The 3rd edition of the American Vaulting Association (AVA) Education Symposium counts the best keynote speakers and clinicians, who are all meeting in Las Vegas, USA from the 6th to the 10th of March.

Las Vegas
Photo: John Such (Unsplash)

The event will start with an FEI Vaulting Seminar, which is open to all National Judges, trainers, coaches and lungers to be updated about the FEI vaulting rules and scoring system.

Check the detailed program of the Vaulting Symposium.

From the 7th to 10th of March, the focus will be to educate vaulters of course, but also coaches, lungers, riders, parents and enthusiasts about our discipline. For vaulters, the group sessions will be covering topics from fitness, injury prevention, horsemanship, compulsory technique to choreography and freestyle design.

Among the Clinicians:

Mary McCormick –  International Vaulter

Jacques Ferrari – International Vaulter, Coach and Judge

Thomas Brüsewitz – International Vaulter

Kristina Boe –  International Vaulter

Bamdad Memarian – Team NORKA’s Coach

Daniel Kaiser – International Vaulter & Clinician

Moritz Steffens – Fitness Trainer

Stefan Csandl – Physical Therapist, International Vaulter, Coach and Judge

Carolyn Bland – Pacific Coast Vaulting Club Head Coach

Kristian Roberts – International Vaulter & Vaulting World Ambassador

Daniel Janes –  International Vaulter & Vaulting World Ambassador​

For coaches, the sessions will have another orientation, from coaching technique, skill building, injury prevention, coaching styles, harmony with the horse, covering from basics to advance.

Among the Clinicians:

Lasse Kristensen –  Lungeing Master and FEI Coaching Tutor

Daniel Kaiser – International Vaulter & Clinician

Anke Herbert – Dressage Trainer holding USDF bronze, silver and Gold medal

Stefan Csandl – Physical Therapist, International Vaulter, Coach and Judge

Lisa C Berg – DVM Danish Veterinary and National Trainer

Vaulting Symposium 2019 Clinicians

The initiative of this annual event comes from Carolyn Bland, who is a Dressage Trainer and Rider for many years, she has an extensive background in equestrian sports. Carolyn won a Gold Medal in 2010 at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky as a lunger of the Vaulting Squad and a Bronze medal in 2017 also as a lunger at the Junior World Championships for a Pas-de-Deux. Now she is Head Coach of the Pacific Coast Vaulting Club, she trains Junior 2* and Senior 3* level vaulters.

> How did the idea of a Symposium came out at first? Is it a personal initiative or did you receive support from the US Federation?

Carolyn: I had the idea that it would be great to put together the top clinicians together and have education for everyone. It had been my idea for a few years but I needed the right facility that could cover every conceivable session. Those facilities are few and far between, but a group of us (US Lungers, who are also friends) went to see Mary McCormick in a Vegas show at the South Point Casino. We talked with the Arena Manager then as we were thinking CVI or another competition. Then I had the idea what if! I could not immediately convince the American Vaulting Association (AVA) that this would be a good idea, but they backed me up and we ended up with a very successful first event. Our National Federation do support by giving a small grant. But the responsibility for the event lies on my shoulders and the AVA. This is now the 3rd Education Symposium and it’s bigger than ever, with 110 vaulters, 60 coach/lungers, and 40 auditors.

> Why do you think we need an event like this?

Carolyn: I wanted an event where everyone involved in vaulting could get Education, the Vaulter, Coach, Lunger, the parents and fans! Just come and learn there is something for everyone. I make it so easy – The Hotel, the stabling, the arena, the restaurants, movie theater, spa all in the same building! So if parents want to send their vaulters to the symposium they can enjoy some of the things Vegas is known for. The South Point Arena is actually attached to the hotel building and secure, and young vaulters don’t have to go through the casino floor to get to it.

> How do you imagine the symposium to be in 10 years? What is your ambition?

Carolyn: WOW – not sure, but I think at least for the next five years we will continue to have the Education Symposium at the South Point. I would like to see more growth in the horse training aspect, but that’s what makes the USA difficult. The distance to travel to this event would be prohibitive for some. I sold out the vaulting track early, so I would think I would have to revamp that vaulting track to fit in more vaulters. There is only so many hours in a day and I think limiting the groups to 10 vaulters is the maximum. My ambition would be to have similar event in other countries, but the key I think is finding a facility where everything is contained to one location. I also would like to expand and include a competition of somekind, maybe a CVI.

> What is the role of the AVA for this event?

Carolyn: The AVA is the organization that is putting this on. I’m the Vice President of Education for the AVA, so I have the responsibility of making the event successful both form a membership viewpoint and financially. The finances are a challenge, with a great event location also comes a huge cost, and to attract US vaulting community from all over the US, I try to hire the most elite trainers I can and most of them come from Europe, so airfares can be expensive. MY goal as always been to make them feel special and I have an assistant whose job is to only keep my Clinicians happy and to also give them a taste of Las Vegas.

We are very pleased to announce that we will go live for some specific sessions on Instagram so you can take part from all over the Vaulting World:

> Friday 8th of March

US time: 01:30pm – 03:20pm PST (UTC -8)

European time: 22:30 – 00:20 CET (UTC +1)

  • How to Select a Vaulting Horse – What you need to know & Minimizing Risk by Nienke de Wolff

US time: 03:30pm PST (UTC -8)

European time: 00:30 CET (UTC +1) (Saturday)

  • Vaulting Blessings and Battles around the World – Clubs & Coaches Round Table “Share Ideas” by Karin Schmidt

To have an overview the Symposium 2018, you can watch this video: