COMPETITION TO CENTER STAGE….
One of the big differences Eric Martonovich has encountered while touring with CAVALIA from his prior experiences as an international vaulting competitor, was perhaps the least anticipated. “Except for something around Halloween, I never had to do any makeup,” laughs Martonovich, a two-time national vaulting champion, who competed at the World Equestrian Games in Italy and Spain in 1998 and 2002.
Costume makeup aside, Martonovich notes more subtle contrasts. “There’s a lot more freedom. It is gratifying to have a crowd really respond to you in the show. In a competition, it’s not quite the same,” adds the 6 ft. 1 in. Martonovich, who performs individually and also in a pas de deux in CAVALIA with his long-time vaulting competition partner Alethea Shelton, who also joined the show. (Both were previously living in Colorado.) The duo1s well-honed finesse aboard a cantering Belgian is reminiscent of top figure-skating pairs.
“I think my favorite part of the show is getting to work with all the people and really expand my abilities. It really brought a lot of the best together,” says the well-toned vaulter, who got his first pony at age three and soon demonstrated a penchant for leaping off and back onto its back.
A member of the American Vaulting Association, Martonovich previously performed at events such as Equitana, Equine Affaire, and Denver1s National Western Stock Show and Rodeo. However, life for this now CAVALIA cast member continues to bring a whole new realm of experiences. “The other day a girl ran up to me during the finale and gave me two dozen roses,” describes Martonovich. “That was pretty different. I don1t think that ever happened to me before.”