– Rob Wilton, community contributor
Thunderbird Show Park in Langley wrapped five days of show jumping Sunday with the Maui Jim $20,000 Grand Prix.
The nearly week-long, family-friendly event is held every year, and includes jumpers young and senior, amateur and pro.
Thunderbird ended this year’s competitionwith two big events, the $15,000 MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m class and the $20,000 Maui Jim Grand Prix.
Canadian jumpers rode to the podium taking the top three places: Tamie Phillips riding Ecatino took the Maui Jim grand prize, Meredith Ellis on Castros was runner-up, and Christopher Lowe riding Cunningham 4 earned a hard fought third place.
Canadian Ashley Arnoldt finished first atop Lestate Old in the Marbill Hill 1.40m jump-off, while Canadian Kassidy Keith took second prize and American Reid Pankewicz rounded out the top three.
Although no spectators were allowed to watch this year’s West Coast Classic, the excitement was as high as the jumping during the first round of competition, which began Wednesday, June 30.
Under Step 3 of British Columbia’s Restart plan outdoor sport activities are permitted to have 5,000 spectators or 50 per cent seated capacity, whichever is greater.
The earliest start date for Step 4, should health officials approve, will be Sept. 7.
Step 4 outlines that sports and exercise can “return to normal sport competitions when following communicable disease prevention guidance.”
This was the first competition the local park hosted since October 2020 when the ATCO Grand Prix was held.