No one’s name appears more often on the 2022 National Team Program list than Tiffany Foster’s. Meeting the qualifying criteria with no fewer than four mounts, the accomplishment speaks volumes to the strength and depth of Foster’s current string of international mounts. Even better, a diversity in owners is represented, ensuring a strong foundation from which the 37-year-old can continue to build.
That diversity also means ensuring that her training business, Little Creek Equestrian, and its students have access to the top horse shows around the world. With bases already established in Wellington, FL, and Vrasene, Belgium, Foster’s client and friend, Wendy Valdes, is currently developing a new outpost for the Little Creek team back where it all began in Langley, BC.
We caught up with Foster during the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ tournament – where she was officially named to the Canadian Show Jumping Team for the upcoming World Championships in Herning, Denmark – to learn more about this talented and driven athlete’s background.
What age did you start riding and what was the name of your first pony?
I started taking lessons at North Shore Equestrian Center in North Vancouver, BC, when I was eight years old. When I was 11, my parents bought one of the school ponies for me and my sister, Rebecca, to share. Her name was My Lucky Shamrock, “Shamrock” for short, and she was the best pony!
You are currently named to the National Team Program ‘A’ Squad with Northern Light and to the ‘B’ Squad with Brighton, Figor, and Hamilton. How long have you been partnered with each horse, and what are your goals with each for this season?
I have had Northern Light, who we call “Nora,” since 2019. She sustained a minor injury in Florida this winter, so she has been coming back from that. I took her as a second horse on the European Spring Tour and she was very good there so my goal with her is to continue in the big classes and hopefully do some grand prix classes.
I have had Brighton since 2013. He’s getting a little older now, so I aim him for one class a week and try to win it. He’s such a great competitor! I try to keep him happy, and I hope I can keep him going for a few more years.
I have had Figor since 2018 and he has really stepped up as my lead horse. He’s become very reliable and a lot of fun to ride because I’m never worried about how big the jumps are; he can jump anything! My goal for him this year is the World Championships and then to try for the big Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Calgary in September.
I started riding Hamilton in 2019 and put together a syndicate to buy him in 2020. He was a little behind on experience when I got him, but he has developed very well and is now a strong member of my team. He loves Spruce Meadows, so my goal is to jump him in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup during the ‘North American’ tournament in July and to do him in a five-star grand prix in Europe this summer.
What is your favourite competition memory?
There are so many! A big one was winning team gold in Toronto at the 2015 Pan American Games. We really had to fight back in the second round to win. Our team was so incredible that day. I’ll always remember it.
Favourite horse show venue to compete at?
My favourite places to compete are Spruce Meadows, Aachen, Windsor, and Thunderbird. I can’t choose just one!
Which competition is still on your bucket list?
I’ve never done Hickstead before and I would like to one day.
On a mountain in the forest with my dog, Bichu.
Cats or dogs?
Dog! See answer above.
Last show you binge-watched?
The Last Kingdom on Netflix. I’m obsessed.
Favourite motto or saying?
Perseverendo. It’s our family motto on my mom’s side. It’s Latin and means to persevere.
What three things are always in your fridge?
Oatly Barista Blend oat milk, lemon Spindrift sparkling water, and pickles.
If you could ride any horse in the world, past or present, which one would you pick?
All of mine! If I’m not allowed to pick my own, then I would go with Ben Maher’s Explosion W.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I used to be terrified of horses and riding when I first started. I only stopped being scared when I met Shamrock; she taught me to trust horses and the rest is history!