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Thunderbird Show Park celebrates 50 years in Langley

‘tbird pays your tab’ will give out 50 free bursaries
Action from last season at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley. This season, the venue is celebrating 50 years by giving away 50 bursaries at competitions. (Tbird)

In April, Thunderbird Show Park in Langley will begin its 50th season.

To mark the anniversary, the equestrian venue announced on Valentines Day, Feb 14, that it will be giving away 50 bursaries at competitions it will host this year.

It will be called “tbird pats your tab.”

Thunderbird President and Operations Director Chris Pack said during the season, tbird hosts 10 tournaments, each five days long, so every day this year during a tournament, they will draw a name and allow them to compete for free at that tournament.

Pack said the initiative was “getting a lot of traction, people are so excited about it.”

“We felt that a season-long celebration would reach more of our clients who have supported Thunderbird Show Park throughout our 50 years,” Pack said.

“We are excited to kick off our season in April and invite everyone from our community to come out and watch some of our feature events this summer. “

RELATED: Tbird in Langley remains a Tidball family affair

In 1970, George and Dianne Tidball purchased property in Langley at 200th Street and Highway One.

Construction began on an indoor riding arena, two stable buildings and two outdoor riding rings which would host their first show in 1972 – a quarter horse show and team roping at what was then known as Thunderbird Equestrian Centre.

Jumping horses soon followed, with the first hunter/jumper show just a year later.

With development moving in, the Tidballs relocated Thunderbird to its current 83 acres at 248th Street and 72nd Avenue, and brought in Robert Jolicoeur of International Equestrian Design – the firm that planned the equestrian venue for the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta – to create Thunderbird Show Park.

READ ALSO: tbird: Her family lays the groundwork

Dianne oversaw development of Thunderbird Show Park in 1999, and managed it until 2005 when she handed the reins to daughter Jane.

Today, Thunderbird is one of North America’s premier equestrian facilities, holding six major hunter and jumper show tournaments each year.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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