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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

guess the rider get a hat

We have started a new tradition at Thunderbird, as all traditions, it isn’t really a tradition until it has happened at least a few times, so maybe less of a tradition, more of development? Have you spotted one of these posters kicking around in Langley?
















You will notice the common theme from June’s FEI Nations Cup to the upcoming Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier.

Well it’s pretty, but these artistic creations are actually based off of photos. But here’s the catch, one of our tbird. favs is featured in this latest poster, but can you guess who?

Free tbird. hat to the first person to reply! email your answer to emily@tbird.ca

The View Winery Rosé Party

The View Winery and BRUNETTE the Label Partner with Thunderbird Show Park to Present the Ultimate Equestrian Experience

August 15th, Langley B.C.

One of North America’s top equestrian facilities, Thunderbird Show Park welcomes clothing partner, BRUNETTE the Label, and The View Winery for the ultimate Rosé Party. On August 27th, this unique experience will offer VIP seating to watch Olympic level show jumping with top riders from around the world, all while experiencing the new Distraction Frizzante sparkling wine released from The View Winery and the recently launched rosé collection from BRUNETTE THE LABEL. This exciting event will coincide with the Longines World Cup Show Jumping event at Thunderbird Show Park. The only event like this held in B.C., the Longines World Cup Qualifier is part of an international series that riders all over the world must compete in to qualify for the finals in Paris, France.

This is a wedge, dress, and fancy hat type of event where you can come sample wine and watch horses compete over 1.60 metre obstacles. The View Winery Rosé Party is $20 a person, you can purchase a ticket at the following link: Tbird Rose Party Tickets. This entry fee will include parking, prime VIP seating, a wine sample, canapes, and entry for a draw to win $200 in clothing from BRUNETTE the Label or a case of the gold winning wine, Silver Lining, from The View Winery, valued at $480. Free entry is available to those dressed up or in a fancy hat! But with limited spaces available priority will be given to anyone with a ticket purchased as well as free entry won’t include entry to the draws.

Event Details: $135,600 Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier – The View Winery Rosé Party
Where: Thunderbird Show Park
Location: 248th Street and 72nd Avenue, Langley
Date: August 27th, 2017
When: 2:00 pm

If you wish to come watch the competition with your family, there is also free stadium seating, pony rides, live music, shopping, food trucks, and of course, horse jumping! Please come join us for this unique event.  

Event Hashtags: Please use #FEIWorldCup #TbirdRoséParty

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thunderbirdshowpark?ref=ts
Twitter - @tbirdshowpark  http://twitter.com/tbirdshowpark
Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/user/ThunderbirdShowpark
Instagram - @thunderbirdshowpark   https://www.instagram.com/thunderbirdshowpark/

International Show Jumping in Langley

International Show Jumping in Langley Olympic Equestrian’s Come to Thunderbird Show Park, Langley B.C. 

On Sunday August 27th Thunderbird Show Park hosts the third annual Longines FEI Show Jumping Qualifier. The only event of its kind in British Columbia, the voted number two top equestrian facility in North America hosts top horses and riders from all over the world as they compete in the international series.

Margie Goldstein-Engle Wins the $130,000 Atco Nations Finale at Thunderbird Show Park

Margie Goldstein-Engle Wins the $130,000 Atco Nations Finale at Thunderbird Show Park

June 4, 2017

Langley B.C. It was a beautiful day and the perfect setting for American rider, Margie Goldstein-Engle and her big, bay stallion, Royce to take another win at Thunderbird Show Park. Coming off her win with Royce in Friday’s Nation’s Cup, Engle rode a perfect first round, and then came back for a second clear round in the jump off.

With a class of 31 starts Engle was 23rd in for the first round. Nicolas Pizarro was the first clear in the class after both Keean White and Jennifer Gates had faults. Next to join Pizarro in the jump off was Eugenio Garza Perez as he managed to navigate the tricky expectations of the course. Heather Caristo-Williams had a successful ride on her horse after it's antics at the Nations Cup, finishing with just one time fault. Canadians Ian Millar and Tiffany Foster both rode in the class, Ian finished with eight faults and after two rails Tiffany decided to retire.
And there wasn't another clear until Engle came in at 23rd. But she wasn't the last to go clear, the Irish were in it, and Connor Swail, Daniel Coyle, and Andrew Bourns all went clear. Last in the ring was Mexician rider, Antionio Maurer who made it seven in the jump off.

The first-round course really used the space of the grass ring. With room for big gallops but also some serious questions. Peter Holmes had perfect planning and with a tight five stride to a one stride with a very wide oxer coming out, it was a tough ride that created lots of rails. Riders needed to back their horses off enough to fit the five, but not too much that they didn't land so close off the first jump in the combination that they couldn't clear the wide oxer coming out.

That same line to combination was featured in the jump off, creating even more expectation for the horses in their ridability to come back off a long gallop, roll-back to the line. Pizarro was first back and set the tone with a clear round. He was followed by Perez who had one rail and a time of 42.14. From there it became a battle of speed. Engle was third in and lay down a fantastic ride with a time of 38.70. Using Royce's big stride, she galloped the bigger stretches but balanced him back perfectly for the 1.60 verticals that were just waiting for a horse to flatten out. Engle had to wait as the three Irish team riders all went out to beat her time. But they just couldn't catch her. Swail put in another quick, accurate ride, but just not quick enough, he timed in at 39.11 for a second-place finish. Coyle also another clear round but still not fast enough, he took third with 39.47. Bourns and Maurer finished up the class but no one came close to Engle's time. And with that it was another win for the American rider, after winning on Friday's Nations Cup, she and Royce took the win in the $130,000 Atco Nations Finale.


1. Royce - Margie Goldstein-Engle USA
2. Flower - Conor Swail IRL
3. Cita - Daniel Coyle IRL
4. CHS Inception - Andrew Bourns IRL
5. Galileo de Laubry - Antonio Maurer MEX
6. La Petite Fleur - Nicolas Pizarro MEX
7. Victer Finn DH Z - Eugenio Garza Perez MEX
8. Luebbo - Jamie Barge

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

Team USA Take First Place in the Langley FEI Nations Cup

Girl Power! Team USA Take First Place in the Langley FEI Nations Cup

June 2, 2017

Langley B.C. – It was a win for the girls in the 2017 FEI Nations Cup at Thunderbird Show Park. Team USA was Heather Caristo-Wiliams, Catherine Nicole Tyree, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Margie Goldstein-Engle. The four top women rode exceptionally with a team that balanced young and experienced riders. Teams USA, Canada, Ireland, and Mexico all had their best teams as they were vying for those vital last points to qualify for the Nations Cup finals in Barcelona. With Team Canada taking second place, they will also be heading to those finals for the first time in two years.

Team USA had the lead after the first round with only four faults carrying forward after dropping Caristo-Williams score of 22. Team Canada sat in second with 14 faults, followed by Mexico and then Ireland. Canada was represented by Tiffany Foster, Chris Surbey, Keean White, and Ian Millar. Riders found the course challenging and with a tight time allowed. In the first rotation, there were only three clear rounds, American’s Sternlicht and Goldstein-Engle and Ireland rider Daniel Coyle. Canadian, Tiffany Foster was very close to clear with only one time fault.

Course designer Peter Holmes did a great job of creating enough suspense that coming into that second round anything could still happen. There was a water jump to a tall vertical that created quite a few rails, as well as the second to last jump was a hanging plank. The Longines triple combination was tight and moved straight into another tall vertical. Holmes went big and wide and every jump was a serious question for horse and rider.

Coming back in reverse order for the second-round riders had a better handle of the harder elements of the course. There were more clear rounds, including three of the four Canadian riders. Ian Millar showed his experience as the anchor rider coming in with a clear round on Dixson. By dropping White’s five faults Canada needed USA to get eight faults in their last ride to take the win. USA’s anchor, another rider with lots of experience in the role, Margie Goldstein-Engle, was last in for USA, she had one rail down but left the rest up, which was all USA needed for the win.

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

Nations Cup Day

The sun is shining and the buzz around Thunderbird Show Park bright and early on Nations Cup Day is electric. All week, horses and riders have been showing their national pride decked out in team swag. For those who haven’t experienced one, there’s something unique and special about a Nations Cup. It’s a chance for riders who compete in a predominantly individual sport to be on a team, experience camaraderie and enjoy fierce competition with an even bigger support group cheering them on from the in-gate.

Tiffany Foster has jumped and won all over the world but still says her best riding experience and team experience was coming back from a tough first round at the Pan Am Games on home soil. “There was no negative sentiment or a feeling that my teammates weren’t behind be,” said Foster. Her teammates picked her up and challenged her to have a great second round and as we know, she did. 

Today’s class marks one of only three North American Nations Cup League this season and course designer Peter Holmes says we can expect it to be a challenging course with full height and spreads.

“Canada, USA and Mexico are all trying to qualify for finals. I try to pay attention to what horses and riders are showing and design for the level of competition. It used to be a test of how big you can jump but now it’s become more of a precision sport where focus and precision is so important. The best riders are able to slip around and make it look easy while being efficient.”

And as you’ll see this afternoon, Holmes has kept up with his promise of a top international level course. We’ve been tipped off that the biggest challenge for the riders will be a demanding triple combination and the water jump, both of which come up early in the track.

As for the field, defending champions Mexico will look to take back-to-back wins while Canada is looking to punch their ticket to Nations Cup finals in Barcelona. The Americans have a few young guns who have put forth great results internationally over the past few months and the Irish boast veteran experience with a competitive youngster who has been on fire.

As always, I’m incredibly impressed with what the team at Thunderbird can do and this week is no exception. It’s going to be an amazing weekend of show jumping at the Odlum Brown BC Open and if you haven’t already, mark it in your calendar and get out here. 

Kate Pettersen