Four North Shore athletes hit the podium as the Pan Am Games wrapped up in Santiago, Chile over the weekend, earning medals for Canada in equestrian and field hockey.
North Vancouver-raised Tiffany Foster joined with teammates Mario Deslauriers, Amy Millar and Beth Underhill to earn Pan Am silver in the team jumping equestrian competition. That showing also earned the team a spot in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Foster, who now lives in Langley, was the first Canadian to hit the course in the final, riding Figor, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Foster and Artisan Farms and groomed by Caroline Holmberg. Foster and Figor got Team Canada off to a great start, riding a clear round in 76.59 seconds. She followed that up with another clear round, helping Canada secure a podium spot and the all-important ticket to next year’s Olympics.
“[Figor] was amazing, I mean he just felt even better this round,” stated Foster in a release. “The more he jumps, the more relaxed he gets and I’m just so proud of him and so grateful to have a horse like this, to make these things fun, because they’re very stressful, but he makes it fun.”
Foster earned praise from Chef d’Equipe Ian Millar, a Canadian legend in the sport.
“Tiffany and Figor’s first round was the round of the day in terms of its accuracy, its precision, and its classical style,” he said. “These are four top horse and rider combinations, and they know how to function under pressure and they got the job done.”
Canada began the first round of competition in third place and ended the day on the podium earning silver with a final score of 17.62. Team USA, who started the day in fifth, earned their Olympic ticket and the gold medal after delivering two double clear rounds and ended on their score of 12.37. Defending champions Brazil, who had already qualified for Paris, held the lead through much of the competition, yet finished with the bronze on 20.32 after the final rider incurred eight faults. Mexico, in fourth place, earned the third Olympic qualifying spot that was up for grabs.
Elsewhere in Chile the men’s field hockey team, including West Vancouver’s Findlay Boothroyd and North Vancouver’s Ethan McTavish and Taylor Curran, earned Pan Am bronze with a 3-2 win over the United States in the third-place game.
Boothroyd notched Canada’s second goal of the game, giving Canada a 2-1 lead with a stellar backhand shot.
Canada secured a spot in the next stage of Olympic qualification with the win in the Pan Am bronze medal game, as they will now compete in an Olympic qualifier tournament in 2024.