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Canadian rider ‘blazes trail’ in tbird founders’ event

World’s best equestrian show jumpers continue to impress at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley
Kara Chad (CAN) and Easy Boy d’Aubey Z in the winner’s circle after taking top place in the CSI3 George and Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m Wednesday at tbird. (Kim Gaudry,tbird/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Canadian rider Kara Chad and Easy Boy d’Aubey Z positively laid down the gauntlet in Wednesday’s CSI3 George and Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m.

The equestrian action unfolded at Thunderbird Show Park (tbird), the world-class show jumping facilities in Langley that were created by the competition’s namesakes, George and Dianne Tidball. The couple has since passed, but their children continue building on their legacy.

Wednesday’s competition was one of multiple this month being hosted at tbird.

In this case, Chad and Easy Boy were second to jump Peter Holmes’ 1.45m speed track, the pair blazing a trail, leaving out strides in four places on course.

No one could match their performance, and they held the lead through the remaining 26 competitors.

The winning time was 62.89 seconds. John Perez (COL) came closest with Gigi-Carmen (63.71s), and Robert Blanchette (IRL) gave great chase while last to go to finish third with Chardonnay (63.94s).

“I think [the first three fences were] really important—to get the correct numbers there, to do the leave-out. And then once he was on that tempo, he was kind of set for the rest of the course,” Chad said.

“When you open up his stride, he just goes. By the end [of the course], I was having to slow him down.”

Kara Chad of Maplepark Farms. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Kara Chad of Maplepark Farms. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Chad has only been paired with the talented chestnut 9-year-old for about three months, but the gelding has wasted no time in establishing himself as a bright talent for both present and future.

Easy Boy d’Aubey Z has won each of his last two international classes, and according to Jumpr App, he and Chad are averaging just three faults across all heights.

“I think every round, he just amazes me. Any position he’s in—any speed class, jump-off class, 1.50m, 1.45m, whatever it is—he seems to rise to the occasion. That’s probably one of the biggest classes he’s jumped and he wins, so he knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure,” Chad expressed.

“I think he’s a horse for the top sport, and he’s already proving that.”

Identifying and producing young talent has become a strength of Maplepark Farms, the global business Chad runs alongside her partner, Matthew Sampson (GBR).

“We’re doing it all and trying to involve everything. Obviously we’re still a new-ish business, with two or three years now [under our belts],” Chad said. “But we’re trying to see what works best for us, and so far [our strength has been] the buying of the raw and young horses and pulling out their potential and their talent and trying to showcase that—and then hopefully selling them on to an owner who’s appreciative of them. A good match is our our main goal at the minute.”

With Easy Boy d’Aubey Z, Chad has found a good match of her own.

“I think [the owners] know that they have an excellent horse on their hands,” she said. “They’re really excited to see him doing so well.”

Langley’s own Tiffany Foster, riding for Canada, placed eighth in this competition. It’s one of several being held this month at tbird. The world-class competitions culminate with the ATCO Cup Grand Prix at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Weather dependent: it might be moved earlier in the day due to heat).

RELATED WITH VIDEO: Three wins for Foster at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park

More schedule details and information about tbird is available online at

READ MORE: Fort Classic international competition gets underway at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park


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