Mill Spring, N.C.—Oct. 30
Even though Tiffany Foster was last to go in the jump-off for the $215,000 Longines FEI Washington World Cup qualifier at the Washington International, she knew she’d have her work cut out for her.
Ahead of her were three riders on very fast horses, and everyone was gunning for the top prize.
True to form, Alex Granato and Carlchen W set a blazing pace around the course, but when the front rail of the final oxer came down, Foster breathed a big sigh of relief. Next up was Karl Cook and Caillou 24, who have won a number of grand prix classes and were second in this class last year. Foster stayed up at the ring to see how many strides the pair was going to take down the first line, but they picked up a refusal at the first fence, ending their chance at the top finish.
“Things like that help, but also don’t because you don’t really get to watch,” said Foster.
The youngest rider in the jump-off field, 21-year-old Alessandra Volpi turned in the first clear jump-off round of the night with Berlinda.
Then it was all up to Foster, and it was a no-holds-barred kind of night.
Figor had a quiet summer following an injury at the end of the winter circuit, but tonight, Foster finally let him loose. And he flew, cruising around Bernardo Costa Cabral’s short course in 35.73 seconds to take the victory. Volpi finished second, while Granato took third.
“My horse has a massive stride, and I’d walked 1 to 2 in nine,” she said. “I thought he did that really well. I took a little risk on the turn to the green and into the double which I thought my horse did great. And the last line, I know he as a huge stride and would probably it would be a risk for most to do nine to that last jump if you walk the distance between the two jumps, but I knew that my horse would just eat that up and that would really suit him, so that was actually my favorite part tonight.”
Foster started riding “Figgy,” an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood (VDL Groep Zagreb—Voberlina, Indoctro) in 2017 as a 7-year-old. He had a solid year as an 8-year-old, and the following year Foster used him as her first string horse, jumping in five-star classes and Nations Cup competitions across the globe. His 10-year-old year was kind of quiet due to COVID, but he came out strong at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida), before sustaining an injury during Week 11.
“I was really aiming for these shows as his first show back,” she said. “I took our time. I have to say, huge thank you to my vet Eduardo Felix and my groom Caroline Holmberg. They did a great job getting him back. He feels in awesome form. He did a few small classes at Thunderbird [Canada] and was really aiming for this horse show, and next week [at the National Horse Show (Kentucky)] is really his first time back out in the 1.60-meters, and I think he’s ready!”
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