Surprise Win For Barrongate At AHSA Vaulting Selection Trial

The Barronsgate Vaulting Team stunned spectators with a beautifully composed and solidly performed Kur (freestyle routine) on the last day of these AHSA selection trials in Agoura, CA. The spectators responded with a standing ovation. Coming from behind, the team's kur routine had daring and innovative moves that provided the necessary scores to overcome their disappointing fourth place after the compulsory round. This was the Barronsgate Team's first entry in an AHSA recognized A Team level. Devon Maitozo, who is the current Men's World Vaulting Champion, coaches the Barronsgate Team. The 9-person team is composed of vaulters from Virginia, Washington, and Southern California.

In an emotional moment, the Woodside Vaulting Team that holds the Bronze medal from the World Equestrian Games 1998, and also represented the United States at the World Vaulting Championships in 1996, was eliminated on Sunday after it was determined that their horse was not sound. The disappointed audience could only watch as coach Isabelle Bibbler consoled her team with hugs, encouraging words, and plans for the next selection trial. The Sundance Vaulting Team from Woodside California placed second overall with their well performed compulsories and beautiful Kur. Mt. Eden Vaulters of Saratoga, California earned third place.

In the women's individual division, Sundance's Mari Inouye finished first with her consistent strength, style and gymnastic ability. Mari defeated 8-time National Champion and 3-time Reserve World Champion, Kerith Lemon. Lemon experienced difficulty and finished sixth in the first round compulsories. The student from University of California, Berkeley, came back strong in the second round and finished the overall individual competition in second place.

There was no surprise when current National Champion and World Champion, Devon Maitozo, finished a full point ahead of his competitors in the men's individual division. Brent Dahlgren, also a member of the Barronsgate club, placed second. Dahlgren has been vaulting for twelve years and training with Maitozo for the last seven months. He earned his first qualifying score.

The Barronsgate facility in Agoura, California hosted 69 competitors and 24 horses at the two-day event on March 18 and 19, 2000. The vaulters arrived from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia and Washington to compete in team and individual classes. This event was the first of three designated AHSA Vaulting Selection Trials to determine which competitors will represent the United States at the World Vaulting Championships 2000 to be held in Mannheim, Germany from August 6 until August 9. The next selection trial will be in Menlo Park, California on April 30. The final designated selection trial on May 14 will be held in Saratoga, California.

Teams must earn two of their three qualifying scores at one of these three events. They may also use scores from any other AHSA vaulting event held before May 22, 2000. Individual vaulters must earn three scores from any AHSA vaulting event between January 1 and May 22, 2000. Three individual males, three individual females and one team will be selected by AHSA to represent the United States.

Visit for more information about vaulting. The American Vaulting Association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to the promotion of Vaulting, an equestrian sport in which vaulters perform gymnastic movements in harmony with their equine partner.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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