Our names are Jerri Dixon and Rachael Barlow and we are a Vaulting Pas De Deux. As a pair we have been officially selected to represent Australia at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) held in Tryon, North Carolina, USA in September this year. We are 2 of only 6 athletes selected to compete at this elite event which is equivalent to the Olympics of our sport and only comes around every four years. This is our dream and we’re so close to reaching it!!
Equestrian Vaulting is still a growing sport here in Australia but has a massive following in Europe. Vaulting is fundamentally gymnastics on horseback – it is exhilarating, challenging and requires strength, balance and harmony with the horse. As a pair, we perform a two minute choreographed routine to music on top of a cantering horse. Google 'Vaulting Pas De Deux' – you will love what you see.
We are aiming to raise funds to assist with the significant out-of-pocket expenses for the final step of our journey in achieving our dream of competing at WEG. These include our flights to America, horse related costs (transport, training and hire fee) and accommodation while training prior to the competition. These costs will run in the vicinity of $12,000-$15,000.
The journey to WEG has not been a small endeavour. We live two hours apart so we do our conditioning separately and meet in the middle weekly to practice on vaulting training equipment. It takes a very special horse to carry two vaulters at one time and there is not a horse of this calibre that we can train on locally, so for the past two years we have been travelling 10 hours each way to Scone, NSW to train monthly. There has been a lot of driving and commitment!
In order to qualify for WEG, earlier this year we embarked on a self-funded trip to Europe which cost just under $10,000. We trained for a month in Germany and competed at events in Holland and Belgium. We were faced with the obstacle of a shortened qualification window due to Rachael's young age (only turning 16 in May this year). This was a trip of a lifetime, competing with incredible top-level vaulters and achieving not one, but four qualifying scores across the two competitions. With your help, we hope that all our hard work pays off and we do Australia proud at WEG this September.
We still have an ocean to cross and we would be extremely grateful for any support you could give us in achieving our goal of representing Australia at the World Equestrian Games! For businesses and community groups, we would love to promote you, your group or your organisation.
Thankfully, the Australian Sports Foundation facilitates tax-deductible donations so you are able to recoup some of your donation at tax time!
Please follow our journey to WEG
Or please contact us anytime by email