FREESTYLE SHOWMANSHIP — Performing her gymnastic skill in the freestyle event at the Canada Cup CVI on May 24 is Sunnyside’s Rachel Scott.

SUNNYSIDE — Back from her first international equestrian vaulting competition is Rachel Scott, 15, of Sunnyside.

Demonstrating her gymnastic and dance skills atop a horse at the Canada Cup CVI on May 24 was a new experience for the youngster.

She has been training and competing in horse vaulting for the past 5-1/2 years. Her hard work is paying off, garnering her several ribbons so far this season.

Competing at the Copper Vaulter level, four levels away from the top-level gold, she is quickly advancing through the ranks.

There’s a total of six levels to equestrian vaulting, and two years ago, Scott was a medalist at the National Fun Fest Equestrian Vaulting Competition at a level that wasn’t yet recognized.

Judged moves include forward facing, backward facing, sitting, kneeling and standing positions, as well as the difficulty of each, the more experienced Scott said.

She was second overall in Canada, vaulting atop Indiana Jones IV.

It was her third competition of the season, and she would have liked to have scored a 6.5 so she could advance to the second day of competition. However, her overall score was 6.267 in what competitors and enthusiasts of the sport understand as one-star competition.

“I was so close,” Scott lamented, stating a two-star competition would improve her CVI (Councours Voltige International) and allow her to automatically enter future competitions on the second day.

“This was a bigger competition,” Scott said.

Competitors from throughout Canada and the U.S., including California, were in Chilliwack, B.C. for the international event.

“They had a judge who they few in from the Netherlands,” Scott noted.

So far this season, she has a ribbon for first in overall competition at Sherwood, Ore. From that event, she also claimed second in the freestyle and third in compulsories.

At Spokane’s New Mountain Fest, she was first overall in the Copper division, first in compulsories and second in freestyle.

“I feel good about the season,” Scott said, noting she’s already pre-qualified for Nationals, which will be Aug. 8-11 in St. Louis, Mo.

Regionals is June 28-30 in Lynden.

“Yes, I plan to go to Nationals,” she said.

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