Kiwi vaulter Jasmyn Rodriguez is about tick a huge achievement off her bucket list . . . her first FEI World Championships for Young Vaulters in Flyinge, Sweden. The Auckland teenager will be up against 32 other combinations this coming week as each chase down the top crown of top female young vaulter.

The Sweden-hosted event encompasses three vaulting championships – the FEI European Champs, the Juniors and the inaugural Young – making it the largest vaulting champs in history. Vaulters from 26 nations are expected across the three championships with 135 horses being presented to the ground jury.

“I’m thrilled to be competing in the first world championships for young vaulters,” said Jasmyn. “There’s been a lot of preparation leading into this and I’m excited to see it all come together. It is such a great opportunity to compete alongside so many other young athletes.”

Her journey to the Worlds has seen her travel the globe, from being based in the United States, The Netherlands and now Germany. “The last two months in Europe have given me an experience of a lifetime,” says Jasmyn who trained in The Netherlands with Elle Van Dijk at a “very high tech vaulting gym” before shifting to her lunger Christina Ender’s German base.

“It’s crazy to think that Worlds is just around the corner. It’s been amazing to train in Germany and experience what a competitive vaulting season is like in Europe.”

She has competed at two advanced level competitions as part of her build-up to the Worlds. She competed at Stadl-Paura in Austria with the Mühlacker team and placed fourth in the senior female CVI2*. Next came CHIO Aachen where she lined up against the world’s best at the prestigious German event that is considered second only to the Olympic Games and World Champs.

Aachen was a chance for Jasmyn, lunger Christina Ender, and coach Catarina Strom – albeit with a different horse – to put their teamwork to the test before this week’s Worlds.
At the Worlds, Jasmyn will compete aboard San Felice – Felix to his mates – who is at Christina’s yard. Coach Catarina will be at the venue to welcome the horses. “I have volunteered to help with the horse arrivals,” she says. “I bet that’s when it all gets exciting. Felix will arrive with his two friends on Sunday morning. I haven’t met him yet.”

Catarina is in daily contact with Jasmyn. “She’s getting really confident and connecting with Felix. They looked really together last training and we are felling ready for the competition to start.”

Jasmyn competes on Wednesday (July 26) in the first round female compulsory, followed by the opening round of the technical test on Thursday, and the freestyle on Saturday.
The Young Vaulter Championship for 16-21 year olds, was established in 2022 as a bridge between junior and senior levels.

“I’m looking forward to enjoying the last competition of the season and continuing the friendships I have made amongst my peers, coaches and lungers for their endless support has made this all possible,” said Jasmyn.

Coach Catarina is confident her young charge will do the nation proud. “I believe she will impress with three strong performances,” she says. “This will be a stepping stone competition for her to attend future world championships. I know she will enjoy the experience.”

WHAT: FEI World Championships for Young Vaulters
WHERE: Flyinge, Sweden
WHEN: July 25-30, 2023


By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos Supplied