London GCT: Canadian Olympian overthrows British dominance to head 2* grand prix

  • The Brits had dominated every 2* class at the London Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) until the final showdown, when Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster blitzed to victory on her experienced 5* partner Brighton.

    Tiffany’s win in the Piaff 1.45m 2* grand prix capped the end of a European tour that began in June and has seen her and four pupils take in dates including Knokke, Chantilly and Valkenswaard.

    “The format is a little different [on the LGCT] now and if I was jumping the 5* I’d have to be part of the league or in the top 20 and I am not. I opted for the 2* as I brought along some of my students — three girls from Canada and Isabele Coxe from the US,” said Tiffany, who last jumped the London LGCT in 2017, when she contested the 5* line-up.

    “We have been on a European tour and we know showing in England is so fun,” she added. “So I figured I’d bring Brighty along for the ride and I also brought a new eight-year-old, brought for Isabele Coxe’s family, who I also jumped some classes with.”

    Fifteen combinations had made the jump off of this 1.45m grand prix, with Adam Botham, winner of the previous class with Ebanking, taking an early lead from first draw with Harvey.

    Dutch rider Skye Morssinkhof then set what looked like an unbeatable target when she pulled off an improbable turn round the wing of a blue vertical to fly more than 2sec into the lead.

    But jumping in the last third of the class, Tiffany was able to make the most of 15-year-old Brighton’s experience and incredible ability to keep pace through the turns to find another 1.17sec.

    “I decided not to watch as I know him really well, he’s super, super fast,” Tiffany said. “I knew my plan and my horse and just decided to go with it.

    “He spends no time in the air and is just really competitive. He was well within his scope — we’re slightly over-qualified! — but I also knew it wasn’t going to be for free.”

    Tiffany now has a show in Canada, followed by another date in Europe before returning home to contest the whole Spruce Meadows tour.

    Following Skye’s runner-up spot were three Brits — Flo Norris and Nequila, Olli Fletcher and Hello William and Adam with Harvey, while Sian Edwards collected fifth with Elessar.

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