Equestrian vaulting is usually described as gymnastics or dance on horseback. Vaulting began as an equestrian act at circuses. It has been contested only once at the Olympics, at Antwerpen 1920, when both an individual and team competition were contested, and the events were loosely translated as “Figure Riding”.
Vaulting is mostly practiced in Europe, especially Germany and Switzerland although Denmark, France, the United States and Great Britain have also produced champions in modern times. In 1983, vaulting was recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) as a separate discipline of horse sport. European championships were first held in Ebreichsdorf, Austria, in 1984, and the first FEI World Vaulting Championship was held in Bulle, Switzerland, in 1986.
Vaulting is one of 10 equestrian disciplines governed by the FEI, which was formed in 1921 by Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and the United States, and has 137 member nations as of 2022. The list of disciplines governed by the FEI includes jumping, eventing, dressage, driving, and vaulting.