Tiffany Foster used her start position to her advantage in the $15,000 1.45m at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park Harvest Celebration on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 25.
After producing the fastest clear of the first round in the uniquely formatted competition with Artisan Farms’ Galino, Foster earned the opportunity to return last of seven over Peter Holmes’ shortened track. She replicated her first round feat, taking the victory with a final time of 42.36 seconds. Justin Prather and E Z Ace finished second with Hilary McNerney and Lovelight third.
“Even though there weren’t a huge amount of entries in the class, Peter Holmes definitely didn’t under-build. It was a full 1.45m, and he didn’t go any softer for the jump-off,” Foster said.
“Because I was the fastest clear in the first round, I had the advantage of going last again in the jump-off, so I was able to watch everybody. Justin Prather had a very fast round. I was kind of hoping I’d be able to just cruise around and have a nice round, but I realized I had to go quite fast.”
After having a rail in the first round, the winning round format enabled Prather to return with a clean slate. He made the most of the opportunity and didn’t hide his satisfaction with his performance, emphatically praising his horse after crossing through the finish timers.
Foster was watching, and when it was her turn to take her shot, she didn’t let up on her gallop. One of Galino’s boots even fell by the wayside as the pair sliced their turn back to the penultimate fence.
“I slipped a little bit in the turn, but I’d seen my distance and I was pretty committed to it. I think that’s probably where we won it,” Foster said.
“Everything was flying! Sand was flying, we were flying,” she exclaimed. “By the time I looked up, [the distance to the fence] was there. My horse was really with me in that turn, and that’s very important in those situations. If the horse isn’t with you, a slightly long distance becomes a very long distance. Thank you, ‘Gino’ for that!”
Foster has been partnered with the bay gelding for nearly three years, and he’s been competitive from the start. Galino has jumped to podium placings from Samorin (SVK) to Dinard (FRA) and Spruce Meadows (CAN).
His win at Thunderbird marks the biggest of his young career.
“He’s a really competitive horse. He’s always been a bit of an old soul, so I’ve been able to compete with him sort of the whole time I’ve had him,” Foster said. “He’s really fun to enter in classes like this, because I always know I have a bit of a shot.”
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