Handstands, scissor kicks, somersaults, back-flips are difficult enough when performed on an exercise mat, so imagine the extra physical challenge of executing them on the back of a cantering horse.

Equestrian vaulting is a combination of gymnastics and dance performed on horseback and its origins can be traced back to Roman games which included acrobatic displays performed on cantering horses.

The Shropshire Vaulters is a small community club with a huge pool of talent in this exacting and demanding sport.

Border Counties Advertizer: Shropshire Vaulters with their medals.

Meghan Clarke, Sienna Harrison, Abi Ward, Chloe Rush, Tey Tey, Eira Thompson and Isabelle Goffin. 

During 2021, the club has enjoyed a successful season with a win and podium placings at every competition, as well as multiple national titles, a British title and an international one as well.

Their successes include two Welsh Championship titles with nine year old Eira Thompson and 13-year old Sienna Harrison triumphant while Meghan Clarke topped the podium at the English Championship.

The club also celebrated a number of high placings and a title win at the British Championships last weekend by youngest member Isabelle Goffin, where the club’s horse also won ‘horse score of the year’.

Four of the team’s members also took the arduous drive up to Scotland for their nationals on a borrowed horse from Rebecca Hewitt of the South Scottish select to take away four first places in each respective class.

Border Counties Advertizer: Shropshire Vaulters with their medals.

Meghan Clarke, Sienna Harrison, Abi Ward and Isabelle Goffin. 

The girls said: “We are so proud of our achievements this year, we are such a small group that we didn’t expect to accomplish what we have done this season, next year is going to be just as exciting as we have two new horses in training.

"We also want to say a special thanks to our coaches Sam and Nicola and a huge thank you to our two horses that have been amazing all season - Houston and Hugo.”

The long hours of training for the Shropshire team have certainly paid off, with an impressive tally of awards under their saddles.