By Catie Staszak for FEI
When Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Figor topped the CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington (USA) Saturday night at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, it marked the successful execution of a long-term plan.
Foster wanted the competition to be her horse’s first big test following his recovery from an injury sustained at the end of the winter season. The 11-year-old gelding exceeded expectations, topping a four-horse jump-off that was not lacking surprises. Foster’s winning time was 35.73 seconds. The youngest rider in the field, Alessandra Volpi (USA) finished second with Berlinda (36.52 seconds), with Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W third (4/35.01).
“I was really aiming for this horse show and next week [in Lexington] as his first time back out at the 1.60m level,” Foster said. “We took our time, and I have to say a huge thank you his veterinarian Eduardo Felix and his groom Caroline Holmberg. They did a great job getting him back. He’s in awesome form.”
Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) set a stiff first round test for the 33-strong field that asked questions of both scope and stamina, with 14 numbered obstacles that wove around the Tryon Stadium. An adjusted time allowed from 82 to 84 seconds allowed Granato and Carlchen W to punch the first ticket to the shortened course. In the jump-off, the veteran pair turned up the heat with a swift round, but a rail at the final fence left them on four faults.
“The [jump-off] field was small, but it was mighty tonight,” Foster said. “There were three riders on very, very fast horses. Alex’s horse is super, super fast and very competitive, so I had a bit of a sigh of relief when that last jump knocked down!”
Next in the ring, Cook and Caillou were not in sync heading to the first fence, and some miscommunication between horse and rider resulted in a refusal. Volpi then recorded the first double-clear performance of the evening, but the young rider left the door open for her more experienced opponent. Foster and Figor jumped pulled away on their way to the last fence.
“It would probably be a risk for most horses to do nine strides to that last jump, if you walk the distance between those two jumps, but I knew my horse would just eat that up, and that would really suit him. That was really my favorite part [of my round] tonight.”
Foster’s result catapulted her up the NAL standings, and she now sits second with 29 points, behind only Conor Swail’s (IRL) 37 points; Rowan Willis (AUS) sits third with 20 points. Foster plans to continue on with Figor to the NAL’s next leg in Lexington (USA) on 6 November 2021.
“I’m thrilled to have him back,” Foster said. “I’m really excited about the next few years with him.”