year-old Westphalian gelding, and longeur Christoph Lensing, also did not have quite the test that they had hoped for, with a small miss of balance marring an otherwise nice program. Her score of 6.836 put her in 15th place in the freestyle, as well as overall, with a score of 6.836. She will also contest the Individual Female Freestyle Test on Saturday.
Osborn (Menlo Park, Calif.) was last to enter the ring for the U.S. individual female vaulters. With a beautiful and technically sound test, she and Atterupgaards Sting, James and Linda Bibbler’s 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, and longeur Krista Mack turned out a score of 7.637 for the 8th position. Her combined compulsory, Nations Team freestyle, and technical scores put her in 12th overall with a score of 7.677 moving into Saturday’s Individual Female Freestyle Test.
Two U.S. individual male vaulters moved forward from Round 1: Colton Palmer (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) and Kristian Roberts (Moss Beach Calif.). Though he does not play baseball, Palmer’s baseball themed technical test with Zygo, Jill and Kimberly Palmer’s 14-year-old KWPN gelding, and longeur Maurits de Vries, was an idea of his sister’s and earned him a score of 6.903 for 13th place in the freestyle. He sits 14th in the overall standings, with a score of 7.499.
Roberts with Sir Charles, Sydney Frankel’s 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and longeur Carolyn Bland, performed a technical routine to music that Roberts was not originally comfortable with. However, performing it a few times with positive feedback from teammates, Roberts says he now likes the upbeat music. With just a slight bobble towards the end of the routine Roberts earned a score of 6.334 for 15th place in the freestyle. He now stands 15th overall in the order, with a score of 7.314.
Competition continues at the Tryon International Equestrian Center on Saturday, September 22, and begins with the Individual Male and Individual Female Freestyle final tests at 12:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Squad Freestyle final test. The vaulting championships will be streamed live on FEI TV.
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