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Spruce Meadows - July 4th 2008

After arriving at the airport, we immediately picked up our rental car and drove to Spruce Meadows to see their North American Tournament. The entrance price for our car was only ten dollars, which was very reasonable.

We started heading in the same direction as where everyone else seemed to be heading (not really sure where we should go first). Yes - we had a map, but that would be a last resort. Appearing seemingly out of no where, a little electric cart pulled up and the driver asked us if we needed a lift anywhere. Not sure of how far everything was, we accepted and he proceeded to tell us where to go, and what events were happening where. If turned out it wasn't far to the first ring with jumpers that we wanted to see, but his advice and instructions were much appreciated.

After watching the first ring for a little while, and taking many photos, we soon learned the course, and started noticing the different styles of riders. It was soon time to move onto the next ring (and do some shopping on the way!).

We looked at some of the old cars that were on display, and planned where we would go next. We stopped in a few shops, including one where I bought a shirt with the Spruce Meadows logo on it. We proceeded to the Spruce Meadows tack shop, where Gail bought a leather halter for our miniature pony; Misty, some white polos with gold trim for her black trakaner mare; Annett, and a sign reading "Boss Mare" (we haven't decided if it is for Annett or Gail yet!).

Before heading off to lunch, we stopped at the "Meadows Green" ring where I took some more photos of jumpers. Part way through one of the rider's rounds however, in another ring soldiers were firing their rifles as a demonstration! Luckily, her horse stayed calm, and they finished the course without any problems (but they did wait to send the next rider in until the guns were finished).

After lunch we continued watching jumping. It looked like a storm was coming in (Bruce was desperately trying to find a radar map on his HTC Tytan, without any luck). Luckily, there was no major storm - just a few drops of rain and a lot of wind.

The last ring that we hit was for the PEPSI Challenge. Many big name riders jumped a great course - a great way to end a fantastic day at Spruce Meadows.

There is no question that I would go back to Spruce Meadows to watch another tournament. Watching all of those amazing riders inspired us to do more with Bruce's horse Rapport (who loves to jump, and is very capable of doing high fences), and all in all it was just a fun day of watching horses and taking pictures!

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Thursday, July 25, 2024