Calgary, Alberta – Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, BC, was crowned the Mercedes-Benz Leading Canadian Rider to close out the 2015 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament held from September 9 to 13 in Calgary, AB.
Awarded to the Canadian rider who gains the most points in the 1.40m division throughout the ‘Masters’ tournament, it all came down to the final day of competition. Going into the final class, Sunday’s $25,000 JLT Cup, Foster was tied for the lead with Lisa Carlsen of Spruce Grove, AB, while Calgary’s own Ben Asselin was one point behind. All three riders qualified for the jump-off, making it a fight to the finish. In the end, Foster prevailed, placing third riding Quintender 2, a 14-year-old Holsteiner stallion, and finishing ahead of Asselin in fourth and Carlsen in fifth. Foster also took sixth place with Cyber van Vryhern, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion.
“There were a lot of good riders in that division, and it came down to a nail-biter in the jump-off,” said Foster, 31, who was part of Canada’s recent team gold medal effort at the TORONTO Pan American Games.
In recognition of winning the Mercedes-Benz Leading Canadian Rider Award, Foster was awarded a one-year lease on the vehicle of her choice. However, Jerome Caron, groom of both Quintender 2 and Cyber, will be behind the wheel for the next year.
“Jerome’s car broke down earlier this year, so our plan before we came to Spruce Meadows was to try to win the car for him,” explained Foster. “We came here gunning for the win!”
Both of Foster’s 1.40m mounts are owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms. Andy Ziegler of Mequon, WI, is the usual rider of both horses, but he handed the reins to Foster to campaign at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament. It proved to be a winning strategy.
“They are both really good, high quality horses, and it was fun to take them in those classes,” said Foster, who rides full-time for Artisan Farms. “We owe so much to the owners. Artisan Farms has been incredible for Team Canada, supporting me, Eric (Lamaze) and Yann (Candele).”
Foster continued, “It’s a really big deal to win this award at Spruce Meadows. Every time we come here, we want to be good, no matter which division we are jumping in. It is a sport of confidence and it doesn’t matter which class you’re jumping, to have a good horse under you goes a long way. With every success, our confidence builds, and it all adds up.”
Foster was a member of Canada’s third-placed team in Saturday’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, riding alongside Candele, Lamaze and ten-time Olympian Ian Millar.
For more information on the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.