We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!
Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!
Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.
The National Tournament at Spruce Meadows
The Summer Series is on now at the beautiful Spruce Meadows facility in Calgary, Canada! Kicking things off is the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament, which began with a jump on Wednesday with the $85,000 ATB Financial Cup 1.55m. Canadian Eric Lamaze took the win in his home country aboard the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Powerplay, who he also incidentally rode to victory again last night in the $85,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.55m. Here they are on their way to victory on Wednesday.
But don’t worry if you missed this winning performance from Lamaze – you’re not too late to the party. This weekend, The National will feature several more exciting classes, including the $35,000 RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m on Friday, June 6, the $60,000 TransCanada Parcours de Chasse on Saturday, June 7, the 210,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup 1.50m Derby on Sunday, June 8, and the highlight of the show, Saturday’s $400,000 RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex. And you can watch all the action live here.
Then the fun Summer Series at Spruce Meadows continues with the ‘Continental’ CSIO 5* Tournament on June 12-15, featuring the third and final North American $125,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ on Friday, June 13; the ‘Canada One’ CSI 4* Tournament on June 26-29; the ‘North American’ CSI 5* Tournament on July 2-6; and finally the ‘Pan American’ CSI 5* Tournament on July 10-13, featuring the $400,000 Pan American Cup presented by Rolex on Sunday, July 13.
Phew! That is a lot of fancy horse shows, and the list doesn’t even include the all-important Masters CSIO 5* Tournament that toes off just at the tail end of summer on September 10-14. It seems this fancy facility at Spruce Meadows will be jumping all summer long!
Spruce Meadows is also home to some exciting large-scale art installations this summer. Twenty life-sized fiberglass horses painted by local non-profits for the “Horses Jump to Give a Leg Up” program are located all over the facility. Each horse is a unique and creative example of what the non-profit does for the community. During the National, on Saturday June 7, the herd of colorful horses will be presented during the Parade of Nations, and the top three organizations selected for the most creative and innovative design will win a cash reward.
In addition, all of the horses are on Silent Auction here on the Spruce Meadows website. The proceeds from the sale of each horse will go to the organization responsible for its decoration. Here are just a few of the fine designs to choose from.
Finally, if you can peel yourself away from all the action at Spruce Meadows this summer for just a second, don’t miss this very cool video. In 2011, John Anderson and his mount, Terrific, took on the Nexen Cup Derby at the Spruce Meadows National with a helmet camera filming this whole time. It is nothing short of exhilarating to experience a ride from this point of view on the famed International Ring of Spruce Meadows!