Team Canada Has Some Serious Girl Power
Canada's top ranked show jumping athlete is Tiffany Foster. Photo by FEI/Rebecca Berry
Toronto's prestigious Royal Agricultural Winter Fair shines the spotlight on Canada this week for CSI5*-W competition.
After two years of cancellations due to the ongoing global pandemic, the Royal will celebrate its Centennial, and if you're a female Canadian show jumper, you've got even more to be excited about.
Team Canada has some serious girl power.
There is just one female athlete in the top 50 of the Longines World Rankings, and that's Laura Kraut (USA) at 37 (as of list No. 262). But 4 of the top 5 ranked Canadian athletes are all women: Tiffany Foster (Canada's top ranked athlete at No. 62), Erynn Ballard (108), Beth Underhill (131), and Amy Millar (135). Both Foster and Ballard spent time this year as the world's top ranked female show jumping athlete.
On the list of FEI Accepted Athletes for the Royal, five of the seven Canadian riders are also female.
There's been a bit of a shift in Canada, especially since Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze took over as the team's chef d'equipe in February. In 2020 and 2021, Canada's male to female ratio on teams was pretty equal through 7 Nations Cup starts. But in 2022, Canada has jumped in 12 Nations Cup events through Nov. 10. And the number of female athletes represented on teams is nearly triple the number of male athletes.
The average finish has also improved. In 2020, Canada averaged a finish position of 7 in Nations Cup competition. In 2021, the team was eliminated in half of their Nations Cup starts. In 2022, Canada is averaging a finish position of 4.27 in Nations Cup events, qualifying for Nations Cup Finals and keeping Team USA out of the championship event for the very first time. Canada impressively finished third in the CSIO5* Nations Cup at La Baule in May, behind only Belgium and France, with a team consisting of 75% women. All three of those women will be at the Royal: Foster, Millar and Underhill.
Of those women, Underhill is currently boasting the best averages at the 1.60m height of the World Cup. In 16 starts at 1.60m this year, she is averaging just under a rail (3.96 faults) and a finish position in the top 10.
But don't count out Foster, who did not have a single rail in the first round of FEI World Cup competition last season, taking a win at Washington; finishing second in Fort Worth; 4th in Lexington; and 5th in Vancouver.
Who has the hot hand? Ali Ramsay (CAN) has earned her way into the international lineup via her win in last week's Canadian Show Jumping Championships, beating Foster to do so.
Put the Canadian female athletes in your selections this week at the Royal Horse Show CSI5*-W at prixview.com/fantasy.