FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15: Double victory for local heroes in Salzburg
By Daniel Kaiser
Local heroes Lisa Wild (AUT) and Evelyn Freund with Stefanie Millinger (AUT) vaulted to individual female and pas-de-deux victory at the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting third qualifier at the Salzburgarena last weekend.
Defending FEI World Cup™ vaulting champion and former world number one Nicolas Andreani (FRA) also stormed to male individual victory at the venue, where a total of 17 athletes from seven countries battled it out.
Nineteen-year-old Lisa Wild, the youngest athlete in the series and the first athlete to perform a full backflip on her horse two years ago at the FEI Vaulting World Championships in Le Mans (FRA), started the competition with a dream score of 8,898 in the first round on Robin, lunged by Nina Rossin.
Wild then performed a fascinating final round in front of a packed arena, overwhelming spectators. Former German national coach and FEI judge Helma Schwarzmann, who this time was watching the competition from the stands, was nearly speechless: “Lisa really inspires me with her own style. She is extremely fluent and very precise in her movements.”
“Unfortunately I was not able to compete in Salzburg for two years due to several injuries,” said Wild. “Now I am finally back and it was an amazing feeling to do my show here in Salzburg.” She credited her success to Robin, who received the best horse score. The victory secured 15 World Cup points and their spot at the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final, which will take place in Graz, Austria, on 19-22 February 2015.
Simone Jäiser (SUI) on Luk, lunged by her mother Rita Blieske, received the best technical and artistic score finishing second (8,853) and Wild Card competitor Regina Burgmayr (GER) finished third on Adlon lunged by Alexander Hartl (8393).
Career on top
Defending champion Nicolas Andreani (FRA) repeated last year’s success in Salzburg, winning the male individual competition 766 points clear of his nearest rival Julian Wilfling (GER).
Vaulting on a new horse, Ramazotti, which he met at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, he scored 9,055 points in the first round, finally finishing the two rounds with a combined score of 8,973. “It took a lot of emotion to be strong in Salzburg,” said Andreani. “The end of my career is very close and I had to make sure I got through to the Final at this qualifier. When I heard the French national anthem at the end, I was very, very happy!”.
Lukas Klouda (CZE) vaulted to third place (8,028) with Landar and his lunger and sister Petra Cinerova.
Not just luck
Salzburg-based Evelyn Freund and Stefanie Millinger, winners of the FEI World Cup Vaulting™ opening qualifier in Munich (GER), left nothing to chance in preparation for Salzburg. After their Munich win, they travelled to Montreal (CAN) to train for two weeks with the world’s best acrobats from the Cirque du Soleil, the world’s largest theatrical producer.
This resulted in a breathtaking two-round duel between Freund and Millinger with reigning World, European and FEI World Cup™ Vaulting champions Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha from Tyrol (AUT).
Freund and Millinger with Robin and lunger Nina Rossin finally managed to edge ahead in the second round posting a phenomenal score of 9,127, with Lindner and Wacha on Bram lunged by Klaus Haidacher finishing on 9,057.
“In Munich we thought that it was just luck, but now we know that we can do it and that is a big surprise,” said Freund. “My girls did a fantastic job and they really earned this big triumph,” added their coach Roswitha Haigermoser.
Next stop: Leipzig
A total of 20 vaulters, including the reigning FEI World Cup™ Vaulting champion Anna Cavallaro (ITA), will now head to the fourth and last qualifier of this series in Leipzig (GER) at the famous horse sport event Partner Pferd.
FEI TV Live
Tune in to FEI World Cup™ Vaulting in Leipzig live on FEI TV (www.feitv.org) on 16 January (17.15 local time) and 17 January (17.50 local time).
Male individual: 1. Nicolas Andreani (FRA), 8,973; 2. Julian Wilfling (GER), 8,207; 3. Lukas Klouda (CZE), 8,028
Female individual: 1. Lisa Wild (AUT), 8,910; 2. Simone Jäiser (SUI), 8,853; 3. Regina Burgmayr (GER), 8,393
Pas-de-deux: 1. Evelyn Freund/Stefanie Millinger (AUT), 9,127; 2. Jasmin Lindner/Lukas Wacha (AUT), 9,057
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/2015 series standings
Standings will be published here.
Photo caption: Evelyn Freund and Stefanie Millinger, winners of the FEI World Cup Vaulting™ third qualifier in their home city of Salzburg, left nothing to chance by training with the world’s best acrobats from the Cirque du Soleil, the world’s largest theatrical producer. (Daniel Kaiser/FEI)
FEI Photo Catalogue: free images for editorial purposes are available at www.feiphotos.org
Notes to Editors:
About FEI World Cup ™ Vaulting 2014/15
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting sees the world’s best 30 vaulters from nine nations battle for points across a four-leg European city tour, before the Final in February 2015. The athletes from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Netherlands and Switzerland competing in this challenging series are listed here. The top six female and male vaulters, and top four pas-de-deux, based on their best two results in the series, will then come together at the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 Final in Graz (AUT), where they will start from scratch.
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 Calendar
1 Munich (GER) 6-7 November 2014
2 Paris (FRA) 28-29 November 2014
3 Salzburg (AUT) 11-14 December 2014
4 Leipzig (GER) 15-18 January 2015
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 Final – Graz (AUT) 19-22 February