Ottawa, Ontario – International show jumping competition got underway in the Nation’s Capital as the CSI2* National Capital Show Jumping Tournament opened on Wednesday, August 11, at the National Nepean Equestrian Park in Ottawa, ON.
This year’s event will see two international tournaments held back to back, August 11-15 and August 18-22, capped off with a live concert on Saturday night, August 21, with Canadian recording artists, Blue Rodeo.
A press conference was held to officially open the event, which will see approximately 550 horses competing over the two-week event. The panel of speakers included Sir Terry Matthews, owner of the Brookstreet Hotel; 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Ian Millar; grand prix competitor Keean White of Angelstone Productions; Jay Hayes, Co-Chair of the National Capital Show Jumping Tournament; and Event Coodinator, Ainsley Hayes.
“What a great event!” raved Matthews, sponsor of the $75,000 Brookstreet Grand Prix on Sunday, August 15, beginning at 2 p.m. “There is great visibility from the Queensway, Ottawa’s major traffic artery. People driving by see the colourful striped tents and wonder, ‘Hey, what’s that?’ It’s all about having a little fun. This is what this event is all about, families in Ottawa having a little fun! It’s wonderful to be here, and to have Brookstreet sponsor this event.”
Angelstone Productions will sponsor the $75,000 Angelstone Productions Grand Prix on Saturday, August 21, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Immediately following the featured show jumping event, the public will be invited on to the grand prix field to enjoy a live intimate performance by Blue Rodeo with special guests, Staggered Crossing. Open to the public, tickets for the Blue Rodeo concert are available at www.CapitalTickets.ca.
“We are so excited to have Blue Rodeo here, not just because it will be a great performance, but also to attract a new crowd to come see the sport of show jumping,” said White of his innovative venture. “We want it to be an event that the whole family can come to and enjoy, to see the horses, enjoy some great entertainment, and have a good time.”
Millar, a nine-time Olympian based nearby in Perth, ON, said, “The location is just perfect; it’s so visible and so accessible. To bring top show jumping to Ottawa, it’s incredible, so close to home! Without the Hayes family’s hard work, this just wouldn’t happen. They are too humble about all the work that they have done.”
Jay Hayes, who Co-Chairs the event with his wife, Shawn, is pleased to bring something new and exciting to the National Capital Show Jumping Tournament in its third consecutive year.
“Keean has come up with a really brilliant idea, to bring a rock group to a sporting event,” Hayes said. “I was traveling back from a competition in the United States and saw that a major league baseball team had decided to bring in a concert event, and I thought, ‘If baseball can do it, why not show jumping?’ We are so looking forward to having Blue Rodeo.”
As for the logistics of the competition itself, staged in a venue that Hayes Co rents for only a few weeks of the year, Hayes noted, “We have had a lot of rain, which has made all of our grass rings look so beautiful, but unfortunately also sometimes causes problems, but I think we have found a solution to the drainage problems for this year.
“We have such a great team of people here, and we could not have done it without them,” he added.
His daughter and Event Coordinator, Ainsley Hayes, commented, “We are so happy to be back. We are off to a great start, everything is running really smoothly, and it was wonderful to wake up to photos of our event on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen! All of the feedback from the community has been amazing. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our sponsors, especially Terry Matthews and Keean White.”
The two-week show jumping tournament will take place from August 11-15 and 18-22 at the Nepean National Equestrian Park, conveniently located at the 417 Queensway and Moodie Drive. The first week of competition, running August 11-15, is highlighted by Sunday’s $75,000 Brookstreet Grand Prix. Other featured events include the $10,000 Open Welcome, the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix, the $5,000 Jump Canada Hunter Derby, the Young Horse Series regional final, and Jump Canada Talent Squad competition. FEI ‘O’ course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil will set the tracks throughout the week on the grand prix field, widely considered to be one of the best grass jumping fields in North America.
The second week, August 18-22, will see Catsy Cruz of Mexico taking over course design duties. In addition to Saturday’s $75,000 Angelstone Productions Grand Prix, highlights include the $10,000 CompetitiveJumpers.com Open Welcome on Thursday and Friday’s $15,000 ATCO Derby.
For more information on the National Capital Show Jumping Tournament, please visit www.hayesco.ca.
Photos: Ian Millar shares a laugh with reporters at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournament opening day press conference.
Terry Marcotte of CTV and Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun interview Terry Matthews, owner of the Brookstreet Hotel.