Tiffany Foster has many warm memories of Thunderbird Show Park in Langley.
It’s where the champion rider began her career, where she won some memorable victories, and where she even resided for awhile during the worst of the pandemic.
Now, Foster is preparing to make some new memories, returning to ride in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup as the North American League (NAL) officially returns to tbird.
Tbird, which hosted World Cup qualifying events from 2016–2019, will hold the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Vancouver event on Sunday, Sept. 26.
Foster is predicting “some good jumping” at the event.
“That’ll be fun,” she told the Langley Advance Times.
She is looking forward to having people in the stands at tbird, noting that in Alberta, where Foster and partner Brighton have recently been racking up wins at the Spruce Meadows ATCO Classic Grand Prix, COVID-29 restrictions have been tightened, and there isn’t a lot of sound from the stands.
“Definitely a little different,” Foster remarked.
“We don’t have a lot of crowds.”
Langley was where Foster started her equestrian training.
Her parents bought her a rocking horse for her second Christmas, and she began riding lessons at eight.
Since age 14, she’s been impressing national audiences and has been part of the international circuit since 2011.
Currently, the highest ranked female rider in Canada and the 12th ranked female rider in the world, Foster was a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the 2014 World Equestrian Games, the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In June of 2019, a determined Foster and Figor, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, sewed up the $400,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup at tbird for Canada by knocking down just one rail, which meant the rest of the Canadian team did not have to jump a second round.
Last year, she relocated to tbird following the postponement of the global competition calendar in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foster described it as an “odd year,” but one with some happy recollections about tbird.
“They opened up to us,” Foster recalled.
“It was awesome. They were very welcoming.”
Foster, who had some horses in need of experience, put the time at tbird to good use.
“I had a lot of young horses. You get a lot of good mileage,” Foster explained.
“It worked out great for us.”
Foster is currently based in Wellington, Florida and Antwerp, Belgium, but expects to be spending more time in B.C. in the future, now that she has purchased a home in Whistler, currently undergoing renovations.
After a year hiatus, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League is set to return and will kick off its 2021–2022 season at Thunderbird Show Park’s Harvest Celebration.
The $150,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Vancouver will highlight the schedule, which will feature both international four-star competition and an international U25 division, Wednesday, Sept. 22 to Sunday, Sept. 26.
Thunderbird Show Park has hosted World Cup competition on four other occasions; the event will be the first of eight qualifiers across North America from which 10 American, two Canadian and two Mexican riders will punch their tickets to the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup final in Leipzig, Germany, in April 2022.
Harvest Celebration will also bring the season-long MarBill U25 League to a close with an international U25 division. The $25,000 MarBill Hill U25 League Final Powered by Grant Productions is a part of Sunday’s program.
The $150,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Vancouver will anchor that program at 2pm PT.
Tickets are on sale now at tbird.ca/tickets.
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