What’s better than an afternoon of Canadian Grand Prix equestrian show jumping excellence? TWO Grand Prix events in one day! Welcome to the Ottawa International II 2019 (again).
Several of the riders including Beth Underhill and Jordon Coyle competed in back-to-back events at Ottawa’s Wesley Clover Parks on July 21, 2019 though they didn’t plan in that way. The International Grand Prix (see our coverage here) was reschedule for Sunday after being cancelled on Saturday due to extreme heat.
So, both the CS13 Brookstreet FEI Grand Prix and $15,000 1.4M National Grand Prix ran on Sunday. Equestrian fans like me hunkered down for the afternoon in lawn chairs, under an awning with the dog in his stroller at their side. Ok, no one else had a dog in a stroller though several had dogs – Wesley Clover Parks is dog-friendly!
And free. To my surprise and delight, this professional world-class event was free by donation including parking. Two Grand Prix for the price of not even one equaled an awesome weekend in Ottawa, which included extra sight-seeing thanks to no Grand Prix on Saturday.
Side note: if you haven’t checkout the Diefenbunker Cold War Museum in Carp, Ontario (near Ottawa) you should. From the moment you walk through the long under-ground tunnel designed to survive a nuclear blast you’ll experience the eerie fifty-year Cold War fear that diverted funds and federal resources to this secret under ground bunker.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Carp on a summer Saturday morning, stop at the Carp Farmer’s Market – small but mighty in its selection of local artisans and products such as strawberry wine and homemade curry carrot jarred soup.
But back to horses…
The Sunday $15,000 National Grand Prix in Ottawa resulted in a three-competitor jump-off with the trio taking home the prizes in this order:
- Jonathan McCrea riding Fantasy BB – $3750
- Jennifer Smith riding Laissez Faire 3E – $2550
- Mark Kinsella riding Stern dei Folletti – $1800
Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa hosts many equestrian competitions of various levels culminating with the Fall Horse Festival, this year September 21, 2019 from noon to 4 pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Rain or shine, the festival goes on including the Grand Finale: The RCMP Musical Ride.