St. Lazare, Quebec – Some of North America’s best riders will meet in St. Lazare, QC, for two weeks of show jumping competition with the 36th Annual Pépinière and St. Lazare Horse Shows taking place from May 19 to 23 and May 26 to 30, 2010. As an added attraction this year, the RCMP Musical Ride will perform on Saturday, May 29.
The first week of competition, the Concours Hippique de Pépinière, runs May 19 to 23 and will feature the Canadian Young Horse Development Series, a 1.20m Hit and Hurry on Saturday, May 22, and the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix on Sunday, May 23.
The second week of competition, the Concours Hippique de St-Lazare held May 26 to 30, will feature the $25,000 Grand Prix of St. Lazare on Saturday, May 29. Immediately following the $25,000 Grand Prix, the heart warming Cedars ‘Jump for Hope’ Breast Cancer Survivors Ride will take place on the Grand Prix field featuring women who have emerged from breast cancer and are living their dream of horseback riding.
The majestic RCMP Musical Ride will then perform for its legions of fans, thrilling spectators with the uniquely Canadian spectacle of red-coated Mounties and black horses executing intricately choreographed patterns to music. Also on Saturday evening, the Fifth Annual Black Tie and Blue Jeans Gala will be held to benefit the Cedar’s Breast Cancer Clinic.
The two-week competition will conclude on Sunday, May 30, with the Val Wagner Memorial Speed Derby, which makes use of the natural obstacles on the grass grand prix field and is always a popular spectator event. Course designers for this year’s horse show include Anthony D’Ambrosio and Quebec’s own Olympic Silver Medalist Michel Vaillancourt, both FEI ‘I’ course designers.
Last year, numerous Olympians were in attendance including Jay Hayes, Beth Underhill, and 2008 Team Silver Medalists Ian Millar and Jill Henselwood. Many other top Canadian show jumping riders will be battling it out for victory including Yann Candele, Paul Halpern, Jonathon Millar, and previous Grand Prix winners Laurie Bucci of Carignan, QC, Myra Simard of Montreal, QC, and last year’s winner, St. Lazare’s own Angela Covert-Lawrence.
One of the main attractions for riders to compete in St. Lazare is its rare natural grass footing, heralded as one of the best grass grand prix arenas in Canada.
“Footing is a primary consideration for competitors and we are very fortunate to have fantastic natural footing for our event,” said Mike Lawrence, President of Competition Eastwood Equine which manages the Pépinière and St. Lazare Horse Shows. “We are committed to producing a high quality show jumping tournament and are constantly working to upgrade our event for the comfort, safety and well-being of all our exhibitors. This year in particular, we have made a substantial investment in the grass footing. We are very pleased with the results, and hope our competitors are, too.”
A JustWorld Horseless Horse Show will also be held with children of all ages invited to participate. The Pépinière and St. Lazare Horse Shows run daily from May 19 to 23 and May 26 to 30 at Eastwood Equine, 4170 Chemin Ste. Angelique in St. Lazare. For more information, please visit www.pepinierehorseshow.com.
PHOTO: Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, QC, scored a hometown victory by winning the $25,000 Grand Prix of St. Lazare at the 2009 Pépinière and St. Lazare Horse Shows. Photo credit – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com