Palgrave, Ontario – It’s more than just the outstanding competition that draws hundreds of competitors to the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament each year. Running at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, from September 19-23, 2012, the annual event also plays host to the Jumping for Dreams Celebration, in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
Held on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23, the two-day celebration features a number of ways for competitors, spectators and sponsors to get involved and help raise funds for the non-profit foundation dedicated to fulfilling wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.
“I think we’re one of the only shows that places such a heavy focus on a charity,” said Linda Pabst of Nobleton, ON, a long-time volunteer at the tournament who acts as Chair of the Children’s Wish Jumping for Dreams committee and the Unique Boutiques and Family Village committee. “There are always various aspects to the fundraising we do during the tournament, but it’s a very important cause. All of the volunteers and staff work their hearts and souls out to try and make it an amazing event year after year. The best part is watching it all come together and making these dreams come true.”
Over the past three years, the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament has granted a child’s wish for a pony to three lucky recipients and raised thousands of dollars for the not-for-profit foundation through its various fundraising initiatives, the heart of which is the Jumping for Dreams Children’s Wish Celebration.
“All of our fundraising initiatives over the course of the week happen across the horse show grounds,” explained Pabst. “The Celebration is more concentrated and involves the fulfilling of a child’s wish and the presentation of his or her new pony. That’s always a highlight, seeing that child have their wish come true. It’s very heartwarming.”
The Celebration features a luncheon on Saturday, September 22 at 11am. Held in the Champions Patron Club, located next to the grand prix ring, Gourmandisimo is providing the gourmet fare, with Dream Catcher providing the décor. Tickets are included with Champions Patron Club membership, or can be purchased for $1,000 for a table of eight, or $125 per person.
Entry to the Children’s Wish Celebration also provides patrons with the chance to bid on dozens of luxury items during the live and silent auctions, including a high-end scooter. A second silent auction will be held on Sunday, along with a Calcutta based on the final phase of the $100,000 Caledon Cup, which is comprised of three legs of competition held over three days.
The popular barbeque and barn dance will be returning Saturday evening at 7pm, giving exhibitors a chance to kick up their heels or try their luck in the Mechanical Bull Challenge, presented by NationWide Auto Warranty. Tickets are $40 per person, with all proceeds going to support the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Also in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation, the Family Village will be open both Saturday and Sunday and will feature entertaining and educational interactive displays and attractions, including Sciensational SSnakes and Birds of Prey. The Foxbury Farm Horseless Horse Show is also returning this year, allowing children to jump kid-sized obstacles on foot in a competition of their own.
The athletes themselves will also have the opportunity to take part in the fundraising efforts by participating in the popular ‘Ribbon Campaign’ taking place throughout the duration of the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament. By donating any ribbons won, competitors contribute their corresponding prize money to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
“Every year, The Canadian Show Jumping Tournament is a highlight on the Children’s Wish calendar of events,” said Chris Kotsopoulos, CEO of The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. “The generosity and support we receive through the tournament is matched only by competitors’ remarkable skills. Our long-standing association has resulted in many children having their most heartfelt equestrian wish granted. On behalf of all those children, I wish to express my gratitude to the organizers, Equestrian Management Group, the entire equestrian community, as well as the many volunteers and donors who make it all possible.”
It won’t just be the four-legged variety of horsepower on display at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament. Car enthusiasts will have the chance to get up close and personal with some truly unique cars, including several Rolls Royce collector cars, at the Antique Car Show on Saturday. The Ferrari Club will be hosting an afternoon rally on the Sunday.
New for 2012 is the Horse Shoes for Charity program, where equestrians donate old horseshoes. BWD Equine Services has been collecting the steel and aluminum shoes throughout all of the summer tournaments at the Caledon Equestrian Park. During the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, a draw will be held allowing participants to guess the final weight of the horseshoes. Each lucky winner will receive a special prize at the conclusion of the show.
Guild Recycling Corporation will collect the shoes at the Tournament, weighing them and recycling them into new metals. Guild will then donate all proceeds from this process to the Children’s Wish Foundation as part of the Jumping for Dreams initiative.
For more information on the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, please visit www.equiman.com.
Photos: Children’s Wish recipient Gabrielle Malouin with Canadian Olympian Ian Millar and his daughter, Amy; Children’s Wish recipient Gabrielle Malouin with Sue Brown, Linda Pabst and Leslie Jarvis. Photos by Cealy Tetley.