Tidballs named to BC Hall of Fame

Langley’s George and Dianne Tidball — who passed away in 2014 — were announced as one of the 11 new inductees.

The late George Tidball and his wife Diane were inducted into the B.C. Hall of Fame for their contribution to equestrian sports as the founders of Thunderbird Show Park in Langley.

A husband-wife team who founded one of North America’s premier show jumping facilities are among the inductees into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Langley’s George and Dianne Tidball — who passed away in 2014 within weeks of one another — were announced as one of the 11 new inductees to the Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

They will formally be inducted on April 12 in Vancouver.

The Tidballs’ son Stephen, said the family in honoured their parents are getting inducted.

“We are humbled by the people that are in the Hall of Fame before my parents,” he said.

“They have been great contributors to sports in B.C. and this is certainly a great recognition (and) a great moment.”

The couple, who were inducted into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame in 2009, were the visionaries behind Thunderbird Show Park.

The original Thunderbird was a 26-acre facility before they relocated to their current location, an 85-acre facility.

It has hosted several prestigious international competitions.

Chris Pack, the vice-president of operations for Thunderbird, said their induction is well deserved.

“(Thunderbird) is something they put their passion and money into, and they didn’t have to,” he said. “It is something they believed in and we want to continue that so that it honours them year after year.

“Their goal was to not rest on their laurels and to keep making something fresh and new for every time someone comes to the park each year.”

Pack worked for the Tidballs for 14 years and knew them for about 20 years. It is still owned and run by the Tidball family.

“(George and Dianne) were yin and yang. George was a visionary and creative and charismatic,” Pack said.

“And Dianne was a workaholic and she would always get it done. Her mind was so strong.

The two combined were an unstoppable force.”