As a realtor with more than 30 years of experience, helping clients to buy and sell homes in the Ottawa area…many of my clients, associates and friends know this is only one of my passions. As many know when I’m not showing homes, you’ll often find me involved in another passion: equestrian show jumping.
I’ve been involved in show jumping in the U.S. and Canada for more than 16 years now (as I started back from what once was a childhood involvement) and since resuming the sport I have been fortunate to rank in the top placings at many events. I primarily show in the winter, when I can get to Florida to show at the International venue known as WEF- Wellington Equestrian Festival, in Wellington, Florida. This past winter, I showed a number of times and placed among the top in the country in the amateur jumper division.
I’ve found that the discipline, focus and passion that has helped me to succeed in the real estate world has also helped me succeed in show jumping. I refer to it as my exercise and vacation at the same time, and it’s been a wonderful way to meet people from around the world who love horses as much as I do.
Naturally, I was thrilled to see international calibre show jumping return to the Ottawa area in 2015, in the form of the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments at Wesley Clover Parks.
If you love horses, or if you’ve never seen equestrian events in person, mark your calendars for the 2016 Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments. They take place over the next two weeks and will incorporate the Ottawa National Horse Show, running July 13 to 17, and the Ottawa International Horse Show, running July 20 to 24. Admission is free and parking is by donation, so it’s a great way to check out a thrilling and beautiful sport.
I am a sponsor of the event and will be doing whatever I can behind the scenes to help the team at Wesley Clover put on a great event.
The tournaments are also a chance to visit one of the jewel outdoor locations in our area, if you’ve never been there or haven’t seen it lately. Formerly known as Nepean Equestrian Park, when it was run by the city of Ottawa, Wesley Clover Parks is now operated by the Wesley Clover Foundation. It’s a beautiful and tranquil 500-acre green space located just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa, and just off of Highway 417.
The site has been redeveloped by the non-profit Wesley Clover Foundation, and is the vision of Ottawa high-tech mogul Terry Matthews. I’ve been inspired by his passion and commitment for the site, which will be used not only for equestrian events but for all kinds of youth sporting events, cross-country skiing, outdoor education and other activities.
When equestrian competition returned to the site in in 2015, the Ottawa Equestrian Tournament hosted 400 horses, more than 8,000 spectators and received rave reviews from competitors and spectators. It also achieved significant local and national media coverage as well.
For the 2016 event, with expanded and enhanced modern stabling facilities created by the Foundation, the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments are set to welcome 600 horses and an expected crowd of about 15,000 spectators.
I recently moved my two horses to the stables at “the park”, and I will be competing in the two upcoming competitions.
If you happen to be attending, I will be competing both weeks in the Amateur hunting division and will compete in the $10,000 Hunter Derby, as well as the Amateur Classic at the international show in the second week.
I’ll be wandering around the site for much of the two weeks, so would be happy to chat with anyone there who’d like to know more about the Ottawa real estate market.
For full details on the tournaments, visit ottawaequestriantournaments.com. For more information on the Wesley Clover Parks site itself, visit wesleycloverparks.com. I highly recommend a visit there to anyone who hasn’t seen it. And for those who aren’t familiar with the equestrian world, this is really the equestrian event of the season and a chance to see world-class competitors and spectacular horses.
If you’re considering buying or selling a property, I’d love to meet and chat with. My team, Nancy Benson & Associates, is part of the RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, the largest single Realty office in the Ottawa-Carleton area. If you don’t happen to see me at the tournaments, you can reach me through my website, at nancybenson.com, or give me a call at 613-747-4747.