Conner Thompson

Tbird: Visitors have a big impact on Langley

The horse industry, and big shows, are a sizable part of the local economy.

Hundreds of horses and thousands of people will descend on Langley Township this summer for the Summer Fort Classic at the Thunderbird Show Park.

That won’t just mean a lot of riding, it will mean a sizable economic impact on Langley and the region.

Horses are big business in the Township.

Langley has long been known as the Horse Capital of B.C. It has one of the highest rates of horse ownership per capita in the province, and parts of Langley, particularly South Langley, are laced with horse trails through parks and along major roads.

The local equine industry generates more than $60 million annually, and there are an estimated 429 farms with more than 3,800 horses, or 7.2 per cent of all the horses in the province.

Langley Township is also home to the only neonatal horse hospital in the province, along with a host of other veterinarian practices, trainers, tack and equipment shops, bedding suppliers, and boarding stables.

Show parks, of which Thunderbird is the biggest, have grown up to host world-class equine events.

Now Thunderbird’s big event will be bringing in a host of outside horses, riders, trainers, grooms, and fans for an extended period.

The influx of people will mean an economic event that will involve a lot of locals producers and service providers.

There are already 900 horses expected for the Classic this August, and along with them will come riders, supporters, and family members.

In fact, according to the Horse Council of British Columbia, at a major horse show there will be five people for every horse.

That means approximately 4,500 people will arrive in Langley for the events at Thunderbird.

“Approximately 60 per cent of competitors are from out of province,” said Kelly Coughlin, senior program director for the Horse Council.

“When you factor in the expenses for each person – food, housing, transportation, and entertainment – it is a significant boon to the Langley Township economy.”

To accommodate the huge influx of both humans and horses, stores of feed and bedding are already being brought in, purchased from local and regional suppliers.

In late July, workers at the Thunderbird stables were unloading pallets of pre-bedding for the stalls where most of the horses will be kept during the big event.

Some horses will also be kept at outside boarding stables around Langley Township.

As for the approximately 4,500 humans, many of them will stay in trailers at the Thunderbird Show Park itself, living close to their animals during the competition days.

However, there will be spillover that will fill up some local hotel rooms or bed and breakfasts.

















Patrick Sullivan, left, and Ryan Beggs assembled the new sign that will welcome visitors to Thunderbird Show Park.


Just Posted

For one volunteer, fond memories as the Canadian Museum of Flight readies for the holidays

‘Christmas in the air’ at Langley aviation history exhibition

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain

No cost estimates, but the Fraser Highway line is expected to open by 2025

‘It’s just taking your dreams away’: Cloverdale farmer worries ALR changes will kill house plans

Kevin Buttar’s house has been in progress for five years; new rules may have him starting all over

Tsumura Basketball Invitational wraps with a hard-fought win for the Panthers at Langley Events Centre

‘We knew if we stayed together as a team and kept the ball moving, we were going to come through’

VIDEO: Giants earn seventh straight win while playing at Pacific Coliseum

G-Men return home for their next game at the Langley Events Centre Friday against the Silvertips.

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

5 to start your day

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, 81-year-old woman waits 90 minutes for a taxi in Pitt Meadows and more

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Macron addresses France amid protests; is it too late?

Paris monuments reopened, cleanup workers cleared debris and shop owners tried to put the city on its feet again Sunday.

CUPE calls off Flair Airlines job action citing job security concerns

The union says it’s going to challenge Flair’s move at the Canada Industrial Relations Board before proceeding with any job action.

Trump looking at several candidates for new chief of staff

Trump’s top pick for the job, Nick Ayers, is out of the running and Trump is now soliciting input on at least four individuals.

Most Read