Charlotte Axani's rise to the top of the Vaulting world can only be described as meteoric. Currently competing at the FEI 3* level, she is one of only a handful of elite female athletics representing Canada in international competitions. We recently caught up with her at a demonstrative event hosted by her team High Kick Vaulters. Charlotte is not only competing at the highest level but is also coaching the Senior, Junior, and Children FEI Vaulters on her team. This was their final "dress rehearsal" before heading to competitions in California, Utah and then the CVI Canada Cup in Chilliwack, B.C. Setting her sights on qualifying as an individual for the 2020 FEI Senior World Championships the sky's the limit for this determined athlete.
Name: Charlotte Axani
Home Base: Calgary, AB
Discipline: Equestrian Vaulting
Horses: Lukas (Show Name: Lausbub)
Started Riding: I started riding in Pony Club when I was six. I started vaulting when I was 12 years old.
Recent Highlight of your Riding career: The biggest achievements of my vaulting career have been competing on a squad at Senior Worlds 2016 in Le Mans, France and then in 2017 representing Canada as an Individual at Junior Worlds in Ebreichsdorf, Austria.
Horse that had the most impact on your journey: My first horse Wyatt taught me more than I could ever know. From learning the basics of grooming and riding in Pony Club, to developing the start of my life long joy for horses. The other horse that will always have a place in my heart is Circus. I will always be thankful to have known him and been part of his journey.
Most Challenging Time in your Riding career: The biggest challenge in vaulting has been the limited access to horses and coaching. This year will be the first time that I will be able to train and compete on my own horses. In the past, I have had to either fly or drive to get coaching- which meant spending a lot of time away from home and my family.
Most Rewarding Moment: My most rewarding moment in Vaulting was competing as an Individual for Canada at Junior Worlds in 2017. It was a truly surreal moment in my career to be able to compete at the same competition as the top athletes in my sport.
Who has inspired/guided/encouraged you?: One of the most impactful people to have come into my life is Tyler Ayres (world-renowned acrobatic and aerial coach). He has helped me to learn and grow so much as an athlete, a coach, and as a person. He inspires me to always push myself beyond my limits and has taught me the importance of technique and detail in everything I do.
Words to Live By: "Raptim ad sidera tollar" which means I would go as far as the stars. To me, this means not limiting what you want to achieve because you can always reach your goals if you work hard. It's also about supporting the people around you and helping them reach their own stars as well.
Looking forward 5 to 10 years; where do you see yourself? In five years I hope to still be coaching and competing. I also would like to qualify for the Vaulting World Cup which is an FEI 4* level event.
Looking back 5 to 10 years, what advice/encouragement would you give your younger self? The advice I would give my younger self would be to learn new languages. I'm currently learning to speak German and French. I have travelled to both France and Germany and it was very helpful even to know a few common phrases and to be able to read basic things like signs and menus.