Top international equestrians hoof it into Langley

It has all the makings of a classic couple of weeks at Thunderbird Show Park.

The equestrian centre, at 24550 72 Ave., is the site of its CSI***-W Summer Classic from Aug. 13-17, followed by the CSI** & WCHR Summer Festival from Aug. 20 to 24.

Highlights of Summer Classic week include:

• Wednesday, Aug. 13 – the $33,500 CSI*** Stella Artois Open Welcome is at 4:30 p.m.

• Friday, Aug.15 – the $33,500 CSI*** Maui Jim Grand Prix at 4:30 p.m.

• Sunday, Aug. 17 – the $100,000 CSI***-W Facet Advisors World Cup Qualifier at 2 p.m.

• Friday, Aug. 22 – the $50,000 Dianne Tidball Legacy Grand Prix is 4:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Aug. 23 – the $10,000 Noel Asmar Equestrian Classic at 2 p.m., and

• Sunday, Aug. 24 – the $55,500 Bryan Anderson Memorial Grand Prix at 2 p.m.

The highlight of the week is the $100,000 CSI***-W Facet Advisors World Cup Qualifier, which gets underway with national anthems at 1:45 p.m.

During the event, you can expect to see recent FEI World Cup champion Rich Fellers (U.S.), Jennifer Crooks (Ireland) Juan Pablo Gnecco (Colombia), Jenn Serek (Canada), and May’s World Cup winner, Brian Morton (Langley).

This has been a year of marked transformation for the 85-acre show park, which has invested $450,000 to install the most advanced and scientifically engineered footing in North America into the Grand Hunter Ring. 

It took eight railcars of silica sand, alongside 20,000 pounds of synthetic textile and close to 2,400 tonnes of equestrian sand and crushed rock to complete the projects. 

Riders at Thunderbird’s season opening tournament in May were the first to step onto the sand, following the conversion of two jumper rings last year.

Looking ahead, Thunderbird vice president of tournament operations Chris Pack is excited about this Sunday’s $100,000 World Cup.

“Show jumping is a sport that needs to be seen live to truly appreciate,” Pack said. “The speed and power of these graceful animals is beautiful to watch, and newcomers are sure to get caught up in the excitement. We’re expecting sunny skies, so we recommend that spectators come down early and take the opportunity to stop by the Bale & Bucket for a bite before heading to the Fort Grand Prix field. There are covered grandstands and plenty of space for those who would like to spread out, picnic style, on the grass.”

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