December 11, 2023

Gymnastics on horseback? Kiwi teen shines in obscure sport of vaulting

Jasmyn Rodriguez in action.

The unique equestrian sport of vaulting has captured the imagination of Kiwi Jasmyn Rodriguez, who has relocated to the US to train full-time and chase a spot at this year’s world championships.

Vaulting is a mixture of gymnastics and dance, but with the added challenge of trying to do it on horseback.

“It feels like flying or floating once you’ve got it,” Rodriguez told Newshub.

The 19-year-olds spends her days working horses at a ranch in Georgia, which is also home to her coach, former vaulting world champion Christoph Lensing.

“I did dance and gymnastics as a kid and it never really stuck,” she explained. “Then when I started riding I found it at this horse show and that was it, I was away.”

The hope now is that all of her hard work will help her qualify for junior world championships in Sweden this July.

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