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Collingwood Horse Show Celebrates 20th Anniversary (Posted On: Monday, July 10, 2006)

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The Collingwood Horse Show will celebrate its 20th anniversary when it hosts the CSI-W Collingwood Festival from August 9-13 followed by the 'Kubota' Collingwood Classic from August 16-20, 2006.

The annual two-week international show jumping tournament held at the foot of Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario, is organized by the Hayes family - Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes and his wife, Shawn, and their three daughters, Lauren, 26, Ainsley, 24, and Regan, 21.

The highlight of the first week of competition, the CSI-W Collingwood Festival, will be Sunday's $50,000 Miele Limited World Cup Grand Prix, a qualifying event for the 2007 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, USA. Friday will feature the $10,000 Carmarthen Lake Farms Open Welcome, while Saturday marks the $10,000 Nobleton Feed Mill Modified Grand Prix. Young horse classes for horses aged four, five, and six will also take place. Setting the tracks throughout the week will be Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, course designer of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and regarded as one of the best in the business.

During the second week of competition, the 'Kubota' Collingwood Classic, Guilherme Jorge of Brazil will be responsible for the course designs. Having earned rave reviews for his work at the 2005 World Cup Final, designing for the best show jumpers in the world is nothing new for Jorge. The 'Kubota' Collingwood Classic is part of the Kubota Cup Jumping Series, and points earned in Sunday's $60,000 'Kubota Cup Series' Grand Prix will count towards the final standings. In addition to Friday's $10,000 Carmarthen Lake Farms Open Welcome and Saturday's $10,000 Nobleton Feed Mill Modified Grand Prix, featured events include the Rising Star for up-and-coming riders, and the Seven and Eight-Year-Old competition for up-and-coming horses.

The 20th anniversary of the Collingwood Horse Show will celebrate both old and new. It will be the final year that the Collingwood Horse Show is held at Fisher Field as, in 2007, it will move to its new location at Thornberry Horse Park.

"The Collingwood Horse Show started as a small, local competition and, over the past 20 years, has grown into one of the biggest in Canada," said Collingwood Horse Show Manager, Ainsley Hayes. " There are very few horse shows that continue long enough to celebrate their 20th anniversary, and we are very proud to have reached this milestone. Over the years, we've expanded to two weeks in order to accommodate all of the horses and riders who enjoy competing in Collingwood. We feel that 2006 is going to be our best year yet, and look forward to welcoming competitors, sponsors, and spectators to the Collingwood Horse Show for great competition."

The Collingwood Horse Show attracts approximately 800 horses over the two weeks of competition representing such nations as Bermuda, Canada, Colombia, France, and the United States. Much more than simply a sporting event, the Collingwood Horse Show also features numerous vendors in the trade fair as well as family entertainment.

The annual 'Hockey Night in Collingwood' hockey game hosted during the Collingwood Horse Show will take place on August 11 at 8:30 to 10 p.m. at the Collingwood Arena with all proceeds and donations going to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada in memory of Matthew Mulligan.

Admission is free on Wednesdays and Thursdays, while $5 per vehicle will be charged on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sunday, admission will be $10 per vehicle with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Grace Therapeutic Riding.

Space is still available for rent on The Walk, a grassy walkway located in the heart of The Collingwood Horse Shows. It offers a shopping experience steeped in country flair and flavour.

In its relaxed country setting, The Collingwood Horse Shows hospitality marquee has long been an ideal place for social and corporate entertainment. The atmosphere in the Hospitality Marquee has contributed to making the two week horse show a favourite meeting and greeting spot for many of Ontario’s high profile business and social leaders.

An in-house creative committee uses distinctive themes to embellish both the interior and exterior of the marquee each year, while gourmet lunches and a well-stocked bar add to the enjoyment of “a day in the country”. The Hospitality Marquee is also blessed by the magnificent backdrop of the Blue Mountains and offers the best ringside seating, from which to view exciting top-level Grand Prix show jumping.

For more information, please visit www.collingwoodhorseshow.com

All photos by Yavus

Written by: Jennifer Ward, Starting Gate Communications and Ainsley Hayes
Tel: (613) 569-2423
www.startinggate.ca

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