Spruce Meadows Celebrates 40 years!
rom very modest beginnings in April of 1975, Spruce Meadows officially launched its 40th Anniversary season on April 1 with a day-long program that encompassed the past, present and future. An invited audience of nearly 1000 guests celebrated the remarkable Spruce Meadows story that has been authored over the last 40 years at the world-famous show jumping facility just outside of Calgary, AB. Guests in attendance included corporate partners, media, officials, volunteers and athletes, many of whom travelled great distances to celebrate the occasion designed to pay special tribute to Spruce Meadows founders, Ron and Marg Southern. The Spruce Meadows 40th Anniversary project team designed and executed the event as a surprise celebration for the founders, with a special focus on what has happened, against all odds, on this 550-acre former cattle feedlot. “It has been an amazing day for us here at Spruce Meadows,” said Spruce Meadows President Linda Southern Heathcott. “The horse is really what has made all of this possible. The horse spans all cultures, all walks of life, and brings people together like nothing else. When Spruce Meadows first started I think my parents recognized that while the horse was no longer used as it was in former times, for agricultural and military purposes, it still had a place in our lives. That has certainly been proved out over the last 40
18 • Saddle Up • May 2015
By Caroline Weilinger
years here at Spruce Meadows.” Since Spruce Meadows opened, athletes from 57 nations have competed before nearly 10 million fans. Through the decades, those athletes have been awarded more than $110 million in prize money made available through the commitment and support of its corporate partners, many of which have been involved with Spruce Meadows since 1975. Spruce Meadows recognized from the start that, in order for the venue to be more than a regional entity, television would play an important role. Indeed it has since the very beginning. Starting with 12 minutes of television from the first Spruce Meadows tournament in June 1976, today more than 130 hours of production is distributed around the world. Spruce Meadows and its long-time domestic and host broadcast partner, CBC Sports, also announced on April 1 the continuation of their decades-long partnership. Spruce Meadows has a full slate of 40th Anniversary initiatives that it will be announcing over the next few weeks in advance of the 2015 season of international sport. For a complete tournament schedule, visit the Spruce Meadows website at www.sprucemeadows.com.
HCBC 2010 Business of tHe Year
Published on May 1, 2015