There’s lots to know about the Spruce Meadows and the “Masters” which takes place in Calgary’s southern city limits on an incredible 553 acres. The showgrounds began construction back in 1973, opened its doors in 1975 and is now celebrating its 38th year. Their very first tournament took place in 1976.
While those in the horse world think of the Spruce Meadows facility as just for horses, in fact it host lots of other functions, including weddings. This requires a fairly extensive staff of some 90 people full time with another 60 or so part time employees. On top of that are the over 500 who volunteer their time and energy to be a part of this incredible venue.
The property is home to 10 permanent stables with the ability to house 1,000 horses who can school in two indoor arenas or seven outdoor grass rings on approximately 23 acres. There are an additional seven sand rings. For those who care, those sand rings have 26,500 tons of sand in them.
Broadcasting is all part of what Spruce Meadows does to get the word out. The shows reach over 100 countries and viewership of over 820 million viewers. An amazing 48 countries have been represented over the years.
Over half a million people visit the grounds annually which boasts over 100 sponsors.
The horse show portion includes an extensive summer series with the “Masters” the annual culminating event. A total of 6.8 million Canadian dollars is given out with 2.5 million of that going to the “Masters.”
At the “Masters” the international arena clearly is where the international events take place but beyond that there are lots of national competitions taking place at the same time in a variety of other arenas.
As for what events will be taking place during the week: Wednesday, August 4 features the $50,000 Akita Drilling Cup and the $85,000 Finning Cup; Thursday is when the $50,000 Atco S&L Cup takes place as well as the $125,000 Cana Cup; Friday is the $205,000 Encana Cup and the $75,000 Atco Electric ‘Circuit’ and the evening ends with fireworks hosted by Mercedes-Benz; Saturday is the $125,000 Suncor Winning Round and the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup; The final event takes place on Sunday and that is the million dollar CN International with $350,000 going to the winner of that class.
For more details visit their web site at www.sprucemeadows.com.