Courtesy of US Equestrian
Best Friends Kathryn “Katie” Keville and Florence “Flo” Rubinger Compete in the Vaulting Pas de Deux at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018
Competing together this week as a pas de deux, both Kathryn “Katie” Keville (28) from Cotati, Calif., and Florence “Flo” Rubinger (31) from Santa Rosa, Calif., have competed on the U.S. Vaulting Team since 2008 and consider one another the best of friends. The long-time vaulter Rubinger shared, “Our motto is just to enjoy ourselves.” Vaulting at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) in the pas de deux, one of three divisions, they will compete alongside a second U.S. pas de deux team of Daniel Janes and Haley Smith. The pas de deux career highlights for Rubinger and Keville include the 2018 CVI3* Pas de Deux champions at Rocky Mountain Cup CVI and the 2018 CVI3* and the 2017 CVI1* and CVI2* Pas de Deux champions at Pacific Cup CVI. They will be vaulting on a 20-year-old gelding named Revlon owned by Kathryn and Sean Keville.
This dynamic duo are looking forward to competing. Keville shared, “We are a very fun pair of people together. We are very spunky and quirky, and we bring our own strengths together, and we are very good at utilizing our strengths. Flo is definitely the powerhouse of our duo, and I try to be the grace with the lines on top of the horse. It’s just been a lot of fun this whole season. We really want to enjoy ourselves.”
In preparations for WEG, Rubinger said, “Besides practicing on our horse, we’ve been doing a lot of partner workouts, which have been a lot of fun. I am inspired by some of my friends who are stunt doubles in California. I’ve been putting together some tough workouts to prepare us for this event. Our strategy has been to work out on and off the horse.”
Their routine and music come from the movie, Pitch Perfect. Keville said, “[It is the] final portion from the a cappella group in the movie. We are vaulting to that song, and it’s going to be really fun. We are pretty much dancing and shimmying on and off the horse.”
When asked how the home crowd spectators could best cheer for them, Keville responded, “At the very beginning and the end of our routine, not during the performance. You can cheer when we run in. A lot of people, when we run in, will be shouting, ‘I love you, awesome nerds.’ We actually love that. Throughout the performance, the crowd needs to be as quiet as possible for our horse. When we dismount off the horse, the crowd can cheer as loud as they want for our performance.”
Their pas de deux name is The Vintage Vaulters. Hailing from California, Rubinger said, “My mom came up with that name because we are from wine country in California. We tend to be a bit older in the vaulting group, so that is where vintage comes from. We thought that was a great pas de deux name. We are from wine country, we are vintage, and we like to drink wine.”
The U.S. Vaulting Team has won a total of nine medals at the Games, including a squad gold medal in 2010 (Lexington, Kentucky, USA) and two individual gold medals, one in 1998 (Rome, Italy) and one in 2006 (Aachen, Germany). Be sure to follow the U.S. Vaulting Team.