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Thunderbird Show Park Named Host Site for 2019–2021 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada

Ottawa, ON, December 20, 2018 – The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada has been officially awarded to Thunderbird Show Park (tbird) in Langley, BC for a three-year term beginning in 2019.

tbird held its first Nations Cup in 2016, and by 2018 was hosting CSIO 5* level competition. Widely considered one of the top venues in North America, the prestigious facility will continue to act as the site of the Canadian qualifier for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ for the next three years. In addition to the Senior Nations Cup, tbird will also host Young Rider, Junior, and Children’s Nations Cups. The 2019 edition will take place during the CSIO 5* Odlum Brown BC Open, set for May 28 to June 2.

“We are thrilled that the FEI has announced Thunderbird as the host site for Nations Cup competition in Canada moving forward,” said Jon Garner, Equestrian Canada Director of Sport. “Having hosted high performance competition for nearly 50 years, Thunderbird is well qualified to execute the Canadian leg of 2019–2021 Nations Cup competitions, facilitating top-quality sport for competitors and spectators alike.”

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada will be the last and deciding stop within the North American, Central American and Caribbean League, determining which two nations will earn a berth for the coveted annual championship. The series will culminate in 2019 at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final. The date and location of the Final will be determined and announced by the FEI in the near future.

"Next to the Olympics, the Nations Cup is the crown jewel of equestrian sport. It’s an honour and a thrill to host the final leg of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ North American, Central America & Caribbean League," said Jane Tidball, President of Thunderbird Show Park.

"When my parents, George and Dianne Tidball, founded tbird 45 years ago, they envisioned a boutique horse show with exceptional service, top sport and an ongoing commitment to excellence. They always wanted our exhibitors and spectators to wonder what would be new at Thunderbird next year and it’s a legacy we're proud to continue. With the Nations Cup returning for another three years, you can expect each BC Open tournament to be bigger and better than the last—my parents wouldn't have had it any other way." 

To learn more about the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Series, click here.

PHOTO – The FEI has officially awarded Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC with the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada for a three-year term beginning in 2019. Historically, Canada has had great success in nations cup competition on home soil at Thunderbird. Tiffany Foster and Victor (pictured) led Canada to second place in 2018.

PHOTO CREDIT - Cara Grimshaw

O’Neill Comes Full Circle at Thunderbird to Win $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver Presented by Facet Advisors

O’Neill Comes Full Circle at Thunderbird to Win $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver Presented by Facet Advisors

Langley, BC — Aug. 26, 2018

Uma O’Neill (USA) held her breath as the final horses jumped the first round of the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, presented by Facet Advisors, and she did not exhale until final competitor Eduardo Menezes (BRA) pulled a rail. Then, she was exuberant.

Uma O'Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z win the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, Presented by Facet Advisors.  Photo by: Kathy Russell Photography

O’Neill, 23, and her own Clockwise of Greenhill Z won the class as the only pair to produce a clear first round over the Alan Wade (IRL)-designed 1.60m course. She and the 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion did not have to jump-off and recorded the first World Cup qualifying victory of their respective careers Sunday at Thunderbird Showpark in Langley, BC.

“I’m ecstatic,” O’Neill said. “I just went out and gave it everything I could today, and asked a little bit extra of myself and my horse, and it really paid off.”

Uma O'Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z win the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, Presented by Facet Advisors.
Photo by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird

Defending Champion Conor Swail (IRL) and Rubens La Silla, who also won Thursday’s $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome, finished second as the fastest 4-fault round (76.90 seconds). Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Tino la Chapelle finished third on 4 faults in 75.87 seconds.

“I was very, very pleased with [my horse’s] performance today,” Swail said. “It was just one of those things. It’s very easy to make a small mistake. I’d say it was more my mistake than [my horse’s], unfortunately, but it’s fantastic to get second place. Congratulations to [Uma] for her clear round.”

O’Neill excelled with a superior effort from her mount, who fought through the challenging Longines triple combination and a six-strided line to an oxer that followed. She and her mount jumped second in the field of 30, and their clear round held—albeit with some anxiety for the rider—throughout the remainder of the class.

“There were a lot of little tests out there,” Wade said. “[The course] was solved very early on— second horse in—so we knew it was solvable. There were a lot of riders with 4 faults that, I believe, felt that if they had a second chance, they would have gone clear. But that’s one of the great things about show jumping: You get one chance, and you have to take it. We got a lot of excitement and anxiety from people knocking poles late [in the class]. It doesn’t all have to be about speed [in a jump-off]. It is showjumping after all. I think it was good sport.”

O’Neill was especially emotional to record her win at tbird, which was where she was when her winning partner was imported four years ago.

“We got him as a 7-year-old,” she said. “We actually got him imported as when we were [at a tbird show] in August. He is such a good stallion. I just love him.”

Uma O'Neill & Clockwise of Greenhill Z win the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, Presented by Facet Advisors.  Photo by Kathy Russell Photography

The emotion was similarly felt by Thunderbird President Jane Tidball, who hosted an immensely successful World Cup event for the fourth time. Thunderbird also hosted its first ever five-star Nations Cup in May.

“It’s our 45th anniversary,” she said. “I think my mom and dad, George and Dianne Tidball would be incredibly pleased to have a World Cup event here at Thunderbird—which, we’ve had a very successful one. I always think of them when things go well. I’m sure they are all keeping an eye us down here.”

The North American League continues with the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York on September 30, 2018.

#FEIWorldCup #tbird

Fresh Catypso Jumps Navet to Victory in $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup

Fresh Catypso Jumps Navet to Victory in $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup

Langley, BC — Aug. 24, 2018
There was a line of fellow competitors waiting to congratulate Eric Navet (FRA) following his victory with longtime partner Catypso in the $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup at Thunderbird Showpark's Summer Fort Festival in Langley, BC.
Navet, a three-time Olympian and winner of the 1990 World Equestrian Games (SWE), was out of commission for much of the summer while recovering from surgery to repair two broken metatarsal bones in his foot. While he was out of the saddle, Signe Ostby’s Catypso similarly took time off. The 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding only resumed jumping two weeks ago, but the duo came back firing on all cylinders to earn a popular victory in the $75,000 CSI4*-W Steel-Craft Doors Cup Friday evening at tbird.

The fresh pair came home in the jump-off in 38.03 seconds to take the win over Eve Jobs (USA) and Venue d’Fees des Hazalles (38.55 seconds). Shawn Casady (USA) and Highpoint Farm’s Campitello finished third (41.14 seconds) as the only other double-clear performers on the day.
“I’ve been off quite awhile,” Navet said. “This is my first show [back], and in the meantime, Catypso was kept fit, but he didn’t really exercise on fences—he didn’t jump a single fence until two weeks ago. I did not expect him to get back in the game quite so fast and win right away, so I am very, very proud of him.”
Only eight combinations jumped Alan Wade’s (IRL) 1.50m first round track cleanly out of the original 50 to compete. Navet and Catypso returned to jump fourth over the shortened track after Alison Robitaille elected to withdraw from the jump-off with Ace. The pair’s gallop to the final vertical proved to be the key to victory.
“I thought I was a little bit slow in my roll back [to the final line]. I wish I could have done one less stride, so I wasn’t sure I’d be fast enough to win,” Navet detailed. “After the second to last [fence], the oxer, I went full speed to compensate and to save the time that I lost in the rollback. It happened that it was enough to win today!”

@Cara Grimshaw Photography\tbird

Navet will jump Catypso in the week’s feature event on Sunday, the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver . The first leg of the 2018-2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, the competition will take place at tbird at 2:00 PT.
“I’m very happy to win, especially at such a fantastic venue,” Navet said. “This is my absolute favourite horse show.”

@Cara Grimshaw Photography\tbird

Catch wall-to-wall coverage from the Fort Grand Prix Ring on tbird LIVE, Saturday and Sunday, and the week's feature event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, exclusively on FEI.TV

#FEIWorldCup #Longines #tbird

Swail Continues tbird Dominance in $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome

Swail Continues tbird Dominance in $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome
Langley, BC — Aug. 23, 2018

To say Conor Swail (IRL) is at home at Thunderbird Showpark might be an understatement. The defending champion of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver continued his winning ways at Langley by capturing the $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome Stake Thursday with Rubens La Silla. The victory marks the Irishman's fourth in fewer than two weeks at tbird.

Conor Swail & Rubens La Silla win the $75,000 CSI4*-W Maui Jim Welcome at Thunderbird Showpark's 2018 Summer Fort Festival. @Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird

Swail and the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion laid down a deceptively fast round to win the 1.45m speed class, leaving out strides throughout and crossing the timers in 70.61 seconds. Just behind the winning pair were Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Tino la Chapelle, who completed the course in 70.99 seconds. Shawn Casady (USA) and Durango VDL rounded out the podium in third with a time of 71.44 seconds.

“It was a nice win, and I’m delighted for the horse. I thought he jumped fantastic tonight,” Swail said.

The track, designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade, saw only eight clear rounds. Swail’s winning performance didn’t come until the penultimate trip in a competitive field of 50.

“When you walk around Alan’s tracks, you always think they are sort of nice, straightforward tracks, but he’s always making you make all the right decisions,” Swail said. “He’ll catch you somewhere around a course if you’re not on it. I got a good draw with Rubens, and we had a certain amount of numbers [of strides] all the way around [that I wanted to get], and thankfully I got everything the way I wanted. He felt really smooth, and it made it very easy for me to ride him. I thought he just jumped beautifully.”

Rubens has proved to be a versatile mount, having contributed to a winning effort for Team Ireland in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada at tbird in May after returning to Swail’s string following a sale last year.

“I got him back in February/March time this year, and I think that the longer I’ve had him, the better relationship we’re getting,” Swail continued. “He hasn’t done anything particularly wrong at all throughout the whole time, but for me, he’s actually improving. Looking forward, it looks like he has a good, bright future.”

Swail and the chestnut stallion will contest the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, presented by Facet Advisors, on Sunday, Aug. 26. The feature of the 2018 Summer Fort Festival will take place at 2:00 pm PT.

Watch Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver on FEI.TV

Söhnke Theymann and Cypress VF win the CSI4*-W tbird Happy Welcome.
©Totem Photography

Theymann and Cypress VF Get First Four-Star Win in CSI4*-W tbird Happy Welcome
The first international class of the week went to Germany’s Söhnke Theymann, who rode Morgan Evans’ Cypress VF to the top prize in the CSI4*-W tbird Happy Welcome. The duo bested a field of 18 over the 1.40m speed track designed by Alan Wade (IRL) with a final time of 61.10 seconds.

Alison Robitaille (USA) and Ace finished second (63.91 seconds), and Charlie Jacobs (USA) and Cassinja S (64.38) were third. Both pairs competed at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris (FRA) in April.

Theymann, meanwhile, has been developing Cypress VF for the past two years after his brother Jan scouted her in Europe. The win marked the partnership’s first at the four-star level.

“She really pushed for it, and I just went with the flow,” Theymann said of the 9-year-old “sassy” Holsteiner mare. “I was quite pleased, and she took me. It was a great, fun round.”

Theymann hails from a family of successful riders. In addition to his brother, his parents are both grand prix riders and have a farm in Iserlohn, Germany. His sister, Verena, meanwhile, competed for Germany in dressage. Söhnke now operates Cypress Point Stables in Hidden Valley, CA.

“It’s been a fun ride,” Theymann said. “I like to produce horses from a younger age to the top levels of the sport. [Cypress VF] has been a pleasure to ride and work with every day.”

Catch wall-to-wall coverage from the Fort Grand Prix Ring on tbird LIVE, Friday through Sunday, and the week's feature event, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, exclusively on FEI.TV.

#FEIWorldCup #Longines #tbird

Star-Studded Cast of International Riders

Star-Studded Cast of International Riders Arrive at tbird for Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver

Langley, BC — Aug. 22, 2018

Thunderbird Showpark begins the Summer Fort Festival with heightened excitement, as 75 athletes representing 13 countries passed inspection for CSI4*-W competition, which will culminate with the $145,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver on Sunday, Aug. 26.

The Road to Göteborg Starts at Thunderbird Show Park

The Road to Göteborg Starts at Thunderbird Show Park

The 2018/2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League kicks off at the Summer Fort Festival this August!

Langley, BC, August 16, 2018 — Next to an Olympic medal, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title is the single greatest honour an individual athlete can aspire to in the sport of show jumping.

Ireland Prevails in $400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada

Team Ireland wins the $400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada Photo by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbirdJune 3, 2018 — Team Ireland led from start to finish to notch a dominant victory in the $400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC, the premier event of the 2018 Odlum Brown BC Open.

Finishing on a total score of 12, Ireland captured Canada's leg of the Nations Cup, the first five-star competition in Thunderbird’s history. Canada finished second on 18 faults, with Mexico third on 25. The Irish team consisted of Richie Moloney and Carrabis Z, Capt. Brian Cournane and Dino, Daniel Coyle and Cita, Conor Swail and Rubens LS, and chef d’equipe Michael Blake.

Heading into the second round of jumping with an 11-point lead, Irish anchor Swail did not have to jump a second time, with Coyle clinching victory with his second round 1-fault score. Moloney, riding longtime partner Carrabis Z, was the team’s best performer and one of just two double-clear rounds on the day over the Peter Holmes (CAN)-designed course. The other came from Canada’s Tiffany Foster, riding Victor.

“My horse was great,” Moloney said. “He’s been a great servant for me, and he doesn’t owe me anything. He keeps on giving us these clear rounds and results. I’ve been aiming for this since Florida, and it really worked out. I wasn’t sure about being first to go, but it worked out for me today.”

All four riders knew of their selection for Langley’s Nations Cup in February and planned their schedules accordingly. Blake considered that a key factor to victory.

“The first thing that I think is important, is that they know a long time out that they’re coming here,” Blake said. “All these guys knew they were on this team in February. It was going to be their fault if they didn’t win!”

The team victory capped a sensational week at Thunderbird for Team Ireland, with Swail winning the CSIO5* North West Rubber Cup and Coyle topping the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix.

“It’s very different riding individually as opposed to a team effort,” Swail said. “They are two separate competitions, grand prix and Nations Cup, and the grand prix, when you have four faults, you’re out, so it doesn’t matter what you do after that. In the Nations Cup, if you’re 4 faults, it’s more pressure, and if it’s 8 faults, it’s more pressure. It is very different, and it takes a bit of getting used to. Thankfully, I have been around long enough, that I’ve had as many ups and downs as I can manage, so another one wouldn’t make much difference!”
Swail, Coyle, Moloney, and Blake all hold previous Longines victories, but Sunday’s victory watch was a first for Cournane.

“It’s very special to ride on an Irish team,” he said. “The Irish riders do really well out here in America and Canada, and to be on an Irish team with these guys is just terrific.”

Canada came into the day hoping to sweep the North and Central American and Caribbean division series but settled for runner-up honours, still more than good enough to secure their spot atop the division standings and earn them a place in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona this fall. The United States, finishing fourth, secured the second of two qualification positions. Ireland, not part of the North and Central American and Caribbean division, sit sixth in theirs (Europe Division 1), of which seven teams qualify.

“We love our Irishmen, and they are just such amazing riders,” said Thunderbird President Jane Tidball. “Every team we feel just so grateful to for coming. We’re in our 45th year, so we’ve learned a few things along the way. It’s also the very first time we’ve held a five star event, and this has been a dream of our family for at least a decade, so we’re very happy to have done that and done it successfully.”

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping returns to Thunderbird Show Park in August.

By Catie Staszak for Thunderbird Show Park
Photo by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird


Coyle Cracks Code to Victory in $235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix

Daniel Coyle and Cita win the $235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix at Thunderbird Show Park. Photo by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbirdJune 1, 2018 — Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Cita proved uncatchable in the $235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix, capturing the first five-star grand prix in the 45-year history of Thunderbird Show Park.

Part of the 2018 Odlum Brown BC Open, the Longines Grand Prix saw 34 competitors battle over what proved to be a very challenging course designed by Canada’s Peter Holmes. Just six were able to crack the code to produce a clear first round, only the top three jumped without fault again in the jump-off. Coyle topped the class with a time of 40.98 seconds. Mario Deslauriers finished second, crossing the timers in 42.02 seconds, while Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) placed third with Armani SL Z (43.29 seconds).

“It was a difficult course and it was a separator,” Holmes said. “It was scopey, and it was fast, and it was also very controlled. You had to be there every stride, and these riders are amazing, the ones that can make it look silky smooth and just go and do it.”

Garza Perez was the first to produce a clear first round, which didn’t come until nearly halfway through the class. In the jump-off, he put the pressure on with a second clear. Deslauriers was able to up the ante two riders later. However, it was Coyle who set the standard that couldn’t be beat when he sliced turns back to the Longines combination and Rubik’s cube vertical two fences from home.

“I’m not quite sure [where I won the class], but from talking to people outside, I’d say it was probably back to the second-last fence,” Coyle explained. “I was very tight there, and there was a hedge behind it, which made it not easy to jump, and I took a big risk there, and that’s probably what did it.”     

The win marked Coyle’s second five-star grand prix victory of the year, after topping the Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI5* in Wellington in March. Coyle said his and his mount’s partnership has reached a new level in 2018. The duo will also jump for Ireland in the week’s feature event, the $400,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Canada, on Sunday.

“It took me a little bit in the beginning to figure out which way she likes to go and where she likes to jump the bigger fences easier,” he said. “She likes you to be very nice to her, just like any girl does. She’s very sweet horse, and the more you believe in her, the more she believes in herself. That’s probably the biggest thing I had to learn.”
Quotes, CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix

1st—Daniel Coyle (IRL): “Cita’s been amazing since the moment I got her. But this year she’s been right up there. She’s just been amazing. It’s incredible to have a horse as good as that, to have as good as owners as I have and a team around me that is amazing. I’m a lucky guy and also a happy guy!”

2nd—Mario Deslauriers (CAN): “[Bardolina] really jumped well today. We’ve been pacing ourselves to try to peak over here and at Spruce and hopefully down to [the World Equestrian Games in September]. She’s made a lot of progress through the winter and up through spring. She jumped great today.”

3rd—Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX): “I’ve had Armani since the end of his 6-year-old year. So we grew together. I have a lot of faith in him. I’m just happy to have a horse like him in the barn. I really love the guy.”

Jane Tidball, Thunderbird Show Park President: “This is our 45th year. I loved the day my mom and dad started this place. It was a small boutique horse show and we still maintain that boutique horse show. This is the biggest size we will become. But really it’s improvements for the horses and riders. That's what we focus on. That what you'll see in my mother’s work. She wanted everybody to wonder what would be new at Thunderbird next year so I’m carrying on that legacy for her. You can expect something new here next year, don’t you worry about that.”

By Catie Staszak for Thunderbird Show Park
Photo by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird

Swail Flies to Victory in CSIO5* North West Rubber Cup

May 31, 2018 — Conor Swail (IRL) caught a flyer to the last and came out on top in the $35,500 CSIO5* North West Rubber Cup at Thunderbird Show Park, on day two of the 2018 Odlum Brown BC Open in Langley, BC. The $235,000 Longines Grand Prix and $400,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup ™ of Canada highlight the 5* competition, taking place on Friday, June 1, and Sunday, June 3, respectively.

Swail, 46, rode the 10-year-old Domino van de Valhoeve to victory over an international field of 37. Of the 13 combinations to qualify for the jump-off over the 1.50m track designed by Peter Holmes (CAN), three elected not to return. Swail’s winning time was 35.77 seconds, while young rider Eve Jobs (USA) finished second with Venue d’Fees de Hazalles in a final time of 37.36 seconds. Karrie Rufer (USA) rounded out the podium with Georgie d’Auvray EC, jumping cleanly in 39 seconds flat.

“The horse is very fast and extremely careful, so I felt I could make the time up,” said Swail, who co-owns the horse with Vanessa Mannix (CAN). “[From fences] one to two, I was a little slower than I’d like, but I got a good rollback to the next jump. I probably had one to two seconds on everyone to the last, because I galloped forward, and I didn’t stop. I got a mad flyer to the last, which I think really helped me win in the end.”

Swail has had the ride on the bay since November after scouting him at a horse show in Europe and is excited about the gelding’s potential. He plans to jump him in the Longines Grand Prix, which will be the horse’s first test in a five-star grand prix.

“He’s been exceptional since I’ve had him,” Swail explained. “He’s so careful. He’s a little bit tricky to ride, but he’s unbelievably careful. He will not touch a jump. I feel he has enough scope as well that we can, in time, jump championships or whatever’s in front of him. It’s super exciting to have him. With the right management, we can have a great partnership.”

Swail will ride longtime mount Rubens LS when he represents Ireland in the Nations Cup on Sunday as he continues to build up Domino van de Valhoeve’s confidence.

“It’s the rideability,” he said, describing Domino van de Valhoeve. “He’s quite spooky. When he looks at things, he really shifts in all directions. Then, the canter gets a little difficult. That obviously snowballs into us getting into places we shouldn’t be in. So, it’s all about trying to keep him as calm as we can and putting him in the right places that he doesn’t get too careful. It’s about him getting confidence and him doing enough rounds that are comfortable for him, so when we go to that higher level, he’s as comfortable as he can be.”

By Catie Staszak for Thunderbird Show Park

Photos by Cara Grimshaw Photography/tbird

The Inaugural Vancouver Grand Prix

May 20, 2018

The Inaugural Vancouver Grand Prix

Vancouver – The downtown core of Vancouver B.C. got an exciting introduction to show jumping on Sunday. Right in the heart of the city, hosted by Thunderbird Show Park, the inaugural Vancouver Grand Prix brought the sport of show jumping straight to the people. With 500 tonnes of silica sand footing shipped in for the event, it was an opportunity for the city of Vancouver to experience the awe of show jumping up close.

Nineteen riders competed in the 1.40m Vancouver Grand Prix in a 90x175 foot ring. The field featured riders from Canada, USA, Ireland, Israel, and Netherlands. The riders brought their horses into the downtown location on Saturday and had the chance to ride around and help the horses adjust to their very different surroundings. On Sunday afternoon, the excitement in the crowd developed as the horses made their way out for competition. For many, it was their first time being so close to a horse.

The first round was over a course of ten jumps including a difficult combination out of a tight corner. Course designer Kirsten Rodel did a fantastic job of using the small space of the ring. The course gave the opportunity for riders to take risks, such as taking a jump on an angle. Rodel asked for just enough power from the horses where they couldn’t always get the pace because of the small space. The lines proved to tricky for the riders because if they missed their entry to the line, they were forced to add a stride or risk getting tight through the corner. Out of the 19 riders in the first round, 11 went clear and returned for the jump-off.

American Kyle King, riding Christian, an eight-year-old Westphalian stallion, took the win from the jump-off. Ashlee Bond and Cornancer were the closest to his time of 29.91, coming in second with 30.65. In third was Kristen Senger, the top placed Canadian rider, with a time of 33.0.

The event was hosted by Thunderbird Show Park. The first of its kind in Vancouver, bringing the sport of show jumping to the downtown core. It was a free event and for most spectators, their first exposure to the sport. Thunderbird will be host to the third leg of the Longines FEI Nations Cup in Langley on June 3rd where we look forward to cheering on teams Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Ireland.









Photography by Cara Grimshaw for Tbird

Conor Swail and Flower Win the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping in Langley

August 27th, 2017

Langley B.C. -  It was Conor Swail of Ireland and Flower again! The power due pulled two clears to take the win at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping at Thunderbird Show Park. This was the fourth win for the pair at Thunderbird, and the third this week. Flower, a talented 12-year-old-mare, owned by Swail and his student Vanessa Mannix is quick and careful, and as Conor has remarked before – she is very quick across the ground.

Conor Swail & Flower. Ph: Moi Photography

Second place was Canadian Chris Surbey who rode Daylight VDL, a fairly new match for him he did a fantastic job with two clears as well, but finishing behind Swail with a time of 45.48. In the press conference Surbey remarks on how even though his horse is bigger and takes bigger strides, it is slower off the ground than Flower. Swail and Flower’s time in the jump off was 41.86 which is almost four seconds faster than Surbey’s. Surbey was one of two Canadians who represented Canada in the Longines FEI World Cup Finals back in April and is looking to be heading back there again.

Chris Surbey & Daylight VDL Ph: Moi Photography

Another Irishman, Alan Wade was the course designer, he did fantastic job with seven out of 26 coming back in the jump off. Wade utilized the big grass field and set some big verticals with room for options on the turns. Flower’s agile and strength off the turns could be seen as she tore around the jump off. The course had the variety of both technical questions as well as demanded strength and skill from the horses. One common spot for issues was the big Longines oxer coming into the triple combination, a few horses dropped a leg to catch the rail. There were a lot of rounds with just those disappointing four faults, many being top riders in the sport who were top contenders for win.

It was the perfect setting for Swail and Flower as the pair have had success all week at Thunderbird Show Park. Swail and Flower now look towards the next qualifier in the west coast series for the North American League of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping.

Conor Swail & Flower. Ph: Moi Photography

1. Flower – Conor Swail (IRL)
2. Daylight VDL – Christopher Surbey (CAN)
3. Luebbo – Jamie Barge (USA)
4. Dolinn –  Sayre Happy (USA)
5. Wicked – Jenn Serek (CAN)
6. Armani Sl Z – Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX)
7. Abunola – Leah de Martini (USA)
8. Pumped Up Kicks – Jennifer Gates (USA)
9. Concetto Son – Laura Jane Tidball (CAN)
10. Samson II – Zazou Hoffman (USA)
11. Zilversprings – Elizabeth Gingras (CAN)
12. Navalo de Poheton – Andrew Kocher (USA)

Conor Swail the Master of the Speed Wins the Maui Jim Welcome

Langley B.C. – In tonight’s opening class for the Summer Fort Festival at Thunderbird Show Park Conor Swail and Flower take the win with a speedy time of 64.48. The twelve-year-old, bay mare is a spitfire and as Swail commented after his class, that although he had the same strides in the lines, “she is quick off the ground” which gives her those speedy times.

Taking second was one of the rare occurrences in show jumping, a tie! Eric Navet and Eugenio Garza Perez both tied for second with a time of 65.63. American Mandy Porter held the lead for the majority of the class with third into the ring getting a time of 65.69. But it was first Eugenio and then Eric to come edge her out for a fourth-place finish.

Being a speed class the riders had to navigate that forever tricky question of how fast to go, while still being careful enough to keep the rails up. But with thirteen clear it was a fantastic show of these talented horses and riders.

The course was perfect for a speed round, with lots of angles and places for riders to challenge the turns and then reach for the gallop. Those angles got a lot of riders with cutting it just too close and there were many four fault rounds. Swail was also able to use Flower’s impressive agility and power to save time on the corners as she turned on a dime and sprung from those turns with power.

It was a beautiful start to the week of jumping leading up to Sunday’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping. Swail confirmed in his interview after the class that he will be taking Flower in the qualifier, so we look forward to seeing them both again on Sunday.


1. Flower – Conor Swail
2. Victer Finn DH Z – Eugenio Garza Perez
3. Basimodo – Eric Navet
4. Milano – Mandy Porter
5. Samson II – Zazou Hoffman
6. Wahrhaftige CR – Ben Asselin
7. Camerone – Lindsay Archer
8. Ninou – Jeff Campf
9. Clockwise of Greenhill Z – Uma O'Neill
10. Cair Paravel – Bryna Closson
11. Calypso van de Zuuthoeve – Laura Hite
12. Mai Tai – Karrie Rufer

For further information please contact Emily Penn

What You Missed in Stanley Park This Morning – Horses!

It was a stunning morning as the sun rose above the city skyscrapers, and then you turn to Stanley Park to see something unusual.  Horses jumping? Yes, horses jumping. Three horses and professional riders came to Stanley Park this morning bright and early. The picturesque scene of horses flying over huge jumps with the city in the background was something exceptional. The horses were jumping in Stanley Park to give a teaser for the upcoming international event in Langley this weekend.

Show jumping is when horse and rider compete over a series of jumps. The higher the level, the higher the jumps. The three riders out at Stanley Park this morning were all professionals, they compete at the highest level – Olympic height of a metre-60 (1.60 metres). That’s like jumping over your mini-van. These riders compete all over the world and are in town for the weekend for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping.

Ben Asselin one of the three riders is Alberta born, at only 23 he has represented Team Canada on various occasions. Gareth Graves was the other Canadian, and is from Vancouver Island. He has risen up the ranks of international competition and also runs a training business. Karl Cook as the representing American won the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping in Langley last year, and hopes to repeat again this year. As some of the top riders in the world, these three came out bright and early to Stanley Park to give Vancouver a taste of what show jumping is all about.


Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping is a series that takes place all over the world, the event in Langley is at Thunderbird Show Park, and it is one of the qualifiers for the series. The riders compete in the qualifiers throughout North America to gain the necessary points to then compete in the finals that happen in Paris, France. Only two Canadians will be able to qualify for the finals, so we will be there cheering for our Canadians this weekend!

#FEIWorldCup #Longines #RidetoParis #tbird2017 #thunderbird

Show Jumping In Stanley Park

As summer winds down, we're just getting started at Thunderbird. International jumping begins Wednesday with the $35,000 CSI3* Maui Jim Welcome, Friday features the $35,000 CSI3* Steel-Craft Doors Speed and Sunday afternoons main event is $135,600 CSI3* Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier presented by Facet Advisors.
In addition to great jumping at the park, Thunderbird is taking over downtown Vancouver! Come down to Stanley Park on Wednesday morning to watch Canadian rider, Ben Asselin, and last year's World Cup winner, Karl Cook, put on a jumping demonstration. We'll also be joined by Vancouver Police Mounted Unit as we show off the sport of show jumping and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. The event is free and runs from 7 to 9 am in front of the Brockton Pavillion by the Totem Poles.


For directions and additional information about Stanley Park, visit the City of Vancouver's website here

If you're looking to spice up your World Cup Sunday, "The View Winery Rosé Party" is the spot for you. For the first time ever, we're giving fans the chance to watch Olympic caliber show jumping "in style" while sipping award winning frizzante sparkling wine in a private VIP tent overlooking the main event. In addition, we're giving away the ultimate prize package which includes $200 in clothing from BRUNETTE the Label and a case of the gold winning wine- silver lining, from The View winery- valued at $480. Tickets are only $20 and include parking, admission, covered seating, sparkling wine, canapes and entry into a raffle for a fantastic prize package.

Tickets can be purchased online here

Written by Kate Pettersen 

Eve Jobs Wins the $100,000 Reliable Rentals GP at Thunderbird Show Park!

Eve Jobs Wins the $100,000 Reliable Rentals GP at Thunderbird Show Park!

August 20th, 2017

Langley, B.C. – It was 19-year-old Eve Jobs with the fastest time on a beautiful Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park. Steve Jobs' daughter was competing for the first time at Thunderbird, and after a successful week of competition she beat out many of the top riders in the sport, winning the Reliable Rentals $100,000 Grand Prix.

Aboard Venue D'Fees Des Hazalles, a 12-year-old Belgium mare, Jobs had two clear rounds and a winning time in the jump off of 44.16. Out of the eight riders in the jump off, Sayre Happy, riding Dolinn, was the only other rider to go clear, with a time of 45.46.

Jobs' remarked after the class that she has not been riding Venue D'Fees Des Hazalles for very long. "I have actually only been riding her for a few weeks, so she's a new mount for me," says Jobs.

The course asked the right amount of questions for many riders in the class. There were lots of big names in the field, and there were some upsets, mostly around the water jump. Conor Swail and Karl Cook both had stops at the water.

Another American, Zazou Hoffman, had the fastest time of 39.88 – beating even speedster Rich Fellers, but she caught a rail on the last jump. Eugenio Garza Perez, who had won both Grands Prix the past two days, was expected to give Jobs a run for her money in today's class. Unfortunately, he had a stop at a big vertical coming out of the corner in the jump off.

Congratulations to Eve Jobs with the big win today! Thunderbird and the riders look forward to another week of competition and the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping on August 27th.


For further information please contact Emily Penn at emily@tbird.ca