Rosalind Ross has been traveling to Europe as a team vaulter since she was 9 years old, though she started vaulting at a much younger age. Rosalind, "Rosey," is a very expressive vaulter and puts her great choreography, skill, grace, and elegance into an emotional performance. Rosey is a gold vaulter (the highest vaulting category). She has been on many teams throughout the years, and has been on many vaulting clubs, starting at Coastline and Mt. Eden Vaulting Clubs.
Rosey is currently in college at Emerson, Boston. She is majoring in literature, writing, and publishing.
This month Rosey blogs about her team training and her new team vaulting horse, Palatine.
Today marks two months before the first selection trial competition, and I can only assume that all of the vaulters vying for a position on Team USA this year are feeling the same pressure that my team is. We just concluded a 10-day intensive training period where our aim was to have our whole freestyle routine working on the horse in sequence. We generally practice our material in sections, which makes it easier for both the vaulters and the horse. Since our horse, Palatine, is brand new to team vaulting, we have been easing him into it by not asking him to carry the entire four-minute routine in one go just yet. Over these past 10 days, we felt that he was finally ready to carry the whole routine, and I think I speak for the whole team when I say that we are very proud of how he did. Just two years ago when Palatine was our team’s compulsory horse, we never would have imagined him carrying our freestyle!
Palatine’s improvement in strength and endurance is due in large part to the dressage training he receives. Carolyn Bland of Cadence Sport Horses has been the F.A.C.E. team’s longtime “horse expert.” She has been responsible for our horses’ training under saddle and on the lunge line for even longer than I have been a part of the team. Carolyn currently lives in Tennessee and flies out to California for the team’s weekend practices, and in cases such as last week, for a longer duration to get some intensive training done. The lungeur’s duty requires far more than general knowledge of how to lunge a horse, and is probably one of the most under-valued pieces of the puzzle. The lungeur must know the team’s routine as well as the vaulters in order to gauge when it is acceptable to ask the horse to move forward or slow down. The difference that it makes to have an experienced lungeur is huge.
In addition to Carolyn, our team this year is supported and assisted by a wonderful group of people. One of the most integral parts of our team is the highly successful vaulting veteran herself, Anna de la Motte. Anna was brought on board this year as assistant coach and team manager. Not only does she take care of all the paperwork, scheduling, and organizing of the team administratively, she works with Devon to design our training regiments and coach at practices. Our costume designer Melanie Vissuzi has proven herself year after year to be a reliable supporter of the F.A.C.E. teams. Though we often give her complex instructions and ridiculously short deadlines to complete a set of eight costumes by, she always manages to provide us with the product that we had envisioned. Last week we were measured for our new costumes, so once a design is submitted, they should be underway!
Lastly, much credit is due to Richard and Sydney Frankel, owners of the beautiful facility in Woodside, California where we are fortunate enough to train. Without the generosity and support of the Frankels, our team may cease to exist at all this year.
Though our ten days of training ended up being quite productive, it was definitely an uphill battle. The weather was certainly not on our side, and being that we do not have a covered arena to train in, our time training on the horse was fairly limited. For the last two days of training we had beautifully sunny weather, which yielded some quality horse practice that we all felt good about. I never really cease to be amazed at how much our team accomplishes with such a limited amount of actual training time together, being that we all live so far apart. I can only hope that our accomplishments within the next two months are sufficient in getting us through the selection trials and ultimately on our way to Kentucky!