CHAIR, TO2015 SPORT ORGANIZING COMMITTEE (EQUESTRIAN)
HORSEMAN, BUILDER, FORMER COMPETITOR
In 1986, Craig Collins took his last competitive ride, got off his horse at Madison Square Garden, and said, “Now what?” The answer became a leading role in Canada’s equestrian industry, and this summer welcoming 14,000 people to the Pan Am Games Equestrian Events. And, he hopes, a legacy that will mean more people loving this surprisingly accessible sport.
What will I experience here and nowhere else?
The first thing is this: you look in any direction, and see the incredible scenery. I’ve had the pleasure of this view from my office here for years, and I can’t tell you how far I can see. Then there’s the amazing proximity to great riders. You’re going to come up, order breakfast in one of our wonderful restaurants, and at the cash right next to you will be Ian Millar or another of our other great Canadian athletes.
This isn’t just about the Games.
It’s all about legacy, the future for Canadian equestrian athletes and the future of Headwaters. The injection of resources has taken this venue to the next level, and with the indoor capacity we’ll extend our season year-round. The other huge part is the field of play: because of the natural drainage from the Moraine, we have that safe, weather-resistant field of play that’s been identified by international riders as the best they’ve ever jumped on.
This surprised me: outside of the Games, it’s typically free to come watch here?
You can sit on a grass hill, enjoy a snack, beverage, and become a real fan of this sport for not very much money. The revenue stream comes from our great corporate partners, not the public.
It’s also a very age-friendly sport.
You can compete or ride at any age. If a woman in her 70’s is competing, it’ll be against another woman in her 70’s. You’re going to see 5 year old kids and you’re going to see Ian Millar at 67 competing at the same venue. Not at the Games, but any other time.
It’s athletics for life.