28 things you need to know about Spruce Meadows

To celebrate Spruce Meadows’ 40th birthday, here’s what you need to know about the impressive Canadian venue:


  1. Spruce Meadows is recognised as one of the most versatile event locations in the world and is located south of Calgary
  2. It is owned by the Southern family, who purchased the plot in 1971
  3. The venue’s official opening took place on 13 April 1975
  4. Jumping at the venue ranges from amateur and youth shows to the international $1million grand prix taking place this Sunday (13 September) — where Scott Brash hopes to become the first rider to take the showjumping Rolex Grand Slam with Hello Sanctos.
  5. Approx 500,000 spectators now visit Spruce Meadows each year
  6. Prize-money now totals $2.34million a year
  7. Approx 400 journalist report from Spruce Meadows
  8. There are seven arenas and two indoor arenas in site
  9. The grounds amount to 553 acres
  10. Up to 1,000 horses can be stabled on site
  11. In 1979 the annual attendance reached 50,000 for the first time
  12. Spruce Meadows first awarded $1million in annual prize-money in 1987
  13. The Queen visited Spruce Meadows on 29 June 1990 and a collection of horse bronzes were commissioned to commemorate her visit.
  14. Nick Skelton and John Whitaker both won the du Maurier International twice
  15. Spruce Meadows hosted the inaugural Nations Cup series final in 1997
  16. Michael Whitaker surpassed his $1million mark in lifetime earnings at Spruce Meadows
  17. In 2000, the first million dollar grand prix in the world was held during the Masters Tournament.
  18. The venue had showjumps from the Beijing Olympics
  19. There has been a five-star show since 1976
  20. Shows take place between June and September
  21. Spruce Meadows is open 365 days of the year
  22. During the winter the Spruce Meadows pond is turned into an ice skating rink
  23. At last year’s Masters Tournament visitors turned up to a foot of snow, by the end of the week the sun was shining
  24. There is a Spruce Meadows tack shop selling their own branded products
  25. Couples can hold their wedding at Spruce Meadows
  26. The venue hosts 300 events a year including exhibitions
  27. Spruce Meadows has a team of riders based in the on-site stables, headed by Albert Kley
  28. There are two Hannoverian stallions kept at the venue — Le Primeur & Count Grannus