After first picking up the sport at the age of 10-years-old, St. Timothy High School student Daniel Klotz-Dedora will be representing Canada at the Horse Vaulting World Cup six years later.
“I'm really proud of what I accomplished,” he told The Eagle in a recent interview.
At the age of sixteen, Klotz-Dedora will be one of the youngest, and one of eight competitors, to compete at the upcoming Federation Equestre International Vaulting World Cup in Basel Switzerland from Jan. 10 to 14.
Raised in a family heavily involved with horses, Klotz-Dedora’s mother put him in a beginner vaulting class to teach him proper falling technique. It was here he picked up a love for the sport.
“I joined the beginner clinic just for a day but then I kept going from there,” Klotz-Dedora said. “I worked really hard, I really liked it, and I got a lot of opportunities from different teams.”
At the age of fourteen, Klotz-Dedora secured a spot in the Junior World Champions on his first attempt. Two years later, and not yet old enough to compete at the senior level, Klotz-Dedora found himself again at the junior championships.
Placing consistently within the top 10, and now old enough to compete at the senior level, Klotz-Dedora punched his way into the senior World Cup.
“I was really ecstatic because I did not necessarily think it was in the picture,” he said. “I didn't necessarily count on going but when we got an email that I potentially had a spot, I was thrilled.”
Leading up to the competition, Klotz-Dedora said he is training six days a week, roughly two hours a day.
He added balancing training with other life demands is a lot to take on, but his love for the sport continues to fuel his commitment.
“It's a lot of time management and it’s a lot of discipline,” he said. “But it's definitely manageable and I actually really enjoy what I do.”
Entering the competition, Klotz-Dedora hopes to showcase his skills as best he can and represent Canada well on the international stage.
Being one of the youngest competitors, Klotz-Dedora said he is excited to compete against those he admires in the sport.
“I really look up to them so now I'm right next to them and it’s just the best feeling ever,” he added. “Almost an honor in the sense that I was selected to compete against them.”
Acknowledging the support he receives from family, friends, and coaches, Klotz-Dedora is thankful for those who have helped him get to this point.
“Honestly the support has been a dream,” Klotz-Dedora said. “I'm just really grateful for their support, and for my team as well, and preparing me physically, mentally, and emotionally.”
Hoping to inspire younger children to pursue their passions, Klotz-Dedora said it’s important to work hard and stay committed to the things one loves.
“Keep working because people see that work and people will acknowledge it,” he added. “That will get you places. I promise.”