Monday, August 1, 2011

Adaptive Vaulting at Cooper Garrod! Great program for kids with special needs.

A few weeks ago, CVI*,** Saratoga, sponsored by the Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, held its biannual vaulting competition June 25-26 at historic Garrod Farms in Saratoga.  Vaulting, for those who are not familiar (just as we were not until the tournament!) is described as gymnastics on horseback, and is very impressive to see in person.  Thanks to the generosity of Jan Garrod and Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, all the proceeds from this tournament went to benefit the Via West Campus!
Mt. Eden vaulting team at CVI Saratoga
 During the tournament, I was introduced to several coaches who run an adaptive vaulting program every Wednesday at Cooper Garrod.  One of our very own Via West participants, Galina Griffy, has been participating in this program for about 6 years!  Yesterday, I took the drive over to CG to watch Galina practice with her coach and learn more about the program. She, along with her instructor Kim Dunham and peer aid Jordyn, practiced moves on a stationary barrel as well as on a horse named Soda Pop. 
Galina practices on stationary barrel before her lesson

Peer Jordyn assists Galina getting on Soda Pop

Instructed by Kim Dunham, Galina practices her routine

Galina and Soda Pop
Galina regularly competes in adaptive vaulting competitions, recently taking home 2nd place in a tournament!  Galina's joy when she is caring for horses and practicing her vaulting is infectious.  Thank  you to Cooper Garrod for this amazing program, and we hope that other participants at Via West will be able to take advantage of the fun!

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