LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– They’re up, up and away in Lake St. Louis this week.
“This is the only team sport where one of the team players can’t talk,” says John McQueen the President of Queenie Productions, sponsoring the event.
Welcome to the world of equestrian competition. This weekend marks the final of an eight show series winter festival, and organizers say expect to see Olympic caliber competitors in motion.
“The guys will be jumping a meter 50 which is about five feet and riding for the winner’s share of $30,000,” says McQueen.
Jumpers and horses from across the United States and Canada will use their legs, hands, voices and seats to communicate with their horse.
In short they have to get to it, over it and not knock anything down.
“The jumpers are the pole vaulters of the equine world,” says McQueen.
And they have to do it in about 70 seconds, while judges note the number of jumps and how well they are completed.
“I love to ride, riding is my favorite activity,” says trainer and rider David Right. “I really love to figure out what can improve horses and improve the riders.”
“Judges in the jumper division are looking for time and faults,” says McQueen.
You can’t fault the riders for the adrenaline rush that comes with making it all happen on a 1,200 pound horse going 25 miles per hour.
“Which is fun,” adds Right. “If you’ve got horse that can really do that it’s a lot of fun to do.”
Especially when it’s a successful landing after an up, up and away.