If you love horses or you know someone who does, I wanted to let you know about a major equestrian tournament happening at Ottawa’s beautiful Wesley Clover Parks through July 23.
Equestrians and fans of tournaments from across our region and beyond will be at the Ottawa International CS13 Horse Show, running July 19 to 23 at the Parks, located just 15 minutes west of downtown Ottawa. The cost to watch is a very reasonable $5 per person per day, or you can buy a $20 pass to attend the full event.
I’ll be there for much of the weekend. When I am not helping clients buy and sell homes, as I’ve been doing in Ottawa for more than three decades now, I also happen to be a long time competitor in equestrian show jumping.
I’ve been involved in equestrian events for more than 17 years now, when I returned to a sport that I had been involved with in childhood. I had put things on hold for a while to get my career as a realtor established, but have loved the excitement of returning to the sport and the chance to meet equestrians from all over the world.
Since taking the sport up again, I have been fortunate enough to rank in the top placings at many events. I have shown several times at the Wellington Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, for example, where I have won placings among the top in the country.
It’s possible you’ll see me there, as I am a sponsor of the event and will be doing whatever I can behind the scenes to help organizers put on a great tournament.
I will also be competing in the amateur hunting division and will compete in the $10,000 Hunter Derby, as well as the Amateur Classic.
If you’re there, you’ll see me with my horse, Tia Maria
Wesley Clover Parks is the site that was formerly known as Nepean Equestrian Park and was once run by the city of Ottawa. It has been impressively redeveloped by the non-profit Wesley Clover Foundation, under the inspired vision of Ottawa high tech mogul Terry Matthews. As an equestrian, I was thrilled when tournaments returned to the site in 2015. The events have grown since then, attracting national attention.
At the tournament, spectators will see world-class hunter and jumper competitions at this beautiful 500-acre park, a four-season outdoor recreation area.
You’ll see international competitors at this year’s event, including 2008 team silver medalists Ian Miller and Jill Henselwood, and 2016 Olympic team rider Amy Millar.
Classes to watch for at the tournament include the $100,000 CS13 FEI Grand Prix (July 22 at 2 p.m.) and the $35,000 Classic FEI, (July 23 at 2 p.m.)
As well, organizers are offering special activities for families and children from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 21, 22 and 23, including face painting and demonstrations.
For spectators, seating is provided in bleachers, and food and beverages are available for purchase.
This is really an exciting event for our region to host, and it’s a chance for those who love horses to see the spectacular precision that these beautiful animals and their riders can achieve together after a lot of hard work and training.
The park is situated just west of the junction of Highways 416 and 417, and you can access it from either the Moodie Drive or March Road exits from the highway.
For more information on the tournament, including a map you can print out and details about the park, visit www.wesleycloverparks.com, and click the “Events” tab, or call 613-271-5452.