Pressure is on for Langley’s own Laura-Jane (L.J.) Tidball, who is shooting to show in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping competition at Thunderbird Show Park (tbird) this Sunday.
She still has to qualify, meaning she has to place in the top 50 riders during a competition on Friday.
“It’s a little pressure. I have to do well enough on Friday to show on Sunday… you never really know at the beginning of the week what’s going to happen at the end of the week,” she said. “But you put the best foot forward and make the assumption.”
Hopeful she’ll make it through, Tidball said, noting that there’s admittedly added expectations for her to produce results before a huge hometown crowd with hundreds of people she knows watching on.
While there’s some added pressures that come with riding at home in Langley, she definitely looks forward to riding at Thunderbird more than other shows because it is her family’s place. The equestrian centre is owned by the Tidball family and her mother, Jane Tidball, is the president and CEO.
“I’m definitely hoping to go out there and jump a clean round,” Tidball said. “I think I’m ready. I think my horse feels great. He’s certainly feeling good, so I’m looking forward to this week, for sure.”
Concetto Son is a 13-year-old warmblood gelding that she bought in Switzerland early in 2017, and Tidball has been enjoying some great results with him in the ring.
Back in April, for instance, she rode him to victory in Mexico. She was among the Canadian show jumping team that won the Nations Cup in Coapexpan – her first Nations Cup and her first time with Team Canada.
She was then invited back to compete with the Canadian team – this time at tbird in early June, during the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada.
“Since then, I went out to Spruce Meadows [Calgary] for a couple of shows. We did good up there. My horse was amazing. I had a foot in the water in the Queen’s Cup, but he was great. I was really happy with that. So I feel ready, heading into the World Cup,” Tidball shared with the Langley Advance.
Returning home from Spruce Meadows, they took a bit of down time, to rejuvenate, before amping up the training and workouts in preparation for this weekend’s show.
To get ready, she said her attention is focused on ensuring she and her horse are fit enough and that Concetto is sound and ready to compete.
“He kind of knows what he’s doing out there, so it’s not like I have to practise with him very often to ensure he’s ready. But I have to make sure that he’s jumped enough, that his legs and fitness are good, as you would in any sport. You know, he’s an athlete, so he needs to be physically fit enough to go out there and compete. So that’s what I really focus on,” Tidball elaborated.
“Hopefully we’ve done enough. It feels good,” she said, noting that the duo’s workout typically includes two days a week of cardio fitness, two days of jumping, one day a week of light work, and the rest of the time is focused on technique.
While Concetto’s workout might wrap up after a few hours each day, Tidball’s does not.
“He has a workout, which is really a small part of my working out… I ride all day,” she said, noting that when she’s not training and working out with Concetto, she’s typically training other horses or coaching other riders at her own facilities nearby in Langley at Livingstone Park Stables – which in itself, she said, is a full-time job.