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Thunderbird gets hat trick with three successive top-3 placings

Thunderbird Show Park named in top-3 for third year in a row. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Thunderbird Show Park named in top-3 for third year in a row.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

The North American Riders Group (NARG) has once again named Thunderbird Show Park one of the top 25 equestrian facilities on the continent.

For the third year in a row, Thunderbird Show Park ranked high, reclaiming the number two spot behind Spruce Meadows.

“We are honoured to find ourselves in the top three for the third year running and being there in the room for the announcement was amazing,” said Chris Pack, Vice President of Tournament Operations. “But it’s all about coming home to share it with the team that makes it happen."

Thunderbird’s ranking is based on an overall points score, for everything from footing and stabling, to course design and ceremonies. In NARG’s words: “Thunderbird is Spruce Meadows with a homey feeling.”

The NARG evaluation also notes Thunderbird’s commitment to annual improvements, impeccably maintained footing, tremendous exhibitor experience and stabling facilities as highlights for competitors.

Thunderbird brings some of North America’s most celebrated riders to Langley each summer. Having hosted Canadian Olympic Medalists, Eric Lamaze, Ian Millar and Jill Henselwood, alongside USA Olympian Rich Fellers and international competitors, Andres Rodriguez (VEN), Mathew Williams (AUS), John Perez (COL) and Nayel Nassar (EGY), each season turns new competitors into family.

The equestrian industry contributes more than $750 million annually to the British Columbia economy, of which Thunderbird Show Park plays a significant role. The 2013 season featured two World Cup events that drew competitors from eight nations to the Pacific Northwest. With an evolving showcase of events and the largest annual prizing in their history, over $850,000, Thunderbird is set for another tremendous year.

The North American Riders Group unites professional riders and trainers with a common goal of growing equestrian sport on the continent through improved quality of competitive events. Founded in 2008 by Chris Kappler, Beezie Madden, McLain Ward and others, the NARG effects change through constructive criticism and positive influence on the industry’s governing bodies.

Founded in 1973 by George and Dianne Tidball, Thunderbird has been a driving force in the growth of the equestrian industry in British Columbia. In their 41st season, Thunderbird will welcome thousands of competitors and spectators to their six major tournaments from May and September. During each tournament, the 85-acre equestrian show grounds features both amateur and professional riders in hunter and jumper classes from Wednesday to Sunday.

Thunderbird is open daily to the public during tournaments with general admission grandstand seating around the Fort Grand Prix Field. Visit www.tbird.ca for more information and the full season schedule.

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