Martinoff Makes It a Winning Weekend With Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix 1.40m

Langley, BC — It was a winning weekend at the Western Family for Ayla Martinoff (CAN). Hot off a win in Friday’s Highland Farms Ltd Welcome and a pair of second place finishes in the YETI Welcome and the Langley Grand Prix the week prior at tbird, the 34-year old is riding a streak.

And it showed on Sunday.

Aboard Calloway, her winning partner from Friday, Martinoff topped a nine-horse jump-off in the 1.40m Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix—and definitively. The pair shaved more than two seconds off the time to beat to stop the clock in 40.81 seconds and take over the lead. Last week’s double winner Kassidy Keith and veteran partner Havana finished second in 43.17 seconds and Georgia Knight and Ecolano vs Romano third in 43.88.

The lead changed hands with nearly every combination over Peter Holmes’s winding jump off track. Locklyn Williamson was first to post a double clear, crossing the timers in 48.87. Sloane Betker and Kristalstar shaved three seconds off, finishing in 45.78. Jamie Ackerman and Driek, winners of last week’s Jr/Am Jumper Classic 1.30m, took it down to 45.04 only for Knight and Ecolano vs Romano to drop it to 43.88 one round later and Keith to 43.17 one more after that.

But none came close to Martinoff and Calloway.

The pair set a speedy standard from the start, galloping to the first and using Calloway’s natural foot speed and cat-like agility to blaze through the timers two and half seconds fastest.

“Everyone had gone clear and reasonably fast. So I thought, well, you either have to go clear really fast or you have four faults and be [the equivalent] of a slow clear anyways [on the leaderboard],” said Martinoff.

Homebred and developed by Martinoff, the 10-year-old grey has only grown in competitiveness over the years.

“He’s gotten so good. I’ve known him his whole life, so we’ve grown up together in the ring. Since he was seven, I’ve been able to go fast as long as I know he’s comfortable. But lately, he knows my every move before I do. He’s so smart.

“He really locks onto the jumps and wants to give me his all.

Martinoff, a 2023 George & Dianne Tidball Scholarship winner, credits her time in the ring at tbird last season for the success she’s currently experiencing with Calloway and his full sister, A Crown Royale.

“It was really great to get to compete in these classes last year without having to worry about winning the prize money back. I had two down almost every time,” she laughed, “but I got to practice a lot and it’s paying off now.”

Calloway is himself a payoff of sorts and one that’s less a product of careful pairing than he is a happy fluke, said Martinoff—albeit one from two very well-bred horses. Ten years ago, Martinoff was riding for Fairway Farms and was given his dam, A Little Bit, in exchange for construction work by her father. When the Martinoff decided to breed her, another client stepped up.

“I was also working for the owner of [the stallion] Capone and she sent me home with measuring cups full of semen,” shared Martinoff.

The result: two national Grand Prix horses that Martinoff will step up to international ring next month at tbird’s Summer Fort Welcome and Summer Fort Classic.

In the meantime, however, Calloway will enjoy a well-earned week off.

“I’m driving home and I’m going to go put him out in the field with his brother for a week. I won’t really ride him other than maybe bareback to the pub for lunch or something,” said Martinoff, noting that the local restaurant has a paddock for horses.

“I’ll start flatting him next week and then start amping up for Thunderbird in August.”

Odlum Brown Ltd Grand Prix 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Calloway / Ayla Martinoff / CAN / Ayla Martinoff / 0/0 40.81
2. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Kassidy Keith / 0/0 43.17
3. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Kinght / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 43.88
4. Driek / Jaimie Ackermann / CAN / Jaimie Ackerman / 0/0 45.04
5. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Betker Horse Park / 0/0 45.78
6. Cassandro / Locklyn Williamson / CAN /  Graham Williamson / 0/0 48.87
7. Canberre 59 / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 0/4 44.27
8. Hatari / Sierra Geisler / USA / Sierra Geisler / 0/4 46.05
9. Almquist / Locklyn Williamson / CAN / Locklyn Williamson / 0/4 52.65
10. Ero Del Pierire / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 2 92.27

Major League Show Jumping Kicks Off Fourth Season at Thunderbird Show Park

When it comes to Major League Show Jumping, the stakes are most definitely raised.

The MLSJ circuit made its debut in 2021, and the annual North American five-star show series kicks off its fourth season this week in Langley at tbird’s Canadian Premier, which has become the venue’s biggest event of the year.

With 10 stops on the tour, MLSJ will award more than $5 million in Grand Prix prize money and $3 million in Team prize money in 2024, with a $1 million Team Final and a $1 million Individual Final, both set for December.

Eight teams—each made up of six five-star athletes, with three competing at each event—will begin their quest toward those titles Saturday with the CSI5* MLSJ Team Competition, sponsored by ClipMyHorse.tv, at 5pm PT.

Five-star competition not only brings with it heightened prize money and just-as-coveted Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Ranking points, but in an Olympic year, it also brings a few extra sets of eyes—those of team selectors.

Several Canadian Olympic hopefuls will come forward this week at tbird, including Olympic veterans Tiffany Foster, Amy Millar, and Mario Deslauriers. Foster is currently the highest ranked female jumping athlete in the world and the top ranked Canadian. The second-highest ranked Canadian is fellow female Erynn Ballard, a strong contender to make her first Olympic team.

They’ll receive a proper Paris prep, given that the course designer pegged for international competition at the Canadian Premier is none other than Greg Bodo (FRA), who will set the Olympic tracks in Paris. Sunday’s CSI5* MLSJ Grand Prix will be the class to watch as athletes bring out mounts at the top of their respective strings for the 1.60m test.

The MLSJ Team Competition will be conducted at a slightly smaller height (1.50m) and over a course that rewards speed, so you can bet that the pace will be much greater. This event was designed with the spectator in mind: With three rounds, its head-to-head, speed-focused format is easy to understand (more on that below) and thrilling to watch.

Each of the league’s first three team champions will return in 2024, including reigning title holders, the Trailblazers. This squad also returns with almost an identical lineup from last season, maintaining key players in Daniel Bluman, Darragh Kenny, Lillie Keenan, and Conor Swail. Inaugural champions Eye Candy and 2022 victors Helios are also back for more.

Two new teams enter the lineup this year in the Archers and the Maccabi United. They’ll debut as team competition gets underway Saturday in the Thunderbird Arena.

How the MLSJ Team Event Works

With three rounds of high stakes, fast-paced competition, the Major League Show Jumping team event rewards speed, risk and strategy.

Round One: Each three-rider MLSJ team competes back-to-back-to-back over a 1.45m–1.50m course. The team score is the total of their combined faults. The goal: stay above the cut line. Only the top four teams advance to the next round.

First Jump Off: Returning in reverse order and on a clean slate, the top four teams jump a faults-converted speed course. Knock a pole and three seconds are added to the clock. The twist: Only two riders from each of the top four teams compete in this Round. The sum of their times determines the team score, with the top two teams advancing to the gold medal match and the bottom two to the bronze medal match.

Podium Jump Off: Riding the same course as the First Jump Off and returning to a zero score, the Medal Round is a heads up showdown that decides the podium standings. The team rider who didn’t compete in Round Two takes the field for the Medal Rounds. Fastest time with the fewest faults wins.

Tickets are available for both the MLSJ Team Competition and MLSJ Grand Prix at tbird.ca.

Macari Celebrates with MarBill Hill U25 1.35m Win

Langley, BC – Tanimara Macari (MEX) doesn’t have much time left in the U25 division, but she’s making it count. The Cancun, MEX native celebrated her 25th birthday Wednesday at Thunderbird Show Park with a win in the MarBill Hill U25 1.35m, powered by Solaris Equestrian.

Macari bested a 13-horse jump-off with her and Diego Vivero’s 9-year-old gelding Febvre de Lusse, crossing the timers of Colm Quinn’s (IRL) course in 38.22 seconds. Kylie Martens (CAN) finished second with Nico 1427 (38.98 seconds), followed by Sutton Freisen (CAN) and Adare Ya To (39.52s).

“I wanted to give him a nice round. We still have two days left of this U25 [division], so I didn’t want to leave everything in there today, but I did want to give him a confident ride, just to set him up for the weekend,” Macari said. “I think that’s what we achieved today. He’s naturally a very fast horse, so we just put the gear on, and he was ready to go.”

Knight (CAN) swept the U25 classes at the April Spring Opener, and she captured an early lead with her longtime mount, Ecolano vs Romano. It was Kylie Martens and Nico 1427 who usurped their position at the top, and victory looked within reach until Macari and Febvre de Lusse entered the Fort Grand Prix Arena, with just two combinations following her in the 22-strong field. The pair understood the assignment.

“I think he has a really big heart, and he always tries his best whenever he goes in [the ring],” Macari said of Febvre de Lusse. “He’s naturally quick, and he’s also a very careful horse. So, whenever you say, ‘We are going,’ he’s like, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ And then he’s always ready to go.”

Macari has only been paired with the grey for three months, taking over the ride in February from her longtime trainer, Diego Vivero. Macari and her coach are co-owners of the gelding, but after purchasing him last year, Vivero spent the first eight months as his primary rider, continuing to develop the young horse.

“We found him at a show, and [Diego said,] ‘I think this [horse] is really interesting. Are you interested in going half and half?’ And we said, ‘Of course.'”

The grey has made a believer out of Macari—at least, when it comes to geldings. The Mexican native has spent the majority of her career working with mares. Admittedly, she’s come to enjoy working with a horse with more of a go-with-the-flow personality.

“Life is so simple with him. He’s always the same every day…He wakes up, I ride him, [and] he’s always in a good mood,” Macari said. “I’m like, ‘Huh, is this what life with a gelding is like?’ He’s so simple and unlike any other horse that I’ve had before.”

The U25 division continues Friday with the $5,000 MarBill Hill U25 1.40, powered by Solaris Equestrian.

MarBill Hill U25 1.35m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Febvre de Lusse / Tanimara Macari / MEX / Tanimara Macari / 0/0 38.22
2. Nico 1427 / Kylie Martens / CAN / Kylie Martens / 0/0 38.98
3. Adare Ya To / Sutton Freisen / CAN / Baystreet Equestrian / 0/0 39.52
4. Ecolano vs Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 40.38
5. Ilanca / Sutton Freisen / CAN / Baystreet Equestrian / 0/0 41.49
6. Esi Jet Set / Carly Stevens / CAN / Susan Stevens / 0/0 42.46
7. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 0/0 42.71
8. Chambertino Z / Katrina Komitsch / / Katrina Komitsch / 0/0 43.84
9. Qualobet DW / Skylar Wireman / USA / Shayne Wireman / 0/4 38.61
10. Indy / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/4 43.39

Meet the MLSJ Course Designer: Gregory Bodo

France’s Gregory Bodo will set the test for the world’s most prestigious championship this summer. The Frenchman has been tapped to co-lead the course designing team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games alongside Spain’s Santiago Varela. It’s a dream come true for Bodo and career making achievement. 

This week, Bodo is at Thunderbird Show Park masterminding the tracks for the first leg of the 2024 Major League Show Jumping season. 

We caught up with him to talk course designing, his signature style and what to expect this week in the tbird ring. 

tbird: Gregory, you had said in a 2018 interview that your dream was to one day build the courses for the Olympics. Now that dream is coming true. Talk a bit about how you’re feeling at this moment?

Gregory Bodo: My feeling is fine. I am not nervous. Effectively, the Olympic Games will start two months from now. So there’s no stress at this moment. Maybe it will be different the first day of the Olympic Games! But right now, I am so proud to have this appointment. It’s a good experience, a good challenge also, for me. 

tbird: You’re quite literally at the top of your game.

Bodo: Yeah, absolutely. I’m very excited.

tbird: You started course designing quite young. What made you want to pursue this craft?

Bodo: I started course designing at 18. At around 15 years old, I followed different regional course designers, because this aspect of the sport is very interesting.

Besides course designing, I am also a marketing teacher. I split my time between course designing approximately 30 events per year and the rest of the time, two days per week, I am a marketing teacher. It’s very important to me to have a good balance in life.

tbird: Describe your course designing process.

Bodo: I think with the modern sport, you need to take into account a lot of parameters. The level of the horses, the level of the riders, of course. The type of footing, the landscape. After considering the technical requirements, the fences and the obstacles and so on, I need to take into account all the details—the decoration, the profile of the fences, the different colors. 

For me, the details today are for the eye, for the spread, for the distances—all parameters are very important to give a good course and also to have a good result. It is very important maybe to be perfectionist. I am a perfectionist. I try to respect all details.

tbird: How has your course designing style evolved over the years?

I like to propose to the rider always a problem for them and never for the horses. This is the first point. After that, I like a forward course from the start line to the finish line. 

And, usually I don’t build very high, very big. I respect the height of the competition, but for me I like [the course] to be subtle, to be delicate, to play with the profile of the fences, the colors of the poles, the distance. All details like that are very important for a Gregory Bodo course.

tbird: What can we expect for the Major League show jumping team event and the Grand Prix this weekend?

Bodo: This is my second time designing for Major League. The first time was two years ago in Monterrey, Mexico. I think I’m going to propose for the team class a [flowing] course. Not so big. Just to see the horses jump very well. This is very important for me. The horses must jump very well. After the result of this class, I’m going to prepare correctly the Grand Prix. I’m going to build like usual, with [questions] for the riders, of course. Always fluent, always forward.

I hope it will be a good show with good sport this week and the best [pair] wins the Grand Prix.

Tickets for the MLSJ Team Competition, sponsored by ClipMyHorse.tv, and MLSJ Grand Prix are available on tbird.ca

Keith Cruises to Victory in Maui Jim 1.40m Grand Prix

Kassidy Keith (CAN) doesn’t always win in the Grand Prix ring at Thunderbird Show Park, but when she does it’s usually with Havana.

The veteran pair started their 2024 season at tbird’s April Season Opener the same way they ended the previous one—with a victory. In September 2023, Keith and her speedy bay capped their U25 career with a pair of wins at tbird’s Harvest Celebration. This week, they’re back at tbird and back atop the podium as winners of the week’s feature event, the $10,000 Maui Jim 1.40m Grand Prix.

“Havana and I normally take a break [over the winter],” said Keith, who runs Keepsake Farm in Langley, BC with her mother Cheryl Keith. “I went to California at the start of February and ended up doing the four star the last week. I haven’t really jumped [Havana] since we got home.”

As it turned out, one 1.35m warm-up class on Friday was all they needed. Six pairs found a clear path around Chris Jones’ first round Grand Prix track to advance to the jump off—among them, Australian Olympian and known speed threat Katie Laurie on all three of her mounts.

Second to return for the short course, Keith and Havana set a speedy standard, using the mare’s turning ability and their well-established partnership to their advantage.

“[My strategy] was just to be smooth, but I had to take the risks that needed to be done because [Katie] rides really fast,” said Keith, noting that she has complete trust in Havana. “I turned super sharp [to the double], and I just pulled on the left rein and she was right there with me.”

An inside turn after the Maui Jim vertical gave Keith a straight shot to the penultimate oxer. The pair rolled back quickly to the final vertical to stop the clock in 44.87 seconds. Their time not only held up, it proved to be 2 and half seconds fastest.

Georgia Knight (CAN), who swept the U25 division this week, slotted into second on new mount Ero Del Pierire in 47.21 seconds as the only other double clear on the day. Laurie took third on Tuluar Zirensky with four faults in a time of 48.73.

Havana has been under Keith’s saddle since age four. Developed by the 26-year-old rider up to the 4* level, the 12-year-old mare is something of a 1.40m specialist. In 29 international starts at the height, the pair boasts a 59% clear round average and average just 1.5 faults, according to Jumpr App.

This year, Keith has her sights set on top sport with the mare.

“My goals for 2024 with Havana are to jump a five star Grand Prix, whether that’s at the start of the year or the end of the year, and just to be consistent with her. [We plan to] jump the three stars [at tbird], working towards some World Cup qualifiers again in the fall.”

National jumping continues next week at tbird with the Spring Festival, April 24–28. Catch all the action from the Thunderbird Arena live on tbird TV, powered by Horse & Country.

Horse Profile: Light My Fire

When Ashley Arnoldt first watched a video of Light My Fire, the 2012 Hanoverian stallion was in Germany, competing in the 1.40m division. She was initially impressed by his scope, jumping form and rideability.

A big thing that kind of drew me to him was that he’s partially related to [my U25 jumper] Lestat OLD through Lordano and he’s also a three-quarter brother to Los Angeles, a stallion that sired a lot of nice hunters in the U.S.”

The Arnoldt’s imported the horse with the intention that he’d be Ashley’s next Grand Prix mount and a breeding stallion for their family-run Dreamscape Farm in Langley, BC.

But plans with horses are always subject to change.

In their first show together, Arnoldt and Light My Fire contested a 1.35m class at Thunderbird Show Park and finished in third place. The following week, they were in the hunter ring—winning.

“He was very successful that first week in the jumpers. He was just a bit slow. So we thought that maybe we should try him in the hunter ring,” explained Arnoldt.

The pair made their hunter debut the following week and were champions in the Amateur-Owner 3’6” division at tbird, winning 5 of 6 classes. Two weeks later, they swept the Performance Hunter and Low Hunter divisions at Milner Downs, then started making rounds in the Derbies.

“That’s kind of how he became my Hunter Derby horse because it just it clicked and we knew he liked it, so we stuck to it.”

Still, it wasn’t an easy choice to swap disciplines, admits Arnoldt. Grand Prix horses are few and far between, especially when your prospects are limited by finances.

“It was a hard decision. But at the same time, he made it so much easier by how good he is at it and how well we work together,” she shared.

“Going to the Royal Winter Fair for [the Canadian Hunter Derby National Championship] is always something that I love to do. So when this all unfolded and we stepped into the hunters, I could see all those goals and dreams and possibilities we could do as a team together.”

The 12-year-old stallion has been proving her move right ever since, most especially in the Hunter Derbies. Arndolt and Light My Fire have won the Canadian Hunter Derby and Western Derby series championships every year since 2021.

“He’s just so consistent in his performance in the derbies. I always joke that if he doesn’t win, it’s because I messed up.”

Light My Fire is as easy to work with outside the ring as he makes winning in it appear, said Arnoldt. “Everyone thinks he’s a gelding,” she continued.

“He’s honestly so simple. I don’t have much prep with him. We do the Amateur Owners on the weekend before the Derby and then we go.

“I think that’s what makes him the best hunter. He is so quiet and chill all the time, and I can always rely on him to step up and be good. Even when we take him to the big shows like indoors at the Royal, I never have to worry about anything. I walk into these rings and know that he knows what he’s doing.”

When he’s not competing, Light My Fire is an in-demand breeding stallion. But he’s always up for a little downtime and a snack.

“He loves Stud Muffins. He loves to nap. He loves to go for trail rides and hang out. He loves his day off after the horse show. He loves people! He thinks it’s the best thing ever when anyone ever comes to visit him. He feels like a little pop star, I think.

“And he can always spot a camera,” laughs Arnoldt. “If we’re taking ribbon pictures or he’s standing somewhere, he finds the camera every time.”

Watch for Ashley Arnoldt and Light My Fire as they look to defend their Canadian Hunter Derby Series title this season at tbird—that is, when the stallion isn’t napping ringside.

“’He’s just Lennie’ is the best way that I can explain him. He’s just so quiet and chill and awesome.”

Knight Dominates MarBill Hill U25 1.35m

Twenty-year-old Georgia Knight has entered the 2024 show season at Thunderbird Show Park with a new mindset. But the results have quickly proven to be the same.

Knight, tbird’s 2023 MarBill Hill U25 overall series champion, claimed the top two spots in Wednesday’s U25 1.35m jump-off class at the April Season Opener, taking the win with her longtime partner Ecolano vs Romano (37.21 seconds) and finishing second with new mount Ero del Pierre (39.82s). Ashley Arnoldt finished third with Lestat OLD (40.58s) by way of a five-horse jump-off over Chris Jones’ shortened track.

“Last year, I started off the year, and I didn’t expect to win [the series]. It really, really boosted my confidence,” Knight said. “I [realized], I can actually do well in these classes. Coming into this year, I was just going to try and be consistent again.”

The Victoria, BC native certainly had a consistent scorecard Wednesday, with two double-clear efforts producing zeros across the board. She used the jump-off to experiment. After an attempt at an inside turn went awry aboard Ero del Pierre, she utilized the footspeed that has made she and Ecolano vs Romano difficult to beat in this division.

“I’m still getting to know [Ero del Pierre], and I wasn’t sure how fast I could go [in the jump-off], because he’s bigger and has a big stride and a slower canter, so my strategy was to do an inside turn after jump three,” Knight explained. “I tried to do it, but I missed the turn, so I just galloped around to the next jump. I knew there was no point in trying to do that turn again.

“The thing about [Ecolano vs Romano] is that he’s so fun to do jump-offs on,” she continued. “I was just going to go as fast as I can. He loves it.”

Knight has not only entered the season with boosted confidence, but she’s also more seasoned, having spent a month in California showing this past winter under the tutelage of her trainer Lizzy Gingras. She’ll continue to compete in the U25 division this season at tbird, while also pursuing new goals.

“My goal is to try and be consistent, because that’s sort of what happened last year: The consistent consistency led to the [series] championship,” she said. “And I would like to compete in my first FEI show—hopefully that will be in May.”

The MarBill Hill U25 division continues Friday and Saturday, April 19-20.

MarBill Hill U25 1.35m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 37.21
2. Ero del Pierre / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 39.82
3. Lestat OLD / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 0/0 40.58
4. Jillz / Natalie Popham / CAN / Natalie Popham / 0/0 41.99
5. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 0/14 65.89
6. Canberre 59 / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 4 85.98
7. Nuovo Supremo / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / 35 117.84
8. Arctic Outflow / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / EL

tbird Announces Livestreaming Partnership with Horse & Country

Leading international equestrian sports network Horse & Country (H&C) will provide extensive livestreaming from Thunderbird Show Park (tbird) in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. The entire tbird hunter/jumper competition series, which encompasses 10 events from April to September 2024, will be streamed live and FREE on Horse & Country’s streaming service H&C+ and within an H&C+ player on tbirdTV. In addition to livestreaming, H&C will produce a new sports entertainment series, “Thunderbird Life,” featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the personalities and top-level competition that make Thunderbird Show Park one of North America’s premier equestrian venues.

“We’re thrilled to partner with H&C to share our story with the world,” said tbird President and CEO Chris Pack. “Thunderbird is a boutique, family-owned venue that has been a staple on the West Coast equestrian scene for more than 50 years. We can’t wait to take you behind the scenes on the sporting highs, hilarity, and controlled chaos that comes with running an international show park.”

“We are delighted to be able to offer livestreaming from this prestigious venue,” said H&C Director of Content Jonathan Rippon. “With incredible show jumping and some of the world’s best riders competing, our audience will be sure to mark these events on their calendar.

“In addition to the 10 livestreaming events, H&C will produce a new series about Thunderbird Show Park that gives viewers full access to experience the highs, lows, stresses, and laughter that goes into running an equestrian venue with multiple rings, thousands of horses, VIPs, and top sport.”

Produced and directed by Jenny Rudall, the four-part series will feature Chris Pack, a look at the life of Canadian Olympic show jumper Tiffany Foster including a peek at building her new facility down the road from Thunderbird, a look behind the scenes at a five-star competition as well as an international hunter derby, plus all the personalities, pressures, glitz, and glamour that make up the sport. Stay tuned for details on the premiere episode.

“I’m so excited to be working with Chris and his team,” said Rudall. “Thunderbird is a magical venue and top rated by riders across the globe. Chris has a brilliant and often hilarious relationship with his staff, and it is extremely exciting to have such amazing access to riders such as top-ranked female rider in the world Tiffany Foster, who is as funny as she is talented!”

The FREE livestreaming schedule on H&C for Thunderbird Show Park includes:

April Season Opener – April 17-21
April Festival – April 24-28
Canadian Premier National – May 22-26 (not including Major League Show Jumping classes)
BC Open CSI4*/2*– May 29-June 2
West Coast Classic– June 26-30
Western Family – July 3-7
Summer Fort Welcome CSI3* – August 7-11
Summer Fort Classic CSI3* – August 14-18
Harvest Celebration – September 11-15
BCHJA Fall Finale CSI3* – September 18-22

Beyond H&C’s extensive sports coverage, both live and on demand, H&C+ members also get access to more than 1,800 hours of equestrian programming featuring content from all disciplines, masterclasses and training series, barn tours, rider profiles, and documentaries. With two annual membership options and a pay-per-view offering, H&C+ Freestyle, there are even more ways to access H&C’s vast library of content. Full details on how to join can be found at horseandcountry.tv/select-plan.

Annual membership of H&C+ is only $119.99 as a one-time payment, or there is an option to pay in 12 monthly installments of $13.99.

H&C offers numerous high-profile opportunities for equestrian brands to advertise around live events including in-stream billboards, in-stream video ads, and pre-roll video ads. For further details, contact Tattie Singer, H&C Director of Strategic Partnerships, North America, at the details below.

Media and Advertising Contact:
Tattie Singer
Director of Strategic Partnerships, North America
tatties@horseandcountry.tv
781-985-0796

Fobi AI Signs Multi-Year Agreement to Provide Digital Services to tbird for the 2024 & 2025 Show Seasons

Fobi AI Inc. (FOBI:TSXV) (FOBIF:OTCQB), an industry leader in harnessing AI and data intelligence to enable digital transformation, is pleased to announce it has signed a two-year agreement with Thunderbird Show Park (tbird) for the 2024 and 2025 show seasons. Throughout the multi-year agreement, Fobi will provide digital credentials for tbird show attendees, exhibitors, VIPs, and sponsors, along with a newly enhanced digital ticketing platform to support the sale of online event ticket purchases.

The implementation of digital credentials will both enhance security protocols at tbird and streamline the exhibitor, spectator and sponsor experience, through the utilization of Fobi’s wallet pass bundling technology.

Rob Anson, CEO of Fobi AI, states: “tbird is a leading equestrian show park located in Langley, BC. Hosting 12 weeks of top-level equestrian events throughout the year, tbird is known for its world-class facility and second to none level of service that consistently attracts an elite international talent pool. This agreement presents a great opportunity to showcase our industry-leading suite of digital products, including our checkpoint access and verification technology developed for the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York, our secured digital ticketing platform initially developed for the Oscars Academy Awards, and our SmartScan validation technology deployed by thousands of operators worldwide.”

For exhibitors, Fobi’s wallet pass technology will enable tbird to deliver personalized updates directly to attendees’ mobile phone lock screens, including event show schedules, weather updates, security notifications, sponsor shout-outs, and notifications. In addition, attendees can personalize their wallet preferences and provide reviews to help tbird identify areas for improvement and enhance the overall visitor experience.

With Fobi’s ticketing platform, spectators can now conveniently add their tickets to their Apple or Google Wallets with just one tap. This easy-to-use feature simplifies ticket purchase and usage while seamlessly integrating with any mobile device through our SmartScan software. Tickets are simply scanned upon arrival, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free entry experience. This innovative feature sets a new standard of personalized, accessible, and convenient experiences, distinguishing it as a standout feature among standard equestrian show park operating systems.

Chris Pack, CEO of tbird Show Park, states: “At tbird, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service to our valued exhibitors, sponsors and attendees, and are continuously looking for ways to up our game, particularly on the forefront of sport and tech. By partnering with Fobi AI, we will now have the ability to streamline our onsite show experience for the ease of all our guests and get valuable feedback on ways we can continue to improve the Park both now and in the future.”

For more information on Thunderbird Show Park, please visit tbird.ca.

To download the Fobi Investor Experience Wallet Pass to get enhanced access to investor information about Fobi, please visit our Investor Experience page.

About Fobi AI
Founded in 2017 in Vancouver, Canada, Fobi is a leading AI and data intelligence company that provides businesses with real-time applications to digitally transform and future-proof their organizations. Fobi enables businesses to action, leverage, and monetize their customer data by powering personalized and data-driven customer experiences, and drives digital sustainability by eliminating the need for paper and reducing unnecessary plastic waste at scale.

Fobi works with some of the largest global organizations across retail & CPG, insurance, sports & entertainment, casino gaming, and more. Fobi is a recognized technology and data intelligence leader across North America and Europe, and is the largest data aggregator in Canada’s hospitality & tourism industry. Fobi Website: www.fobi.ai

For more information, please contact:

Fobi AI Inc.
Rob Anson, CEO
+1 877-754-5336 Ext. 3
ir@fobi.ai

Meet 2023 U25 Series Champion Georgia Knight

When 19-year-old Georgia Knight laid out her short- and long-term goals for her 2023 season at Thunderbird Show Park, she hoped she could get her feet wet in the U25 division—that way, she could be a real contender in 2024.

She may have underestimated herself.

Knight, 19, won her U25 debut at tbird in May, and when the series concluded at September’s Harvest Celebration, Knight captured the overall series title with her runner-up finish in the MarBill Hill U25 League final. The Victoria, BC native has gone from strength to strength this summer with her two mounts, Onyx and Ecolano vs Romano, while training under the tutelage of Lizzie Gingras.

“My goal was to maybe get to the U25 this year—but for sure, next year. And then things just started to come along really well with both of my horses,” Knight said.

It’s the juxtaposition of two horses with strong characters, along with Gingras’ coaching, that has helped the former hunter rider take her riding to the next level. Onyx, an 18-year-old veteran gelding, has been around longest; Knight initially leased the fiercely brave and competitive gelding for a year from owner Joelle Froese. That has since been extended.

“He took me from 1.20m to 1.40m,” Knight said of Onyx. “Actually, we jumped a couple 1.45m [classes] in California this year, and I never thought I would be able to do that until Onyx came into my life. He’s not easy—he’s a horse you have to partner with and ride him the way he wants to be ridden.”

Onyx’s enthusiasm for showing has been a tremendous source of confidence for Knight, while also helping her improve her physical strength. While many horses can tend to become more energized at horse shows, Onyx is more laid back in the show ring, choosing to save his antics for training at home.

“He’s the hottest horse I’ve ever ridden, except he doesn’t do it when he’s in the show ring,” Knight revealed. “I’ve gotten very strong riding Onyx.  At home he’s so hot, and then when I get in the show ring here, he actually becomes quite lazy.”

Onyx also kept Knight going in the face of tragedy. Seeking a horse of her own with which to climb the ranks long term, Knight thought she found the perfect partner when she acquired “Cass” in early 2022. Two weeks into their partnership, a freak accident resulted in the horse having to be put down.

It took a several months for Knight to recover from the loss and move forward, as she re-started her search to find a suitable mount. In July 2022, she made a last-minute decision to travel to Calgary for a trial aboard Ecolano vs Romano. “Romeo” landed off of a jump, brought his head up abruptly and knocked Knight squarely in the face.

She bought him anyway.

“He’s such a nice horse, it was something I could deal with,” Knight said. “I could figure out a way not to get hit in the face.”

Still, there was a learning curve, and Romeo proved to be a demanding partner, intolerant of repeated mistakes. The bay forced Knight to evolve from her light, hunter-styled seat and ride every fence accurately—not to mention, he added a layer of complexity to her warm-up with his distaste for head-on traffic. When Romeo challenged Knight, Onyx built her confidence back up. Then a turning point came in July at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.

“I wanted to jump the Grand Prix there, because they tend to be slightly softer than Thunderbird,” Knight recalled. “Even though I’d only jumped the 1.25m there, I said I was just going to do it. I said [to myself], ‘I’m going to ride really hard and try to get it done, and I did, and then it just went up from there.

“I think pushing myself to just jump bigger made me ride better,” she added, “and it got me over the hump with [Romeo].”

Thunderbird Show Park recognized Knight’s commitment to her sport as one of three riders awarded the George & Dianne Tidball Legacy Scholarship (18–25 age group) in mid-September. The scholarship—which includes horse show benefits like waived entry, nomination and stall fees, along with a $1,000 cash riding bursary—is awarded annually to “individuals who exemplify hard work, dedication to the sport of equestrian, good sportsmanship, and leadership.”

“I actually did not expect to win. It was a nice surprise,” Knight said. “To be able to help my parents next year, because they’re letting me take this time off [from full-time university studies] to achieve my goals, is really cool. But also, I’ve always really wanted the scholarship, because I feel like I’ve been coming to tbird for a really long time, and it’s honestly like home for me. Just to be able to represent it [is special].”

While Knight is unsure of whether she’ll pursue show jumping as her profession, she’s eager to take the sport as far as she can, with her eyes set on the U25 division at the Royal Horse Show later this fall. She’ll tell you, what drives her most is simply a love for the animal. Knight forwent a university soccer career to commit fully to riding after high school, and when she’s not working with her own horses, she’s helping to treat others, working part-time as a veterinary technician.

“I honestly just can’t imagine my life without horses in it,” Knight said. “I love them, and I love being around them, and I had a decision to make: Do I play soccer, or do I ride? And it was a [no-brainer]. I can’t imagine never riding.”

X