For Immediate Release
17 September 2010
Three local athletes who are members of the Woodside Vaulters equestrian vaulting club have been selected for the U.S. Equestrian Team and will participate in the World Equestrian Games which take place September 25 through October 10 in Lexington, KY. Ali Divita will represent the U.S. as one of three individual woman competitors. Katharine Wick is the first alternate for the women's individual competition, and Patrick Stevens is the first alternate for the men's individual competition. Considered the Olympics of equestrian sports, the World Equestrian Games take place every four years. This is the first time the prestigious international event is to be held in the U.S.
Two-time U.S. national champion Divita was the women's alternate for the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. She has been a top competitor in the International Vaulting Concours circuit this year, placing first in Chilliwack, Canada, second in Leipzig, Germany, and fifth in Krumke, Germany. The 21 year-old Redwood City resident is a student at the University of California, Berkeley.
Wick, 17 years old, competes internationally in both team and individual events. She is a member of the Woodside Vaulters team that in June placed first in the Prize of the Sparkasse in Aachen, Germany and first at the International Vaulting Concours in Chilliwack, Canada this past June, where Wick also was the women's reserve champion. Wick is a student at Woodside Priory School and lives in Hillsborough. Stevens, age 19, lives in Martinez and attends Diablo Valley College. He was the men's reserve U.S. national champion in 2009.
Woodside Vaulters Head Coach Isabelle Bibbler Parker commented, "Representing the United States at the World Equestrian Games is a wonderful honor and achievement for Ali, Katharine and Patrick. Their selection for the U.S. Equestrian Team to participate in the 2010 Games represents many years of hard work by the athletes and support by the Woodside Vaulters club."
Woodside Vaulters has been hosting two vaulters from Ecuador who will be competing on one of the club's horses at the World Equestrian Games, with longeur Jennifer Arnsten. Marina Paulina Martinez Ribadeneira, age 17, and Carla Martinez Restropo, age 18, both from Quito, have been visiting and training in Woodside since early August. "We are pleased to be able to provide the opportunity for these talented vaulters to train in the U.S. and compete for their country at WEG. "The sport of vaulting is unique for its spirit of camaraderie and tradition of generosity and friendship even among rivals," added Parker.
Woodside Vaulters' Katrina Nibbi (age 16), Tessa Divita (age 13) and Ellie Gifford (age 12) will participate on the Friendship Team, a group of vaulters from across the U.S. who will perform demonstrations of vaulting at the Kentucky Horse Park and in downtown Lexington during the two weeks of the Games.
Equestrian vaulting, often described as gymnastics and dance on the back of a moving horse, is one of the seven disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body of equestrian sport. Vaulters perform compulsory moves and freestyle routines in team and individual events, choreographed to music. Vaulting involves teamwork between the vaulter, horse and longeur who controls the horse in a circle using a longe line. The athletes are judged on form, performance, level of difficulty and harmony with the horse. The horse also is judged based on stride, balance, consistency and other factors. Woodside Vaulters provides year-round instruction in recreational and competitive vaulting, emphasizing horsemanship safety, team-building, communications skills, and confidence between horse and vaulter. For more information, visit: www.woodsidevaulters.org
Isabelle Parker, Woodside Vaulters Head Coach, Tel: 650-305-9951
Carrie Wick, Woodside Vaulters Communications, Tel: 650-348-2676