Sports

Thunderbird gets high marks

Langley’s Lorraine Chappell puts Freelance through his paces at Thunderbird Equestrian Show Park during a Horse Council of B.C. dressage symposium on Feb. 2. Thunderbird made the list of the top 25 equestrian facilities in North America, coming in at number two. - Dan Ferguson/Langley Times
Langley’s Lorraine Chappell puts Freelance through his paces at Thunderbird Equestrian Show Park during a Horse Council of B.C. dressage symposium on Feb. 2. Thunderbird made the list of the top 25 equestrian facilities in North America, coming in at number two.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson/Langley Times

For the third year in a row, Thunderbird Show Park has been ranked among the best equestrian facilities in North America.

The facility came in at No. 2 as the North American Riders Group (NARG) named the top 25 facilities at the annual general meeting last week in Wellington, Fla.

“We are honoured to find ourselves in the top 3 for the third year running and being there in the room for the announcement was amazing,” said Chris Pack, Thunderbird’s vice-president of tournament operations, who was in Florida for the AGM.

“But it’s all about coming home to share it with the team that makes it happen.”

The ranking is based on an overall points score for everything from footing and stabling to course design and ceremonies.

Taking top spot was Spruce Meadows.

“Thunderbird is Spruce Meadows with a homey feeling,” is what NARG said in describing Thunderbird.

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

The equestrian industry contributes more than $750 million annually to the B.C. 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.

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