Top 6
Vaulting Moments
This Season

24 February 2017

Next week the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final will get underway in Dortmund.

So far this season we have been treated to loads of exceptional moments, so let’s take a look at the Top 6:


1.  The celebration says it all.  

Reigning champion Daniel Kaiser rocked the freestyle in Leipzig. Taking the title at the final qualifier in front of his home crowd, the emotion was clear to see.  It was a hard fought battle as he came back from 2nd in the first round to beat fellow German, Jannik Heiland.  


Daniel put on a masterful display of his Houdini routine drawing on all his competitive experience to wow the crowds and judges alike.  


If he’s able to recreate the near perfection of Leipzig, he could take home the title for a second consecutive year.  


2.  No risk, no reward

When the boundaries are pushed and pressure is applied, there’s often a thin line between perfection and a loss of balance from the horse – it can come down to a matter of inches and whether luck is on your side that day. 


In Paris, the Pas de Deux got its FEI World Cup™ 2016/2017 season off to a dramatic start. We saw Simon and Lucie Chevrel take the title despite falling both days as they executed their breathtaking, signature stand-on-stand move, while Syra Schmid & Zoe Maruccio also suffered falls from their horse.




You can never predict exactly how it's going to go on the day!


3.  From Madrid to Monaco

The biggest equestrian star to come from the season opener in Madrid, was Monaco Franze 4.  In their first season together, Anna Cavallaro and her 11 year-old partner Monaco, have proved a formidable pairing.  


With Nelson Vidoni on the lunge, Monaco also helped Lukas Heppler and Jannik Heiland to 1st and 2nd places respectively in Madrid.  


He has consistently gained horse scores in excess of 8, cementing himself as one of the top scoring horses in the sport at the moment.


Did you Know?

Horses also receive a score and are judged on the quality of their movement as well as their behaviour.


4.  One Vaulter, Four horses, Maximum Qualifying Points.

Switzerland’s Lukas Heppler has been the break-out star of this year’s tournament. Not only has he amassed two 1st place wins in Madrid and Salzburg, a 2nd place in Paris and came back from a fall to finish 4th in Leipzig, but has achieved all this on 4 borrowed horses. 


This is an unbelievable feat and testament to his incredible vaulting skill and adaptability - consistently achieving and making it look effortless.


5.  Recreating history

It was magical to witness Torben Jacobs and Theresa Sophie Bresch recreate the routine which won them the gold medal at the FEI European Championships™ back in 2011. 


Last year Torben Jacobs took the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Pas de Deux title alongside Pia Engelberty, who has since retired from the sport.  


Now he's back with Theresa Sophie, and after finishing 2nd in Salzburg with their nature routine they went on to Leipzig where they recreated their infamous Swan Lake freestyle, adding in a number of new moves that showed their progression over the past 5 years.  


This combo of contemporary moves as well as drawing from the past made for a stunning performance.




6.  Captivated and Transformed.

Whether it’s Kristina Boe and her zombie interpretation drawing spectators into her post-apocalyptic world or Jannik Heiland captivating audiences with his Jungle Book inspired theme, we have been treated to a spectacular array of freestyles.  


We’ve seen Silvia Stopazzini & Lorenzo Lupacchini’s breathtaking re-enactment of ‘The Little Prince’ and Hungary’s Balazs Bence who manages to entertain the audience in every arena he enters. 


Who will be crowned FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Champion 2016/2017?


Never has the competition been so exciting or unpredictable, with any one of the qualified vaulters having the ability to take the title.  It’s anyone’s guess who will be crowned the winner of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2016/2017!


Text by Hannah Eccles

Images by Gustavo Lorenzo & Cara Grimshaw


Who do you think will take home the trophy this year?

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