Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster guided new mount Northern Light to a win in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic to close out week three of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Sunday, January 26.
From a starting field of 66, 10 horses advanced to course designer Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) jump-off track. Returning second, Foster put the foot speed of Northern Light, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Plot Blue x Contender) to good use and stopped the clock clear in 42.47 seconds over runner-up Catherine Tyree (USA) and BEC Lorenzo, owned by Mary Tyree.
Foster got the ride on Northern Light from owners Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms at the end of September. The mare is the former mount of Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and was a match with Foster from the very beginning.
“When I rode her for the first time, I had a very good feeling,” said Foster. “You get the feeling that she’s a really intelligent horse. She knows where the jumps are and she is the same every time you get on her.”
Sunday’s 1.50m was only the second class of that height for Northern Light during her tenure in the competition ring. “It was also our first jump-off together,” said Foster. “I’m pretty surprised. She’s really quick across the ground and in the air, and has a huge stride. I knew if I got a good shot at the last line we would be fast. She’s the type of horse you don’t have to tell to turn, you just think it and she goes.”
Foster is introducing a string of developing horses into the grand prix ranks this season, saying, “We bought this group as six, seven, and eight-year-olds so we are the point now where they are being able to compete and win. It’s really exciting to see them develop and really step up. It’s been a long process and any owner that’s been as patient as Andy and Carlene deserves this kind of success. I’m hoping that with the group I have, they are going to get it.”
Tyree posted a time of 42.56 seconds to finish fractions of a second off the lead, while Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt jumped into the top three with Carlson 86 on a clear jump-off performance in 43.41 seconds for owner Poden Farms. Canadian Olympic champion Eric Lamaze took fourth riding Coco Bongo in 44.17 seconds for owner Artisan Farms, LLC, and Jonathan McCrea (USA) capped the top five on Aristoteles V, owned by Windsor Show Stables, in 44.28 seconds.