|Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster of Vancouver, BC, opened the final week of competition at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, with a win in the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m Speed on Wednesday, March 26.Entering the final week of competition at the 12-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m Speed attracted a starting field of 96 entries. Anthony D’Ambrosio set a challenging speed track in the International Arena that saw the fastest clear round emerge as the winner. While 30 entries jumped clear, none could catch the blistering fast pace set by Foster and Melody des Hayettes Z. Foster’s time of 61.01 seconds was only in danger when Germany’s Daniel Deusser took up the challenge with Domingo but the pair fell short, crossing the timers in 61.41.
“Eric (Lamaze) gave me some really good advice before going in; he said that the most important thing was to go really fast from one to two and to go really fast to the last fence,” said Foster, 29, who trains with the 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion. “I started on a really open stride and I didn’t pull the whole time; everything showed up really well, so it was really easy to go fast today.”
Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms acquired Melody des Hayettes Z, a 10-year-old chestnut Zangersheide mare, for Foster in the summer of 2013, and the pair has enjoyed strong results throughout the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, but a win had eluded them.
“She has had a lot of really good placings, top three finishes, but she hadn’t won a class yet, so I was really happy that she won today because she deserves it,” said Foster in praise of her mount. “She is really good and she has been really consistent here. She is actually pretty straight-forward and she is a really cool horse because she is able to go in these speed classes and go full speed and then she has been clear in every 1.50m class I have jumped her in so far this circuit, so she is really versatile. She never gets hot, she never gets flat, and she just keeps jumping up. She is really amazing.”
Foster continued, “She is a really high quality horse and I am very lucky to have her. I am really grateful to have Artisan Farms as owners and to have such amazing horses. I have had such a fun circuit with them.”
The win marked the fourth major victory of the circuit for Foster, who claimed the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round III – Section B as well as the $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round V – Section B before topping a 95-horse starting field to win the $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic on Sunday, February 9. Her mount on all three occasions was Victor, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Elmshorn x Grandeur) owned by Artisan Farms. Foster also rode Victor in the $75,000 G&C Farm Nations’ Cup on February 28 when Canada scored a resounding victory over 12 nations to claim a record sixth win in the event’s history.
At the conclusion of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, Foster will return to Artisan Farms’ European base in Vrasene, Belgium, and resume competition on the European circuit.