January 21, 2014 -- The FEI World Cup Vaulting qualifying season ended on Sunday and U.S. pas de deux vaulters Kimberly and Cassidy Palmer (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) have qualified for the FEI World Cup Vaulting Final in Bordeaux, France. Only the four best pas de deux pairs from qualifying go to the FEI World Cup Vaulting Final (six qualify in the male and female individual divisions), so the Palmers will be competing against two pas de deux teams from Austria and one from Germany. The Palmer's qualification means that the U.S. will be represented at the FEI World Cup Vaulting Final for a second consecutive year, and for only the second time ever.*
The Palmer's trip to the Final began in summer 2013 when good finishes earned them a chance to compete in the CVI-W competitions throughout the fall and winter. They really erupted onto the international vaulting scene in November, when they won the FEI World Cup Final qualifier at the Stuttgart German Masters. That win not only earned them a lot of valuable qualifying points, it put them into the record books as the first Americans to win an FEI World Cup Vaulting qualifier as a pas de deux.
Cassidy and Kimberly finished third overall in qualifying with 28 points. Fifteen of those points were earned in Stuttgart, 13 more were earned in Paris. The sisters also competed in the qualifier at Salzburg, but qualifying points can only be earned at two qualifiers, so they did not earn any at that competition.
Pas de deux is new to the FEI World Cup Vaulting Final in 2014 but, according to the FEI "has made such a successful FEI World Cup Vaulting début, with massive support from the vaulting community and audiences" and will be a permanent addition.
The FEI World Cup Vaulting Final will be held in Bordeaux, France on February 7th & 8th.
Cassidy and Kimberly are 20- and 18-years-old, respectively. While in Europe they are lunged and coached by Wolfgang Renz. In the U.S. they are coached by Carolyn Bland as members of the Half Moon Bay Vaulters club. They were the U.S. Open Pas de Deux Champions in 2013.
An FEI bio of Cassidy Palmer is available here.
An FEI bio of Kimberly Palmer is available here.
To learn more about FEI World Cup Vaulting go to www.fei.org/fei/events/world-cups/vaulting
Follow the U.S. Vaulting Team at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/USVaultingTeam/