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Hundreds compete in Ottawa equestrian event

Hundreds of horses and riders are competing in the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments in Nepean.

The national show jumping event is taking place at Wesley Clover Parks from Thursday to Sunday.

The tournament is a chance for equestrian lovers to take in show jumping at all levels.

“It really is a fun, beautiful way to see these horses jumping,” said Karen Sparks, the executive director of Wesley Clover Parks.

After years of restrictions, spectators are also welcomed back to enjoy the experience, with the grand purse money cashing in at $50,000 on Saturday.

“The jumpers are everywhere from tiny juniors, who are six to seven years old, all the way to 70-plus,” Sparks said. “You see men and women competing equally and you see all beautiful colours of horses.”

Ten-time Olympian Ian Millar was at the event on Thursday and shared some words of advice for aspiring jumpers who want to also go onto the Olympics.

“If you really want to do this thing, you better love horses first of all, because it is a seven day a week thing, 365 days of the year,” said Millar. “You can never record it as a job, it’s not that, it’s a labour of love and you better learn everything there is to know about a horse,” he added.

Millar said competing in the sport also comes with a deep appreciation for the animals that make it happen.

“They’re our partner in this. Something happens to them, we don’t have a ride in the competition,” he said.

There are around 700 horses in Ottawa for the event and between 500-600 riders. Top Stories

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