Tani Zeidler of Calgary, AB, is currently the top Canadian in the North American World Cup League standings following the $50,000 World Cup Grand Prix held November 6 in Las Vegas, NV.
Zeidler collected 15 points for her sixth place finish riding Ranville, bringing her overall total to 47 points. Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, is the second highest placed Canadian rider with a total of 46 points. The top two Canadians in the World Cup standings at the end of the season will be invited to contest the 2011 World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, next April.
Consistent results throughout the World Cup qualifying season have earned Zeidler her place at the top of the leader board. With Loving Dancer, Zeidler enjoyed two top ten finishes in World Cup qualifying competitions while Ranville placed third in the $75,000 Keg Steakhouse & Bar World Cup Grand Prix in Langley, BC, and jumped clear with one time fault to finish fifth in the $50,000 World Cup Grand Prix at the CSI2*-W Blenheim Fall Tournament in San Juan Capistrano, CA. In Las Vegas, only one rider, Eduardo Menezes of Brazil, managed to post a clear round to win while nine others had four faults each including Zeidler, who placed sixth overall.
“I had a late rail at ‘b’ of the combination, it fell as we went around the corner, but Ranville was great,” said Zeidler of her performance in Las Vegas. “I had never been to the Las Vegas competition before, and they hold it at South Point, in a big stadium in the middle of the hotel. They had an amazing laser and video show before the competition, just as you would expect in Vegas. It was an excellent show hosted by Blenheim Equisports. They did a really good job.”
Zeidler purchased Ranville, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Calvados, at the beginning of the 2009 season from fellow Canadian, Frankie Chesler.
“It was refreshing to have bought a horse from a Canadian rider,” said Zeidler. “Frankie and her family did a fantastic job; he was everything that they said he was. I haven’t sat on a horse since Starvos that has as much scope as Ranville, and he also has the biggest heart. It is one thing to be scopey and careful, but he really wants to do it. He knows when it is a big day, and he really wants to be a great horse. No matter how big they build, I know he is fine. At worst he is going to have four or eight faults, and that is a very good feeling.”
Zeidler has also been competing with Loving Dancer, an 11-year-old German-bred gelding formerly ridden by Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer, in World Cup qualifying events. Zeidler also made her Global Champions Tour debut this summer competing with Loving Dancer in the Grand Prix of Estoril, Portugal. Zeidler will next contest the World Cup Grand Prix in Burbank, CA, before shipping her horses across the country to Wellington, FL, for the World Cup Grand Prix held the weekend of December 3-5.
“My plan is to use Ranville for December, and then Loving Dancer for January,” said Zeidler of her strategy to qualify for the 2011 World Cup Final. “Going to World Cup Final is one of the things that I have always wanted to do, and now I have the depth of horses to do it. It is important to get there and feel very secure, and I have two super horses that can do it.”
Zeidler will be based in Wellington, FL, for the winter season with approximately 12 horses including her other grand prix mount, Classic Lady, an 11-year-old grey Swedish Warmblood mare. Both she and her daughter, Julia Tops, are avid competitors, with 12-year-old Julia competing in the modified jumper, junior hunter, and equitation divisions. While Zeidler is self-taught, Julia is coached by renowned equitation trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan.
“The best part is because I don’t train Julia, I can just be a mother when she goes in the ring,” said Zeidler, who made her Canadian Equestrian Team debut in 1998 before taking a break from top level competition to concentrate on raising her daughter. “I totally trust Missy and John. They know so much, that I feel very comfortable having Julia in their care.”
Zeidler is based at Zeidler Farm just south of Calgary in DeWinton. The world-class facility features a grand prix arena with natural obstacles and an oversize indoor riding arena, and is also home to Zeidler’s breeding program.