B.C.’s equestrian show jumping mecca is hosting its signature event this Sunday.
Thunderbird Show Park in Langley will welcome some of the world’s top equine athletes and riders for the $135,000 Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier, taking place Aug. 27.
Gates open at noon, activities start at 12:30 p.m., and the show jumping competition gets underway at 2 p.m. inside Thunderbird’s Grand Prix Ring.
Admission is free with $10 parking per carload, with parking proceeds going to JustWorld International which supports basic education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and cultural development programs for children in impoverished communities in Cambodia, Guatemala, and Honduras.
As for the event itself, notable riders competing include Team Canada member Ben Asselin, hometown rider Brian Morton, who has also represented Canada on Nations Cup teams, American Karl Cook, who won last year’s World Cup qualifier at Thunderbird on his 12-year-old mare, Tembla, and veteran Rich Fellers, to name a few.
Thunderbird press officer Emily Penn said it’s the biggest competition of the year at the show park.
“It’s a big deal,” she said. “There’s only four (of these World Cup qualifiers) in Canada, so you are going to see riders here that you’re not going to see any other time.”
While the day focuses on the international show jumping competition, there is plenty to do for all ages of the family including pony rides, face painting, a live band, vendors, and food trucks.
Spectator entrance is at 6975 248 St.