“That was really exciting,” said Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster, after an electrifying jump off round in the CSI5* Scotiabank Cup 1.50m with the nine-year-old Zangersheide mare Electrique.
“I haven’t ever really tapped into her full, full speed. And [Friday] I think I started to scratch the surface. I think this is a really, really fast mare.
“She covers the ground with so much speed and her stride length—you could see that first line, she walked down there and then she just carried. I could pick up that lick and I went the whole way and just stayed there.”
Thirty-three starters came forward in the first round of the 1.50m class designed by Santiago Varela (ESP). Nine jumped clear to advance to the short track, but it was Foster, fourth to return, who set the time to beat. With Irish speed specialists Darragh Kenny, Conor Swail and Paul O’Shea still to come, the Canadian amped up the pace to the first and rode the current with Electrique to the last to stop the clock at 39.15 seconds.
“I really wanted to just ride my round today and not really think again. I’m still in the little bit of building stages with this particular mare. I had a plan for what I wanted to do and I was going to kind of lay that down and let the chips fall where they may,” said Foster.
“When I came around the turn [to the first jump], I saw my distance quite far away and I knew that the nine [strides on the first line] was pretty forward, so I wanted to make sure I gave her a good shot at that first fence to make that nine work.
“I felt like when I picked up that lick, she was right with me from before we went through the start timers. And she knew that it was going to be fast.”
The partnership is a new one. Foster picked up the ride and new owners in Five Roosters mid-season of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. The pair has contested mostly 1.45m classes to date (15 total) and have a 27% clear round average at the height, according to Jumpr App. Prior to Friday’s win, they’ve only jumped two 1.50m classes.
It’s the mare’s first podium finish at the height and first ever with Foster. But there’s plenty more to come, if you ask the rider.
“It’s really cool for [Five Roosters] to have a horse who’s going to be as competitive as this one I think will be. And I feel also she’s going to be competitive over big jumps, because she’s jumping this easy.”
With Swail and Count Me In and Kenny on California Pie still to come, she wasn’t counting on a win.
“Those are fast dudes, right?” smiled Foster. “So I kind of figured, I did my round, it felt fast. I thought, okay, I’m going to get a good piece of this. But, you know, top three and I’ll be happy.”
Kenny clocked in half a second slower in 39.68s to take second. Swail crossed the timers in 40.24s for fourth. O’Shea and Squirt Gun took third 40.09.
“Anytime that you can beat those guys, you know you’ve gone fast and they were definitely trying tonight. So that’s a feather in our cap.”