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.
When riding the high of two consecutive Selection Trial wins, there is a danger of becoming complacent about training. Thankfully, my team is of completely the opposite mentality. Having experienced success early in the season, we are now training harder than ever to achieve a standard of excellence that even we have not yet defined. Vaulting is a sport in which it is crucial to continually progress and evolve, even throughout the peak competition season. Often times, the routine one performs in the first competition of the season is far different from the routine that vaulter ends up performing at the World Championships. As the routine becomes more secure, the vaulter may choose to raise the level of difficulty or heighten their expressiveness through choreographic changes.
The first of three U.S. Selection Trials was held at Garrod Farms in Saratoga, California, May 15 and 16. I was very impressed with the high level of competition and unusually high turnout of competitors. Clearly, having the World Equestrian Games on our home turf this year is a major incentive for U.S. vaulters to step it up. It has been years since there were as many as five A-teams vying for the spot of National Team in our country. Each and every team put on a respectable performance. My team, F.A.C.E., aboard the horse Palatine lunged by Carolyn Bland, ended up winning the competition. Our freestyle routine was far from perfect, but evoked enough compliments from the audience to leave us feeling relieved that we had created something our country would be proud to stand behind, should we be selected as the team to compete in Kentucky.
I believe I speak for my entire team when I say that we are more proud of Palatine than anything. The Garrod Farms competition was his debut as a true “team horse,” in which he certainly proved himself. To go from never having carried more than one person on his back, to nearly effortlessly carrying three people for the duration of a four minute routine, is an amazing feat for a horse to accomplish in less than a year’s time. Though I have vaulted on many fantastic horses over my sixteen years in this sport, I can honestly say that performing on Palatine is one of the most relaxing and liberating experiences I have had. For me, the most enjoyable vaulting happens when the horse’s movement is in such a soft, even, cadence that it becomes possible to forget that your stage is moving. Though of course not every second of the performance is so effortless, the majority of our routine now feels that way.
The second U.S. Selection Trial was held at the Portola Valley Training Center in Portola Valley, California. We had another clean competition, securing our second win. We also guaranteed ourselves an invitation (along with the second place team, Woodside Vaulters) to the CHIO in Aachen, Germany in July. Due to financial reasons, we initially thought we would have to decline the invitation. Fortunately, with some aid from the U.S.E.F., the trip became possible. We will traveled to Germany in the end of June to begin training on a borrowed horse, and then competed in Aachen July 9-11. Immediately after returning home on July 12, we traveld to southern California for the third Selection Trial (July 17 and 18).
Since the last competition, we have wasted no time in taking our training to the next level in order to prepare for international competition. Though a couple of our team members live on the east coast, our coach/team manager in San Diego, and our horse trainer in Tennessee, we have all managed to congregate in the Bay Area for the past few weeks for some focused training time together. We spend nearly every waking moment together, living and breathing our passion for the art we create, and hoping that our efforts will carry us to the top of the podium in Kentucky!