Mill Spring, N.C. – Oct. 30, 2019 – Following the conclusion of the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Equitation Final, the thrilling competition continued with the $215,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Washington CSI4*-W for the President’s Cup. Thirty-three of the world’s top athletes in equestrian sport gathered at the Tryon International Equestrian Center to try their hand at the highlight event. The stands were filled with spectators eagerly watching on as riders battled it out for the top spot. At the end of the night, it was Canada’s Tiffany Foster who emerged victorious to capture the winning title aboard Artisan Farm’s Figor.
Fourteen obstacles made up the first round track designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Cabral, including a technical triple combination and delicate skinny fence. Many horse-and-rider combinations struggled to clear all of the jumps, knocking rails through the course. Only four athletes completed the course without error to battle it out in the jump-off, which included several tight rollbacks, a vertical-oxer double combination and a fast gallop to the final oxer.
As the pathfinders during the first round, Alex Granato was the first to return for the jump-off with The Bright Lights Group’s Carlchen W. They would lay down the fastest time of the night, speeding through the timers in 35.73 seconds, but it came at the expense of the final oxer and 4 faults for a third place finish. Karl Cook and Signe Ostby’s Caillou were next in the ring, but in an attempt to slice the first vertical the 14-year-old Holsteiner put on the breaks, adding 4 faults to their score. They cleared the rest of the track, but their time of 45.86 seconds would rank them fourth.
Alessandra Volpi knew she had a shot at the top of the leaderboard when she returned to the arena aboard her own Berlinda. She carefully navigated the tiebreaking track, leaving each rail intact while also trying to put the pressure on Foster, who would be the final rider of the night. The duo stopped the clock in a clear 36.52 seconds to take over the top of the leaderboard.
Foster was not ready to hand over a win yet. She and her partner of four years, Figor, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding, picked up a fast gallop to the first fence and never let off the gas. The duo raced through each turn without touching a single fence, racing through the finish line in 35.73 seconds, relegating Volpi and leading the night’s lap of honor as the 2021 winners of the President’s Cup.
The WIHS marked Figor’s second show since March of 2021, and Foster was thrilled to have the talented gelding return to form so quickly after having sustained a minor injury earlier in the year. Figor began showcasing his talent as a young horse, but was truly stepping into the spotlight right before COVID, helping Canada win the Palm Beach Masters Nations Cup in 2020. With a World Cup Qualifying victory added to their resume, the duo is now focused on the 2022 competition year, including the 2022 World Equestrian Games (WEG) where Foster hopes to be part of the Canadian team.
Many athletes from the class aim to represent their country in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals set to take place in Leipzig, Germany, in 2022. The next leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ tour for the North American League is the National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky. Stay tuned to Phelps Sports for complete coverage of all of the North American League World Cup Qualifiers.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Tiffany Foster – $215,000Longines FEI World Cup™ Washington for the President’s Cup Winner
On winning the President’s Cup:
“I got Figor as a 7-year-old and he progressed really well for the first couple of years, but he’s had some minor injuries. So he had some time off and then he got injured at the end of Florida, so I was really aiming for this show as his first show back. I took my time. I have to say a huge thank you to my vet and my groom, they did a great job getting him back, he feels in awesome form. I did a few small classes at Thunderbird and I was really aiming for this as his first time back out in the 1.60m and I think he’s ready.”
On her World Cup Final:
“Our Canadian team is making a pretty solid plan going into the WEG next year, so I would need to talk to Mark Laskin and Eric Lamaze about it, but it’s something I would like to do.”
On her jump-off:
“My horse has a really big stride, and the field was small but mighty tonight. The three riders were all on very fast horses. Alex’s horse is super fast, very competitive, so I breathed a sigh of relief when he had the last jump down. My horse has a massive stride and I think he did one to two well. I took a little risk on the turn to the green and into the double, which I thought my horse did great. The last line, I know he has a huge stride and it would probably be a risk for most to do nine strides to the last jump, but I knew my horse would just eat that up and it would really suit him, so that was really in my favor tonight.”
On developing Figor:
“He had a lot of experience as a 9-year-old, and as a 10-year-old we slowed down because of COVID. He did a lot during WEF and then nothing over the summer because there weren’t really any shows. This year, he jumped really well at WEF, but he got injured the last week and then he had the whole summer off. It’s really hard to leave a horse like that in the barn, but I listened to my vet. I had him in Calgary, I was jumping in the warm-up rings but not the show ring. I am thrilled to have him back and really excited about the next few years with him.”
Alessandra Volpi – Second Place
On placing second in a World Cup qualifier :
“It’s amazing. I love being able to watch and it’s incredible to be competing with people like this that I’ve watched growing up. I’m really excited. It’s one of my first big jump-off classes. I got this horse recently and she’s been absolutely incredible for me. I’m looking forward to moving forward with her.”
“I got her at the end of Wellington, so April. We took it slow and I did a CSI3* after three months, always knocking on the door but never going in. We hit our stride over the summer in Michigan, jumped a few clear rounds in the grand prix and then she was fourth in the American Gold Cup. I took a bit of time off to go back to school and was a bit nervous to come back and go straight into these big classes. I think we work really well together, we have similar attitudes and similar sizes, so I am lucky to have her.”
Alex Granato – Third Place
On his plan with Carlchen W:
“Obviously all three coming behind me were competitive. I had a bit of a setback with Carlchen back in September. We had some trouble with his foot at the Masters, so we’ve been spending the last few weeks since then building him back up, making sure he felt confident. Luckily I know him well enough to step back up tonight. I tried to let his natural speed carry me. Typically, I would have kept going and done one less and had a little more room at the last, but with building him back up I took a little bit of caution and it worked against me, which was unfortunate. These girls jumped beautiful rounds and they deserve to be where they are. ”
On preparing Carlchen W after his injury:
“After a very long drive home [from Canada], we made sure he felt sound and healthy. At Spruce he felt as good as he had all year, but we were having some trouble with him grabbing his hoof. Once we knew he was sound and healthy we went back to basics. I jumped a little class in Kentucky at 1.30m. Last week we spent some time jumping 1.35m, 1.40m, but he felt really good. I got some help from John and Beezie Madden. They’ve been really fun to have on the ground and great input. He feels great.”
Bernardo Cabral – Course Designer
On the course:
“My plan changed after the Welcome. I didn’t know the ring that well and the Welcome was bigger than it looked on paper, so I changed my plan slightly. It was fair enough. They had a lot to jump and it wasn’t overly big, but it was careful in many places. If the time was too snug it would be difficult to have a clear round, so they had time to think about the course and jump the fences.”
$215,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Washington for the President’s Cup
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Figor / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms LLC / 0|80.65 / 0|35.73
2. Berlinda / Alessandra Volpi / USA / Alessandra Volpi / 0|79.89 / 0|36.52
3. Carlchen W / Alex Granato / USA / The Bright Lights Group / 0|83.83 / 4|35.01
4. Caillou / Karl Cook/ USA / Signe Ostby / 0|79.74 / 4|45.86
5. Amex Z / Todd Minikus / USA / Bit by Bit Group / 4|77.28
6. Robin de Ponthual / Schuyler Riley / USA / Katherine Gallagher / 4|78.65
7. Dsarie / Beat Mändli / SUI / Grant Road Partners GmbH / 4|78.84
8. Sea Topblue / Andrew Bourns / IRL / Deidre Bourns / 4|80.65
9. Royce / Margie Goldstein-Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 4|80.88
10. Rocksy Music / Richie Moloney / IRL / Equinimity LLC / 4|80.90
11. Benny’s Legacy / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / Starlight Farms 1 LLC / 4|81.14
12. Viva Colombia / Brianne Goutal Marteau / USA / Brianne Goutal LLC / 4|82.05