For Immediate Release
Calgary, AB, Canada – September 9, 2014 – Despite an unusual accumulation of snow on the ground, the Spruce Meadows 'Masters' Tournament is full steam ahead for five days of the best equestrian sport in the world from September 10-14. Competition in the International Ring will be held tomorrow; both the $50,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m and the $85,000 Finning Cup 1.60m have been adjusted to now be held in a speed format, with the TELUS Cup starting at 1 p.m. Weather conditions are expected to improve as the week proceeds towards the biggest events of the year: Saturday's $300,000 BMO Nations' Cup and Sunday's $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex - the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Spruce Meadows welcomed some of the best show jumpers in the world this week, some of whom competed at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. Included in this group is team and individual bronze medalist Beezie Madden of the United States, who came directly to Calgary following her “Final Four” performance this past Sunday.
Madden said she has never competed in snow before, but is confident the International Ring will be prepared and ready for tomorrow's competition. “They have it cleared off already, and I'm sure it will be great,” she said. Madden brought her 2013 FEI World Cup Finals champion partner, Simon, and 2012 Olympic Games partner, Coral Reef Via Volo. Both have had a good rest and are prepared to compete. “It's an exciting atmosphere here, and I have two top horses here, so I'm really lucky that way. Both of them are really fresh coming in,” she noted.
With the increase in prize money to $1.5 million for the CP International, presented by Rolex, Madden and her fellow competitors will be at the top of their game. “It's huge; it's why you see everyone scrambling to get here. You can make a lot of money on Sunday!” she commented.
Spruce Meadows Senior Vice President, Ian Allison, confirmed, “It is all systems go. The footing is superb. There hasn't been much moisture on it; it's just unfortunate that it came as snow! We decided to face it with a smile on our face and determine what we can do. We have a very good plan. The ring has been cleared of snow, and we will do that again if there is snowfall overnight. We are committed to having a great week of good friendship, sport, and commerce. We're aiming for the best edition of the 'Masters' ever.”
Compliments go to the entire Spruce Meadows team, said Spruce Meadows President Linda Southern-Heathcott. “They were shoveling by hand, cleaning the International Ring. The events will go on, and it takes teamwork to produce an event. That started 39 years ago with Marg and Ron Southern,” she explained. “At Spruce Meadows, it's about the athletes, the media, corporate supporters, fans, the Equi-Fair exhibitors, and bringing them all together in the spirit of teamwork. We work very hard to offer that with great spirit, great pride, and great sport.”
Fans are encouraged to come out and support the athletes; the majority of the seating surrounding the International Ring is covered. While the weather is chilly, a warm, inviting environment is nearby for before and after competition.The Equi-Fair sees more than 200,000 visitors at Spruce Meadows every year, and with 174 booths showcasing the best in equine and non-equine art and products in the Equi-Plex, the Gallery on the Green, the Spruce Meadows Tack Shop & Plaza Exhibit space, anyone is sure to find just what they're looking for! For more information on these activities, and everything going on around the grounds, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
The schedule for this week's 'Masters' includes:
Wednesday, September 10: $50,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m and $85,000 Finning Cup 1.60m
Thursday, September 11: $50,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup 1.50m and $125,000 CANA Cup 1.60m
Friday, September 12: The Mercedes-Benz “Evening of the Horse” featuring the $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m followed by the $75,000 ATCO Electric 'Circuit' Six Bar under the lights, the RCMP Musical Ride, and Band of the Welsh Guards playing live music to the fireworks display
Saturday, September 13: $125,000 Suncor Winning Round 1.50m and $300,000 BMO Nations' Cup
Sunday, September 14: $85,000 Akita Drilling Cup 1.50m and $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex
For more information and full schedule, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
For further information on the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, please visit www.rolexgrandslam.com.
Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the creation of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services. They may only be used in relation to this press release and with photo credit.