This year the European Championships for Juniors will be held in Kaposvar, Hungary, from 1 to 5 of August. We have spoken to the junior team from the Netherlands, which is gathering forces to qualify and have fun competing there.

Vaulting in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, you can see that many associations are growing and that there are a lot of new vaulting associations developing. Vaulting is getting really popular for the younger kids and they often combine this with horse riding. It’s mainly the normal horse riding stables that are teaching vaulting. Due to that fact there are not a lot of big vaulting associations.

If you count up the number of national competitions in the Netherlands, you could probably compete somewhere every weekend. Some competitions are really small and some really large. This is why one competition is more popular than the other competition. Another thing is that some national competitions are just too far away.

In general,  there is no problem with buying vaulting stuff in the Netherlands, but there aren’t a lot of choice. This is why almost everyone buys the equipment in Germany or on a website. The equipment is often bought in very large orders, which makes it easier to buy things in another country. Another option for Dutch vaulters is buying the equipment during (inter)national competitions where there are often stands with all kinds of equipment.

Nevertheless, the team gets great support from the KNHS (Dutch Equestrian Federation), ast they sponsor all their trainings. They also pay the costs for the whole team and the horse that is needed to compete.

The Dutch junior team consists out of 8 vaulters: 6 in the team and two are substitutes: Quinn, Geertje, Dorien, Naomi, Anouk, Lut, Emma and Manon.

They are all coming from different clubs around the Netherlands. At their own clubs they train at least twice a week on the horse. Once in two weeks they all come together to train the whole Saturday.

The club where they train differs per week and so do the horses they train on. The horses and lungers need to travel just like the team members to the association where they are train that Saturday. Due to that fact they are not able to do every training on their own horse.

Their plans for this season are to compete at a few national competitions and at CVI Krumke in Germany. But the final goal is to compete at the European Championship in Hungary.

“When we are there, we want to perform the competition at our best and leave the arena with a smile.”

The team at their first competition this year with the theme cavemen.

About the team

Emma is 16 years old and this is her first year in the team. She already vaults since she was 10 years old and also rides a lot. Our other substitute is Manon, she is 13 years old and she is for the first year in the team as well. She has been vaulting since she was 6 years old and competes with her home association as an individual and in a team.

The  oldest team member is Quinn, she is 16 years old and vaults for 8 years now. Before vaulting, she did gymnastics for 6 years. This is her first year in the junior team. At her home association she also vaults in a team.

Geertje is 15 years old and has been vaulting for 9 years, this is her second year in the junior team. At her home association, she only competes as an individual, she has been vaulting in a team before, but right now she only vaults as an individual there.

Dorien is 15 years old and has been vaulting for 9 years as well. This is her second year in the junior team. Apart from the junior team, she also competes with her home association as an individual and in a team. The last two years she has been Dutch Champion and she has competed a few international competitions as well.

Naomi is 15 years old and vaults right now for almost 2.5 years in the junior team. She has been vaulting for almost 6 years at her home association. Since one year, she has her own horse on which she does vaulting, too.

The flyer in the team is Anouk, she is 12 years old and has been vaulting for 7 years at her home association. This is her second year in the team. A short time ago, she also started competing as an individual. Apart from vaulting she does gymnastics as well.

The youngest team member is Lut. She is 11 Years old and started vaulting 6 years ago. This is her second year in the team. At her home association she trains in a team and as an individual and she has also competed in competitions as an individual.

Emma and Quinn train at the same association, on the horse they will compete with as a team. Manon and Dorien also train at the same association, but everyone else vaults somewhere else at their own home association.

The team horse is called Yoliet. She is 10 years old and has been used for vaulting for three years now. The lunger of the Dutch junior team is Matty Irausquin. Matty has her own stable and holiday farm, where she gives lessons and since 2008 she also teaches vaulting there. Her own team has been Dutch Champion in 2017. Matty has a few horses she uses for vaulting, in total she teaches three teams and one Pas-de-Deux.

The trainer of the junior team is Roos, this is her second year as the trainer of this team. Last year she only trained with the team once a month, but this year she trains them every single training. Roos has competed at a lot of national and international competitions previously, in the Dutch senior team and as an individual.