Joey Eccles took first place at the European Vaulting Championships held in Sweden at the weekend.

Crowned senior female vaulting Champion of Europe, Joey (20) from Tillicoultry, took the title, Team GBR's first ever vaulting medal, on her horse WH Bentley, while being lunged by her father John Eccles.

This follows a fantastic season of wins for her both in Europe and the USA.

On her victory Joey said, "I am delighted to have won Team GBR's first vaulting medal and ecstatic that it was gold." Lucy Philips (18), from Solihull finished 8th in the senior competition on her horse Pitucelli, while Joey's sister Hannah (17), took 7th in the junior Championships and Louise Sinclair (15) from Fife,13th.

In the team events, the senior Team GBR finished 8th and the Junior Team GBR 5th.

Vaulting is best described as a form of gymnastics on the back of a moving horse, which is worked on a circle under the control of a lunger.

Through choreographed movements, it incorporates beauty and brilliance, power and strength, elegance and precision, all in harmony with the horse.

During the vaulting the horse is controlled by an instructor (lunger) and moves in a 15 metre circle. The horse wears a bridle and a specially designed roller with two large handles either side of the withers allowing the vaulters to mount and carry out various exercises on the horse with a great feeling of security.

Lucy Bell, Chef d'equipe British Equestrian Vaulting (BEV), said, "Joanne performed fantastically, I don't know anyone who has worked so hard and can remain so controlled and focused throughout.

"Her performances were rewarded with not only our first ever vaulting medal, but to make it a gold one really made it a fabulous week!

"The results across the board are absolutely fantastic, Team GBR has improved in all classes this year, everyone has worked extremely hard and the results show this.

"It's the first time we have had four individuals through to the second round in the individual classes - (senior and junior) and specifically in the senior female class where we had two vaulters finish in the top ten. Both teams performed well and Lucy Phillips's horse Pitucelli won the best horse in the entire Championships." These vaulters will now roll straight into preparations for the British selection trials for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky 2010.