Spruce Meadows

18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW

All Calgarians know that Spruce Meadows is an event venue for show jumping, but I wonder if most understand how truly special the facility is, and how lucky we are to have it in our city.  It was voted the world’s best outdoor competition venue in 2002 and 2004.  (the award no longer exists) That’s right folks, the best facility in the world.  Better than centuries-old sites in Europe and South America, and better than any facility in the United States.  During competitions, Spruce Meadows can stable 1,000 horses.  It houses a television production studio that broadcasts to more than 100 countries and 820 million viewers.  The most elite equestrians across the globe aspire to compete at Spruce Meadows, with it’s superior footing, challenging course designs and top prize purses.    

Spruce Meadows is much more than just a horse venue, though.  Events of all types are hosted, from weddings to corporate meetings and trade shows to Christmas parties.  Spruce Meadows strings thousands of lights every winter offering citizens a beautiful, free Christmas light display.  A children’s playground is onsite, and the pond is stocked and opened to fishermen in the spring and ice skaters in the winter.  Education programs ranging from elementary school level right through to partnerships with the veterinary cirriculum at the University of Calgary are on offer.

But the very best thing about Spruce Meadows is the fact that the Southern family opens up this amazing, privately-owned facility to the public every day of the year.  Unlike the Saddledome or Olympic Oval or other such sports venues, joe public can go and walk the grounds any time.  Even better still?  They welcome dogs!!  I can’t imagine a nicer place to stroll.

https://www.sprucemeadows.com

 For an equestrian junkie like me, it's a massive thrill to stand in the middle of International Ring!!

For an equestrian junkie like me, it's a massive thrill to stand in the middle of International Ring!!

 J's a little concerned about that foal behind him . . . silly boy doesn't realize it's just a baby, and a friendly one at that.

J's a little concerned about that foal behind him . . . silly boy doesn't realize it's just a baby, and a friendly one at that.

 Rider's chapel

Rider's chapel

 I've told him it's not real, but J's not quite convinced . . .

I've told him it's not real, but J's not quite convinced . . .

 A glorious place to walk!

A glorious place to walk!