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1 2 3 Lani Maher’s Vaulting Trip to California, USA ‘Salute’ to Bridgford Aviator In June 2011, by myself, I travelled overseas to compete NSW Vaulting was saddened to lose one of their top at the CVI** Saratoga, USA. For me, this trip was very vaulting horses in 2011. Bridgford Aviator (aka Santa) different to anything I had done before but just like all had been competing in vaulting since mid 2008. The my other trips I learnt so much and had an amazing time! 12 year old warmblood x thoroughbred, by Salute was From the very first day I was so warmly welcomed by my the horse of choice for Lani Maher, Lee Briggs and host family the Palmers. I actually first met the Palmers Krystle Lander, NSW’s top vaulters. Their competition when I competed in Canada in 2010 and my team ended plans for the Sydney CVI were rocked when Santa had up vaulting on their horse Hudson at the Kentucky World to be euthanized after a paddock accident only 6 weeks Equestrian Games, so it was really great to be able to see prior to the CVI. The 17.2hh gelding had an exemplary them all again. The first week was full of lots of vaulting temperament and a rhythmical canter which made him and I was lucky enough to be coached by Alicen Divita, ideal for vaulting. He rarely faulted in competition, and who is one of the best vaulters in the USA. The second enabled his vaulters to win the male and female classes week the Palmers were busy on their own travels but the at all three events attended in 2011, including the NSW lovely Divita family welcomed me into their household. Championships and was awarded Best Vaulting Horse of They are a huge part of the Woodside Vaulters (one of the competition. the top clubs in USA) and it was really great to vault on In addition to a very successful vaulting career his their beautiful horses, meet all of the team and vault outstanding performance at Equitana Melbourne at the with some of the best vaulters in USA, not to mention end of 2010, enabled vaulting to be showcased in front of make some awesome new friends. The third week I was 5,000 in the All Stars Spectacular with Krystle Lander. back at the Palmers house and I was just perfecting my routine and getting ready for the competition. In between all the vaulting we, of course, made time for waterparks, the boardwalk, the beach, and a twelve hour overnight drive to LA for a Disneyland adventure. One of the things I love about travelling by myself is that you can become so entrenched in the culture and way of life of where you are and that is something I love to experience. When it came to the competition I felt pretty ready. There were vaulters from Canada, Argentina, USA and Australia. The competition environment was so fun and supportive (which is one of the best things about competing in the USA) and the level of vaulting was still outstanding. I personally find the American vaulters very inspirational and being part of that competition was just more of a motivation to work harder, aim higher and be a bigger part of our amazing sport. I was really happy with how I went and learnt so much from my experience. The whole trip was a huge learning experience and probably the most fun-filled few weeks I have ever had. Many people say that as a vaulter we are all part of a huge, worldwide family and all the people that looked after me throughout my trip definitely proved this! I am looking forward to what 2012 brings and hopefully it will be filled with more challenges and learning experiences and I will end up making a lot more new friends along the way. Lani Maher 4 102


Equestrian_NSW_Yearbook_2011
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