Orangeville, Ontario – World-class competition is now underway at the Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments, running August 15-19, at the Orangeville Agricultural Society (OAS) Event Centre in Orangeville, ON. Five days of intense competition, offering more than $200,000 in prize money and awards, will culminate with the $50,000 Grand Prix presented by NationWide Auto Warranty, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, televised by Rogers Television. Two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, who just arrived in Orangeville direct from the 2012 London Olympics where he acted as the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Technical Advisor, is setting the tracks in the grass grand prix ring.
“The show is finally here, and we are getting lots of great feedback from our exhibitors,” said Ainsley Hayes, Event Coordinator of Hayes Co., which is managing the inaugural Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments. “The rings look great; we had a little rain overnight, and were pleased to see how well the facility holds up. We are also thrilled with the fantastic support that the Town of Orangeville and its local businesses have shown for our event, and it has been well-noted by the competitors. We are looking forward to an action-packed weekend!”
In addition to presenting the featured event, the $50,000 Grand Prix, title sponsor NationWide Auto Warranty will offer two 2012 Kia Soul vehicles, valued at approximately $22,000 each, to the winners in both the Junior/Amateur and Open Jumper divisions. The race is on for the cars, and competitors are already eagerly checking their standings on the NationWide Auto Warranty leaderboards on display in the beer tent and VIP tent.
“They did a great job getting everything together,” said local trainer Alan Chesler of Sher-Al Farms in Orangeville, ON. “It lays out perfectly. The footing is fantastic; it’s the best grass footing we have been on, anywhere, in years. Orangeville is a great city, with a good hotel, lots of great restaurants, and lots to offer. I think they made a good move. And there is a lot of excitement about those cars!”
A full slate of hunter and jumper competition is on the schedule including Friday’s $25,000 Hayes Co. Open Welcome and Saturday’s $10,000 Highland Meadows Modified Grand Prix. Hunter competitors will be showcased in the $5,000 Canadian Hunter Derby Series event on Thursday and the $10,000 Broccoli Hill Hunter Derby on Saturday.
“For years, the hunters have never had a premiere class,” said competitor Ryan Roy of King, ON. “Here we have not one, but two classes that showcase them. The fact that the Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments is offering all of this prize money for hunters means the best of the best have come out to compete. The Hayes family has really made the hunters important here.”
To help competitors get familiar with the new facility at the Orangeville OAS Event Centre, Hayes Co. opened up the rings and offered free schooling on Tuesday, August 7.
“It was such a fabulous idea,” noted Roy, who participated in the training event. “It’s a new facility and the fact the Hayes family let people come and test out the footing was great. Most shows don’t do that. It was a huge step in the right direction to get people excited about coming here. I took part in the schooling and loved it so much that I’ve brought all of my horses back to compete here this week.”
Having formerly organized show jumping tournaments in Sutton, Collingwood and Ottawa, Hayes Co. is celebrating its 28th year by mounting this event in their hometown of Orangeville. Two-time Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes, his wife Shawn, and their three daughters, Lauren, Ainsley and Regan, as well as son-in-law Johan Letimonier, all call Orangeville home.
Photo: Canadian Equestrian Team member Yann Candele competes at the Orangeville Show Jumping Tournaments, August 15-19, in Orangeville, ON. Photo by Victoria Clermont