Vaulting is still a very small sport, but it looks like a new country got into the community: Ukraine! The development of our beautiful discipline largly rest on personal initiatives such as opening a new club, educating people interested in vaulting with clinics, or many other options to make the community bigger and bigger. But can you imagine how is it to get started with vaulting from scratch in a new country? How is it possible to grow such a project in an environment where people have no clue of what we do and how?
We have talked to Anthony Bro-Petit about his experiences in Ukraine!

About Anthony Bro-Petit

We wanted to have the feedback of somebody who is actually experiencing this Ukrainian vaulting adventure, and maybe give you some inspiration if you want to take this challenge and add a new flag to the vaulting world! Anthony Bro-Petit is a well-known French vaulter, who was part of Team Noroc when they won the gold medal in 2016 in Le Mans. After being at the top himself, he felt the need to transmit his knowledge and experience. But Anthony is also a freelance film maker and photographer. He works a lot for the equestrian industry as you can see on his website.

How did this adventure start in Ukraine?

“Everything started thanks to a shooting day! I was working for an equestrian brand that develops its products in Ukraine. They told me that this country was willing to develop new sports.”

Anthony Bro-Petit
Anthony Bro-Petit coaching – Photo: Liliya Nedolya

What difficulties did you face?

“At the beginning, vaulting intrigued people a lot I must say. But as vaulting requires a lot of different skills – technique both for vaulters and for the horse, gymnastics, dancing, acrobatics – people progressively became curious and got interested in the sport. The difficulty is that people came at first glance to contemplate our sport instead of becoming its actors and take initiatives.

Today there is a small, active and solid group, soon ready to show up.”

Obviously, the goal here is not to train top level vaulters, but to teach the basics, so people can then start with some basic knowledge. As a top level coach, you have to work differently and this can be challenging:

How did you adapt your way to coach there?

“It was a constant questioning. What is obvious to oneself, might not be for others. We are talking about basics here, returning to the essence of vaulting, about harmony with the horse. To me it is the most beautiful version of vaulting, rather than being 300% a technician of movements.”

Implementing vaulting in Ukraine, or in any new country is a challenge itself. That is why coaches need to change their mindset somehow to be efficient.

What did this Ukrainian adventure bring to you?

Anthony Bro Petit
Anthony Bro-Petit (FRA) at a vaulting show – Photo: Liliya Neldoya

“There are plenty of anecdotes that I could tell! But the funniest thing was to do a vaulting show during a jumping competition. I had not vaulted for one year. We organized the show with almost no training, it was the 4th vaulting session for the horse, which was a stallion. In the end, the show was wonderful! Of course I didn’t do any technical prowess, but it felt so good to get a little bit of adrenaline again, alone in the middle of the arena. It was great, I would repeat for sure!

Anthony Bro Petit
Anthony Bro-Petit (FRA) – Photo: Liliya Nedolya

But this adventure brought me a new way of coaching overall. Above all the spirit of this experience the idea was to import our beautiful sport in a country where it didn’t exist, to start everyting from scratch. From the preparation of the horse, to the training of coaches and longers and of course go going through training the future vaulters of this country.
A great challenge!”

We wanted to share this beautiful story, to stay positive in this time of global crisis. Vaulting is impacted as a sport obviously, but we are still a fast growing community, with more and more people joining us. We hope to see new flags flying over the arenas in the next months. We also wish good luck to the vaulting people from Ukraine.

If you have a story to share, please do not hesitate to contact us!