“I felt really good from the first jump, he really stayed up in the air,” said Foster.
Herning, Denmark – Tiffany Foster of Langley, BC, placed 12th in the Individual Final on Sunday, August 14, at the ECCO FEI 2022 World Championships in Herning, Denmark. Foster, 38, was the only Canadian to qualify for the two-round Individual Final. After three days of jumping, the top 25 riders from the original starting field of 103 qualified for the first round with the top 12 moving forward to a second round to determine the individual medals.
Course designer Louis Konickx of the Netherlands once again set true championship courses in the Stutteri Ask Stadium and produced 14 clear rounds in the opening round. One of those belonged to Foster and Figor, an 11-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding (Querly-Elvis x Indoctro) that she owns in partnership with long time supporters Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms LLC. Carrying forward 8.95 penalties from the first three days of competition, Foster added nothing to her score and moved up from 15th to ninth place in the standings, easily qualifying for the second round.
“I felt really good from the first jump, he really stayed up in the air,” said Foster following the opening round. “I thought he jumped so well. It’s a testament to my groom, Caroline Holmberg, and my vet, Eduardo Felix, to have him feeling so good after such a gruelling test that we put them through this week. I was so happy with how he came out today.”
Only four of the top 12 riders managed to jump clear in the second round. A rail in the middle of the triple combination at fence five followed by another rail down at the ECCO vertical at fence seven, plus one time fault for exceeding the 77-second time allowed, added nine faults to Foster’s score, giving her a total of 17.95 penalties and 12th place in the final individual standings.
“I’m thrilled with him,” said Foster, currently the highest ranked female rider in the world, in praise of her mount. “We’ve never been in this sort of situation before. I was too deep to the triple bar, and I think he was getting a little strong and I was thinking about the time. The jumps were big, and I have to learn how to give him more space as the jumps get going. This has been such a great experience and I’m so proud of him. I loved my horse before, but I love him even more now. Everything that he did for me this week and the feeling that he gave me; that’s my number one takeaway. I’m so thrilled.”
With a faultless performance riding King Edward, Henrick von Eckermann added the individual gold medal to the team gold he earned with the Swedish team on Friday with a final score of .58 penalties. Belgium’s Jerome Guery and Quel Homme de Hus earned the silver medal with 3.35 while Maikel van der Vleuten moved up the leaderboard to take the bronze medal with 5.96 penalties riding Beauville Z N.O.P.
“It was great for a Canadian to be in the top 25 of the who’s who in our sport,” said Canadian Show Jumping Team chef d’equipe Eric Lamaze. “The first round jumped well, then things got quite serious for the second round. As Canadians, we haven’t been put in that situation very often; we jump in the team competition but we’re not often in the individual final. She did mighty fine and finished with a very respectable placement. It’s great to see a Canadian holding their own with the best in the world. To be part of the last group, the last 12 to jump at World Championships, that’s meaningful. I’m very proud of Tiffany and couldn’t be happier for her and for Carlene and Andy.”
On Friday, the all-female Canadian Show Jumping Team comprised of Foster, Erynn Ballard, Amy Millar, and Beth Underhill placed tenth overall from the 22 nations contesting the team medals. Sweden was crowned world champion with France taking silver and the Netherlands earning bronze.
“Even with my disappointment in the team result, the World Championship was a great experience for us,” reflected Lamaze. “We were a little slow out of the gate, then perfection on the second day. Things fell apart for us in the team final, and we have to learn from it. We will get there, and the more times we’re put in that position, the better. Tiffany did very well in the individual final, and she will be at an advantage next time having done it now.
“As chef d’equipe, I feel proud of so many moments,” concluded Lamaze of his first major championships in his new role. “I feel like everyone has learned something. I would also like to say thank you to the entire staff and support system. From our vet, Eduardo Felix, to Karen Hendry-Ouellette and everyone at Equestrian Canada, and especially to the owners who provide horses for our team, thank you very much.”
For more information on the ECCO FEI World Championships, visit https://herning2022.com/.
For full results for all disciplines, visit https://www.longinestiming.com/equestrian/2022/ecco-fei-world-championships-herning.
Top: Tiffany Foster riding Figor placed 12th individually at the ECCO FEI 2022 World Championships in Herning, Denmark. Photo by Arnd Bronkhorst Photography
Bottom: Tiffany Foster of Langley, BC, and Figor, owned by Foster and Artisan Farms LLC, over the open water in the Stutteri Ask Stadium. Photo by Arnd Bronkhorst Photography