Todd Griffiths competes in vaulting at World Equestrain Games
LEXINGTON, KY – The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games began Sept. 25 in Lexington, KY, and one local man has been busy getting ready to compete in one of the most acrobatic equestrian sports in the two-week competition.
Dr. Todd Griffiths, who just moved back to his home state of Montana from Babb, ND, will be representing the United States team in Vaulting. A veterinarian by trade and a horseman by talent, some may say Griffith was born for the sport of gymnastics on horseback.
Griffiths’ background with horses goes back several generations in his family. His mother raised, trained and showed in the American Quarter Horse Association and had multiple world show qualifiers. His parents continued the tradition of raising top quarter horses. Although a far cry from the vaulting world, Griffiths grew up riding, reining, working cows and ranching horses. At the tender age of 22, after one of Griffiths’ college classmates invited him to a class, he began his career in vaulting.
“With my history in gymnastics and on horseback it was a good fit,” Griffiths said. “I competed for four years, then took a three-year break, and started competing again this year; in total just less than six years.”
Griffiths is ready to compete again and this time in his home country, as he attended the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.
“Even though this is my second trip, it is still a great honor to represent my country,” Griffiths said. “Hopefully I will be able to put on a great performance and make my country proud.”
In total, the nominated entries list for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games includes more than 900 athletes and more than 1,300 horses to compete from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10. The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years, and this will be the first occurrence in the United States. Global animal health and nutrition leader Alltech is the proud title sponsor.
“This truly is a once in a lifetime event to see the Alltech World Equestrian Games in the U.S.,” Griffiths said. “For horse enthusiasts, it is the most amazing collection of talent, athleticism, horsemanship and excitement that I have ever seen in one place. It is like the Olympics, only for horses, and in our own backyard!”