Ila Byvelds, with her superhero freestyle, placing 2nd and 1st place in her divisions. Photo by Samantha Mirzaee Photography

Jen Byvelds
Special to the Record

CHESTERVILLE – North Dundas welcomed 52 vaulters from across Ontario  as part of a provincial vaulting show series.

On Sat., June 18, Ontario celebrated by hosting their first live Vaulting Competition since pre-Covid. Saturday’s show was held at the Nation Valley Ranch in Chesterville Ont., home to Nation Valley Vaulters.

Vaulting is an equestrian sport combined with gymnastics and dance. It is a Fédération Équestre Internationale, (FEI) nationally recognized sport, and part of the World Equestrian Games.

Unlike trick riding, where the focus is who can out stunt who the fastest, vaulting competitions include a judging panel where vaulters are judged on harmony with the horse, artistic interpretation, strength, choreographed freestyles, gymnastic-like moves and balance.

It takes extreme dedication, training, and confidence. The horses are like no others, and coaches and clubs work together across the province, and country.

This is truly a spectacular sport and supportive community.

There are three clubs in Ontario that are recognized by Vault Canada, from Listowel, Maple Rock Vaulters, Peterborough’s Hoofprint Vaulters and Chesterville’s Nation Valley Vaulters.

Despite Saturday’s extreme wind, the horses and vaulters gave it 110 per cent and everyone had wonderful results. Canadian Judge Nichole de Villiers made the trip all the way from BC to make this event possible.

Results can be seen on the Vault Canada website.

Nation Valley Vaulters can be seen performing at the RCMP Sunset ceremonies July 1-3 alongside the Musical Ride and the Capital Cowgirls Drill team.

Coach Jen Byvelds is even more excited to be taking five vaulters to the nationals in Alberta at the end of the summer.

Special thanks to Samantha Mirazee photography for sponsoring and Iron Forge Pizza from Winchester!