Thunderbird Show Park is returning with its three-week Summer Fort Series. Starting with Summer Fort Welcome, the series will move to Summer Fort Classic and, finally, Summer Fort Festival.
Each week-long event has distinct features and includes events of various equestrian classes. The top events of this year’s series have three grand Prix with total prize money of $250,000. The $100,000 ATCO CSI3* Cup is Sunday, Aug. 21.
The “big” prize amount has attracted riders from all across North America and Europe, some coming to the event to prepare for their masters, shared Chris Pack, president of Thunderbird Show Park.
The Onni Group Grand Prix was Sunday, Aug. 14 with a winning prize of $100,000. The winner of the third and last one of the series – the Sunday, Aug. 28 Paladin Risk Solutions Grand Prix – will take home $50,000.
Adding that there is a lot more than sports available for spectators, Pack said his team wants to make sure whoever comes to their facility is not watching, just show jumping.
The series events will have food trucks, vendors, a beer garden, face painting, and pony rides.
“We want to make sure when someones comes to the park with their familiy… they have a good time. There will be a lot of things to do all day long for families.”
In terms of show jumping, the highest levels of events are those categorized as five stars.
“The bigger the star rating, the bigger the jumps, the bigger the cash prize,” explained Pack.
Two of the upcoming Thunderbird events are three stars, which Pack said makes the event “a high level” competition.
According to Pack, spectators can expect to see some of the biggest horse jumps at three-star events.
“They are jumping 1.6 m and above.”
Throughout the three weeks, the competition will have about 1,000 horses, and Pack expects about 1,500 spectators for each Sunday event.
“We know people love our events and they come here year after year.”
Pack concluded by adding that watching the size of the jumps these horses are capable of will be a surprising and exciting element for first-timers.
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