It has been many years since I was there, too many to actually count, and Spruce Meadows has only gotten better. Spruce Meadows was founded in 1976 by the Southern Family. Their dream was to create a unique environment of “good friendship, good commerce and good sport,” which they have more than achieved. It is a truly wonderful place, think Disneyland for horse lovers. Cobblestone pathways, manicured lawns, lovely flower gardens, horse statues adorn the grounds which are immaculately kept.
It is an Alberta venue hosting international equestrian events. But more than that the facility is open year round with a myriad of events and rentals. There is also an in-house horse breeding and training program. Spruce Meadows encompasses 552 acres , has 90 full-time employees, has a stable capacity of 1,000 horses and hosted close to 500,000 visitors last year. So it was a real treat to be hosted by ATCO Electric in the new Canada Place. Watching the jumping competition in the international ring was spectacular.
But what even topped that for me was leaning on the rail of the warm-up ring while elite of the jumping horse world practiced. There, you are close enough to touch the horses, and they are magnificent.