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Individual and Team Vaulters Chosen for 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany

Lexington, KY – July 10, 2006 - The United States Equestrian Federation recently announced the vaulting team for the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Three individual women, three individual men and one team were selected to represent the United States. The 2006 FEI World Games run August 20 - September 3, 2006. The vaulting will take place from August 23-27, 2006.

In 1982, vaulting became an equestrian discipline recognized by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). The United States has won a medal in every vaulting World Championship since its inception, earning twelve medals in total. The first World Vaulting Championships took place in Bulle, Switzerland in 1986 and Jeanette Boxell started the string of United States vaulting medals with her Women’s Individual Silver.

Unlike all other FEI disciplines, Individual men and women compete in separate classes and not against one another. The two types of competitions at World Championship level are Individual and Team. The highest level of competition for vaulting is a CVI2*.

Similar to figure skating, vaulters are subjectively judged in three distinct categories: Compulsories, Technical, and Freestyle. Compulsories are required movements that each athlete must demonstrate. The Freestyle is choreographed to music and shows off an athlete’s personality and performance skills. The Technical test is half Compulsory and half Freestyle, with technical moves that must be incorporated into the routine.

In the Individual competition, the Vaulter is only accompanied by a longeur and the vaulting horse. The horse canters on a left hand circle with a minimum diameter of 15 meters. The vaulting horses for the Individual and Team events will be borrowed for the WEG from European owners and the vaulters will get to “test” them out at CVI, Munich next weekend.

The individual members, named in order of their rankings are as follows:

Unites States Women’s Individual Vaulting WEG, 2006

Megan Benjamin, 18, from Saratoga, CA, with a final average score of 8.590

Elizabeth Osborn, 16, from Menlo Park, CA, with a final average score of 8.267

Mary McCormick, 23, from Woodside, CA, with a final average score of 8.240


Alicen Divita, 17, from Redwood City, CA with a final average score of 8.128

United States Men’s Individual Vaulting WEG, 2006

Kenny Geisler, 25, from Diamond Bar, CA, with a final average score of 7.627

Todd Griffiths, 27, from Pullman, WA, with a final average score of 7.402

Chris Littman, 22, from Agoura, CA, with a final average score of 6.965

Blake Dahlgren qualified in the top spot on the individual roster, but relinquished his individual spot to compete in the team competition. Blake Dahlgren is a twenty year old F.A.M.E. team Member for WEG 2006. The rules state that if you are over the age of eighteen, you cannot compete in both the team and individual competitions.

Megan Benjamin is also a F.A.M.E. team member, but she is eighteen which enables her to compete in both divisions.

The Team competition is composed of six vaulters, the longeur and the vaulting horse and may include one alternate vaulter. Unlike the individual events, the team of vaulters can be a mix of men and women. The WEG Vaulting Team is named F.A.M.E and is coached by Emma Seely and Devon Maitozo, and the Chef d’Equipe is Suzanne Detol.

The Team is a composite of athletes from Southern California from the Free Artists Creative Equestrians Club, Northern California from the Mt. Eden Vaulting Club, and New Jersey. The team is bolstered by 30 year-old Devon Maitozo. Maitozo was the 1998 World Champion in Rome and is renowned for his music interpretation and choreography skills. His talent has raised the level of elite vaulting around the world. The team posted an average score of 7.944

F.A.M.E. Team Members WEG, 2006

Megan Bengamin, 18, from Saratoga, CA

Blake Dahlgren, 22, from Sun Valley, CA

Devon Maitozo, 30, from Simi Valley, CA

Katie Richie, 19, from Santa Cruz, CA

Annalise Van Vranken, 14, from Mays Landing, NJ

Elizabeth Ioannou, 10, from Saratoga, CA

Alternate: Katie Richie, 19 from Santa Cruz, CA

The athletes were selected based on the average of their top three scores obtained at the USEF licensed competitions held from March 1 to June 5, as well as the 2005 USEF National Vaulting Championships for individuals.

This special report is a preview provided by PhelpsSports.com. Look for the debut of this new equestrian news website during the World Equestrian Games in August. Visit http://www.PhelpsSports.com for more information.


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