There was a special treat for the Nicholasville Chamber of Commerces at the monthly luncheon — and it wasn't in the barbecue.
The Asbury University Vaulting Team put on a private performance for chamber members Tuesday afternoon showing off different freestyle skills.
Inside one of the arenas at the Asbury University Equine Center/Palisades Farms the team performed gymnastic feats, such as a person standing on a white horse while holding up another person in a "superman" pose above their head.
"In 2010, we took 41 students to the World Equestrian Games which just launched our program," Wilmore mayor and director of the school's equine center Harold Rainwater said. "We now have about 90 students in the equine program with 75 as majors and rest with a minor, and this summer they competed at a national level and did very well."
Rainwater said that the students are all well versed in multiple other disciplines as well, including English riding, trail riding and police-mount training.
The whole program depends a lot on the donation of the horses but also the dedication of those enrolled in the classes.
"Our students do very well and it's the reason we come to work everyday," he said. "They even raise their own funds for uniforms and the school has stepped in and helped raise it up to the level it's at."
Equine vaulting at Asbury University did not exists until Catherine Walker — “a very special German student” — showed up and lobbied for the program, Rainwater said.
"The unique thing about this is that it was one of the first vaulting programs in Kentucky and we only started it about four years ago," Walker said. "It's not yet a class, but it's a sports team."
Walker lunged Becky, the 15-hands high white horse, while the athletes did gymnastics on its back during the presentation.
"I'm very proud of them, they all work very hard," Walker said. "Our flyers — the smallest kids that are hoisted on top — are not students at Asbury but are on the team. We have a kids program is open to the community and is pretty successful and we can draw from that group is we need flyers for the team competitions."