Yesterday was an experience to say the least. One that my wife and I spoke about afterwards as something we would like to do more often. It seems being a part of such a luxurious event is in our blood. The event was held just up the road from our home. Even though we didn’t know about it prior to last week.
We were invited to attend the FEI World Cup Jumping at the Thunderbird Show Park. (I found out TBird is North America’s premier equestrian show facilities next only to Calgary). It was Olympic Caliber Show Jumping and was open to the public to enjoy as well. I was ecstatic that I had been given an opportunity to view the show from such a nice location. We had a firsthand view of jump number 2 and 10.
Our seats were under a shaded tent at “The View Rosé Party”. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of Sparkling Rosé and some finger foods as the horses and riders ran the course throughout the afternoon. Prior to the show beginning, there was a live band on stage. They graced us with the Canadian National Anthem as well. This show was impressing me already.
My wife and I joined a table of very knowledgeable spectators. My ignorance of how the show worked didn’t deter them from answering my questions. In fact, everyone at our table wasn’t just willing to give me advice and answer my questions, but they were also eager to bestow their knowledge upon me. As an outsider to the venue, I really appreciated the help. The explanation of how the course works, the timing and penalties made me more focused as we watched.
The other people at our table have been to numerous events and knew many of the riders as well. I even got a bit of my “Nerd on” when I found out Jennifer Gates- daughter of a certain Bill Gates- was riding that day.
The food and sparkling Rosé was delicious as we watched the riders from our table. There was no slow down in the action. As soon as one rider was done, the next would take the field. I found myself getting more enthralled as each rider ran the course. My wife pointed out that I have a cute way of saying “awwww” when something bad happened. But the entire crowd would make this noise.
As the temperature began to rise towards 30°C I was appreciative of the bottled water supplied to us. I couldn’t imagine the sweat from the horses and riders as they pushed to make a great time. After the 27 riders finished the first run, it came down to the final seven. The show’s excitement came to an end as the final rider took to the course- and won. A picture perfect finalé for a wonderful afternoon.
It was the kindness of the fellow spectators that really made my wife and I want to return. (Which I think we shall attempt again next year.) A huge thanks should be given out to the volunteers and the hosts as well: both TBird and The View Winery. My wife and I will be back next year- we really enjoyed our afternoon date.