How Vaulting has developed from bull-leaping in ancient times to a global equestrian sport
This month's FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final will attract thousands of spectators in Dortmund and online viewers from across the world via FEI TV. While this thrilling sport - essentially gymnastics on horseback - has attracted a loyal global following since it was recognised by the FEI in 1983, its origins date back to ancient times.
Vaulting consists of a horse cantering on the lunge on a 15-metre circle while either an individual, pair, (pas de deux) or team perform a series of set movements which illustrate their acrobatic and artistic skills.
The first FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final took place in 2011, but ahead of this year's event from March 22-25, let’s rewind to the discipline's origins. Artwork depicts Vaulting taking place in ancient Crete, although initially bulls rather than horses were used. Vaulting featured in the Roman Games dating back some 2,000 years when acrobatics and artistic riding was performed across the back of a moving horse.