Kara part of Show Jumping Team that finishes in third place

Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, BC, led the Canadian Show Jumping Team to a third place finish in the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup held Saturday, September 10, at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament in Calgary, AB.

Foster, Kara Chad, Amy Millar and Eric Lamaze produced a total score of 23 faults to finish third among the ten countries contesting this year’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup. Following an exciting jumpoff, Switzerland prevailed to take its first BMO Nations’ Cup victory over Brazil, the defending champions. The two countries were tied on a total of 18 faults following two rounds of jumping to necessitate a tiebreaking jump-off that saw Alain Jufer jump clear riding Wiveau M to secure the win for the Swiss.

Foster, 32, was the only rider in the entire field to jump double clear over the tracks set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. Making the feat even more impressive, Foster was the first rider on course in Saturday’s competition riding Victor, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Elmshorn x Grandeur) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.

“I know Victor so well, and that makes a big difference in a situation like today when you have to go in first,” said Foster, who was also double clear riding Victor in the only other Nations’ Cup competition held on Canadian soil this year in Langley, BC. “I’m so proud of Victor. The good ones rise to the occasion, and he’s a champion.”

Foster has competed in every BMO Nations’ Cup held at Spruce Meadows since 2011, including in 2014 when Canada emerged victorious. Foster, currently ranked number 24 in the world, noted, “This is the first time I have ever been double clear at the ‘Masters’. That is a really big moment, and something that I am very proud of. Andy and Carlene Ziegler mount us on these incredible horses and let us pursue our dreams. They are here this weekend, and it was so cool that they got to see this.”

Twenty-year-old Kara Chad had the pressure of not only making her BMO Nations’ Cup debut, but doing so in front of her hometown crowd. Riding in front of a record-setting audience of 89,701, Chad produced scores of five and nine faults riding Bellinda, a ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Namelus R x Hors la Loi II). Chad and Bellinda, owned by Stone Ridge Farms Ltd., served as the traveling alternates for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

As the third rider in the rotation for Canada, Millar, 39, of Perth, ON, was aboard her 2016 Rio Olympic mount Heros, a nineyear-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Canadian River x Clinton). Having incurred eight faults plus one time fault in the opening round, Millar returned to jump an impressive clear and keep Canadian hopes alive in the second round.

Having won an individual bronze medal and led Canada to a hard-fought fourth place finish at the Rio Olympics riding Fine Lady 5, it was Lamaze’s turn to rely on his teammates after his mount, Check Picobello Z, a ten-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Cardento x Orlando) owned by Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines Stable, proved to be less than cooperative.

The pair finished with a total of 12 faults in the opening round before retiring the second time out. “You have good days and you have bad days, and Eric had a bad day because his horse became very difficult out there,” said Foster, who trains with Lamaze, as does Chad.

“For him to even complete the first round, you have to hand it to him. For anyone watching, it was a lesson in how to persevere and how to get through to the end, because you never know if his score is going to be needed or help for the next round. He’s our leader, and we have a lot of respect and admiration for him.”

Canadian Show Jumping Team chef d’equipe Mark Laskin of Langley, BC, echoed Foster’s sentiments, saying, “It sure was tough sledding out there today. It’s not often that we don’t get a useable score from Eric so, in light of that, our result was certainly unexpected and impressive. “From Kara’s single rail in the first round to Amy’s stellar clear in the second round, and of course Tiffany’s double clear, I’m extremely proud of how our girls rallied and kept us in the game until the very end,” concluded Laskin.

How many Nations’ Cup riders can say their parents were also competing at the same show? Here’s Laurel Chad, Kara’s mom, aboard Quenza du Soutrait.

Britni Weston