Wellington, Florida – Canada’s Tiffany Foster emerged victorious in the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round III – Section B held Thursday, January 23, at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
A total of 92 horses attempted the first round track set by course designer Guilherme Jorge with 25 posting clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Returning for the jump-off mid-way through the order, Foster guided Victor to a blazing fast round in a time of 40.50 seconds to take over the lead from her 2012 London Olympic teammate, Ian Millar, who had stopped the clock in 40.84 seconds riding Dixson. Only one rider, Todd Minikus, was able to better her time, crossing the timers in 40.34 seconds riding Quality Girl to take the win in Section A while Foster was crowned the victor of Section B.
“He felt awesome, he was perfect!” said Foster, 29, of her 2012 Olympic mount. “The jump-off course was really wide open; there was a lot of open galloping, so you had to carry a lot of ground speed which can get a little hairy sometimes, but not for Victor! He loves it!”
Now in their fourth season together, Foster and Victor, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Elmshorn x Grandeur) owned by Torrey Pines Stable and Artisan Farms LLC, are no strangers to the International Arena at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. They were members of Canada’s Nations’ Cup team in Wellington in both 2012 and 2013, posting clear rounds on both occasions.
“He knows this ring really well, so I know I can take a lot of risks with him here and he’s really confident and comfortable,” explained Foster of Vancouver, BC. “When he’s jumping like he was today, I knew I could go really fast!”
Foster even out-raced her coach, 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, who placed third riding Zigali P S in only their third competitive appearance together.
Foster competes at the grand prix level with Victor as well as Verdi III, a new mount acquired in June of 2013 by her owners, Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms LLC. In addition, she has several young prospects she is developing for Artisan Farms of Wellington, Florida, and Vrasene, Belgium.