Stacey hits the books after European success

Eccles vaulter Stacey McPherson with Aspen Delicat. Photograph Brian Sutherland
Eccles vaulter Stacey McPherson with Aspen Delicat. Photograph Brian Sutherland
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SHE has just returned from France after turning out for Great Britain at the European Vaulting Championships – and 16-year-old Stacey MacPherson is now back in the classroom studying for her Highers.

The teenager exceeded even her own expectations in Le Mans – and will wait to see whether she will become a future vaulting coach or follow her dream to join the police – or both.

Nothing will diminish her enthusiasm as she mixes school and sport with a dedication that is second to none.

And, after finishing the highest-placed junior female for Great Britain, Stacey is back putting her 22-year-old horse, Aspen Delicat, through his paces at the training arena near Reston.

Stacey trains at Sunnyside Farm under the watchful eye of Rebecca Hewit. She finished in 20th position in the under-18 years group – and team manager Jim Currie, who works at Kelso Swimming Pool where Stacey trains, praised her efforts.

“Just fantastic,” he said. “I am delighted for her.”

The Eccles youngster has thrown her weight behind vaulting since she was eight years old – and admitted: “I love it.”

Mum Anna-Marie is the taxi driver and goes all over Britain and abroad supporting her daughter, as well as the group members.

Stacey came through two selection trials before she heard the news that she was in the Great Britain team. “It was unexpected, but I was thrilled,” she said.

“It is hard to put into words how delighted I was to be selected to represent Great Britain as a junior individual. “It was a fantastic opportunity and was also a great experience.”

Stacey also vaults with the local Reivers Vaulting Group and is a team member of the South of Scotland Select team, which competes internationally.

Aspen Delikat is owned by the Berwickshire Group RDA, who allowed Stacey to use him both in her selection trials and to compete on at the championships.

Stacey has set out her plans for the future.

“My ambition is to keep working hard at training and to keep vaulting to the best of my ability at every competition and hopefully also help out with younger members.” she added.

Next up are the Scottish and British Championships, which she will be competing individually and as a member of the South of Scotland Select team.