Langley’s Tiffany Foster recorded a hometown win for Canada Thursday night in the CSIO5* $36,500 Artisan Farms Nations Welcome at Thundebird Show Park, topping the first international jump-off competition of the 2019 Odlum Brown BC Open, featuring the CSIO5* $400,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada.
Foster, who has represented Canada in team competition on numerous occasions, grew up showing at Thunderbird.
Topping a 12-horse jump-off, she posted an unbeatable time with Artisan Farms’ Brighton, crossing the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) shortened course in 32.74 seconds. Arturo Parada Vallejo (MEX), looking to win his third international class of the day, finished second aboard Tarzan d’Ivraie with a 33.59-second time, while Nicole Walker (CAN) finished third with Excellent B (34.59 seconds).
“I had a good draw,” Foster explained. “I went late in the order, so I could see how fast the class ended up getting. I know my horse really well, and he’s very fast, very competitive, and very dependable. He’s just the coolest, best horse.”
Despite recording countless hunter and equitation wins at tbird in her junior career, Thursday’s win marked the first for Foster in a jumper class of any kind at the venue. With her mother Lynn Foster presenting her with the winner’s prizes, it was a sentimental victory.
“I really wanted to win this class,” Foster said. “It’s Andy and Carlene [Ziegler, of Artisan Farms’] class. They own the horse, and they’re my amazing supporters. They love this venue so much and really support it. My groom really wanted this cooler, so I had a lot of people that really wanted me to win this class!”
Foster attributed her victory to her horse’s quickness over the jumps and an affinity for left hand turns. She set the tone with a fast start over the jump-off’s first three fences: a long gallop from a square oxer to the Artisan Farms vertical, followed by a sweeping left turn in a leave-out seven strides to an oxer.
“My horse is so fast over the jumps,” Foster said. “That first line—I know him really well, and anything gets going to the left gets his stride exponentially longer! [World No. 8 Kent Farrington] was here, and I told him that I thought I could get seven [strides to the oxer], and he [wasn’t sure], but by the end, he said, ‘You’re going to have to do seven if you want to win!’
“I knew Brighty could do it. I got there slowing down at the end! I started fast and kept going! He spends zero time in the air. He’s a fast horse anyway, and if I can deliver, he can definitely win!”
Arturo Parada Vallejo Has Perfect Start at Odlum Brown BC Open
It didn’t take Arturo Parada Vallejo (MEX) long to feel right at home at Thunderbird Show Park. In his first ever trip to Langley, the 30-year-old won back-to-back FEI events in the $8,500 CSIO5* Happy Welcome and the $1,000 CSI2* tbird Welcome before finishing second in the $36,500 CSIO5* Artisan Farms Nations Welcome.
“I am pretty sure that this [show] is going to be at the top [of the list]!” Parada Vallejo exclaimed. “I feel very lucky. I worked very hard to come here, so I’m really excited that I started off this way.”
Nicknamed the “King of the Speed Classes” in his home nation, Parada Vallejo lived up to his reputation, topping both Table A classes set by Canada’s Peter Holmes.
In the CSIO5* Happy Welcome, Parada Vallejo rode his own 10-year-old Selle Francais stallion Vitot Kervec to top honors. The duo’s time of 58.52 seconds was more than a second faster than runners-up Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Lord Pizarro (59.60 seconds). Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Cita, winners of the 2018 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix at tbird, finished third (62.91 seconds).
“I’ve been riding [Vitot Kervec] for eight months now,” Parada Vallejo explained. He’s a horse with a great heart and is very courageous. I think I could have a great career with him. He has so much scope and energy. I feel very lucky to ride this horse and am grateful to everyone who has supported me.”
In the CSI2* tbird Welcome, Parada Vallejo rode Maria Hank’s Cassidy Z to the top prize, crossing the timers of Holmes’ (CAN) speed track in 59.62 seconds. Kyle King (USA) and Etalon finished second (59.64 seconds), while Holly Scapa (USA) completed the podium, riding Tarrabus de Maraly to third honors (60.71 seconds).
The win marked Parada Vallejo and Cassidy Z’s second victory in two months, after they took home a top prize from CSI4* Balvanera in Mexico in March. Parada Vallejo expressed his excitement about the 8-year-old Zangersheide’s future, as their partnership is still developing. He’s ridden Cassidy Z for less than a year.
“I’ve wanted to come to tbird for several years, but I didn’t have a string of horses [ready] to do the Canadian summer tour,” Parada Vallejo said. “This year, I started planning way ahead.”
Running concurrent five- and two-star competitions, the Odlum Brown BC Open features four days of international competition. Leading up to the CSIO5* $400,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada, two more five-star events will take place: the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix on Friday and the $36,500 CSIO5* North West Rubber Cup 1.50m on Saturday. Two-star competition is highlighted by Saturday’s CSI2* $36,500 Jump for Uyradi’s Village Grand Prix, while child and junior competitors will get their moments to shine Saturday in the CSIOCh Children’s Nations Cup and CSIOJ Junior Nations Cup.
The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada gets underway Sunday, June 2, at 2:00pm PT. Tickets start as low as CA $5.00 and can be purchased at tbird.ca. All the action from the Fort Grand Prix Ring will also be streamed live on tbird TV.
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