Heiland's High
in Offenburg

02 February 2019

Jannik Heiland and Nadja Büttiker confirmed maximum points from the FEI Vaulting World Cup™ qualifying campaign with wins in Offenburg...

The final FEI Vaulting World Cup™ qualifier in Offenburg finished in dramatic fashion, with all three eventual winners Nadja Büttiker, Jannik Heiland and Syra Schmid & Zoe Maruccio executing the ultimate storybook qualification campaigns.


The pressure was on as Offenburg marked the last of four qualification opportunities vaulters had to amass enough points to secure a spot at the final in Saumur, France in April.

Nadja performed
her ‘Time’ routine
with confidence
and ease

The Individual Female category got the action underway, setting the tone for what would be a day of exceptional Vaulting.

Coming into the second round, Switzerland’s Nadja Büttiker held a comfortable 0.3 lead ahead of her closest rivals Germany’s Kristina Boe and Denmark’s Sheena Bendixen – both of whom unusually were tied on the same score after round 1 (8.100).


Nadja, who had previously secured maximum qualifying points after wins in both Paris and Salzburg, performed her ‘Time’ routine with an abundance of confidence and ease. With Keep Cool III and lunger Monika Winkler-Bischofberger (8.688), her team looked in complete harmony.


Nadja will have her sights firmly on taking top honours at the FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final in Saumur after finishing second at the final last year.


After occupying joint second, the race was on to see whether it would be defending FEI Vaulting World Cup™ champion Kristina Boe or Sheena Bendixen who would prevail to challenge Nadja for the top spot.


On board 9-year-old French Kiss with lunger Lasse Kristensen, Sheena, armed with her dynamic style, attacked her routine set to ‘River’ by Bishop Briggs (8.271).


However, it wasn’t enough to fend off a ‘practically perfect’ Mary Poppins routine by Boe, who posted the highest second round freestyle score (8.970).


Kristina, who is set to retire at the conclusion of the 2019 FEI Vaulting World Cup™ final, has been thrilling crowds throughout the series by bringing back some of her old favourites.


In Leipzig we saw the reincarnation of both ‘Rey’ from Star Wars, as well as her ‘Zombie’ theme, and Offenburg proved no different. Alongside Highlander and lunger Winnie Schlüter she converted her 2016/2017 ‘Mary Poppins’ technical test into a freestyle - much to the delight of the Offenburg crowd (8.535).


After a day of outstanding performances Boe finished narrowly behind Büttiker in second, with Bendixen third and Leipzig winner Janika Derks fourth (8.190).

In the male category Germany’s Jannik Heiland occupied the top spot overnight, leading compatriot Viktor Brüsewitz by a whisker.

It was Jannik who came out on top after a masterful performance of his ‘The Pianist’ routine. On board Highlander with lunger Winnie Schlüter, he was poetry in motion (8.730).


His routine, which accentuated his exquisite lines, was the perfect mix of harmony, physicality and flexibility and was rightfully rewarded with a whopping 9.061 second round.


Heiland heads to Saumur with maximum qualifying points after his emphatic Leipzig and Offenburg wins.


Viktor Brüsewitz, under his alias ‘The Godfather,’ pressured Heiland to the end, with a freestyle packed with intricate transitions. He secured second place (8.637), with the artistically excelling Frenchman Clement Taillez finishing third (8.427).


In the Pas De Deux class Switzerland’s Syra Schmid and Zoe Maruccio came back from a slip off Latino v. Forst on the first day to post a second round score of 8.309.


A combined total of 7.861 marked their second win of the FEI Vaulting World Cup™ 2018/2019.


It has been an action-packed qualification series with many awe-inspiring highs. Attention will now firmly turn to the final in Saumur - a town famed for its Vaulting prowess.


Will Nadja Büttiker, Jannik Heiland and Syra Schmid & Zoe Maruccio be able to capitalise on their perfect qualification series? Or will Germany’s Kristina Boe have the ultimate conclusion to her glittering vaulting career? Make sure you tune in to FEI TV from April 18-21…


Words by Hannah Eccles