Wednesday 13 March 2019

Blog Hop: My Favorite Event

Thanks to 3DayAdventures for the great blog hop!

Participating in this feels a bit cheat-y since I evented B for about 2 and a half years at the lowest level, and all at venues within our province. I'm not sure I'm a 'real' eventer and certainly don't have a super long list of places to compare to! Still, I feel like the awesome venues and organizers here deserve a shout out, even if it's just from lowly old me!

I went to Rebecca Farm a couple of summers ago to cheer on my barnmates, and I loved it. It was a bucket list thing forever for me to compete there, and if I was more local I'd be making sure it happened. But when we finally drove out there the reality set in. While the venue is of course stunning and everyone loves it, the logistics for us to travel and show there are pretty challenging. It's a long way and a lot of $ for us coastal Canadians to get there!

So, my all time favorite event remains the Campbell Valley Horse Trials! This one is unique because it's actually held at a regional park located in Greater Vancouver. While there are equestrian trails and historic farm sites, it's not your typical eventing facility - there is no permanent stabling and no resident horses. The Metro Vancouver Parks website says the following:

"Sunlight-dappled forests, grassland vistas and wetlands make this regional park great habitat for wildlife, from songbirds to salmon to squirrels and more. The network of trails provide lovely routes for walkers to explore the variety of landscapes, the heritage features and a Nature House. Horse riding is also popular here."

If that description is anything to go by, horse riding is the afterthought :)

Part of the cross country area, which is a hay field too. Photo found here

To the best of my knowledge, there is only the one event a year put on by volunteers, and that's the only time of the year you can camp or keep horses in the park. It's a really lovely park and the volunteers do a fantastic job keeping the XC courses and corrals maintained.

Beautiful trails.Image from here.

Bridget appreciates her tent and grass filled pen, is less impressed with the neighbour behind.

The format is to have dressage on Friday, XC on Saturday, and show jumping on Sunday. So, a full three days. I enjoy the relaxed pace a lot more than the typical events that fit it all into 2 days. 

Show jumping is on grass, B always thinks that's pointless- fields are for grazing.

Camping and amenities are pretty rustic - there is just a big field to camp in. They organize porta potties and a food truck on site, so you can quite easily survive, but quite honestly the park is within a 10min drive of everything so there's no reason you can't head into Langley (a city in it's own right, and also a suburb of Vancouver) for a shower or a nice dinner.

A good part of the reason this one is my favorite is because it's pretty easy to convince my husband to come along and the proximity to everything combined with the easy schedule means we can usually fit in a dinner and movie night and a couple of fun outings elsewhere in the city. One year we went to an afternoon football game downtown after my early morning cross country time.

Our first event! I was sure I was going to die, B looks like she might be starting to figure it out. If I remember right that year we had refusals at the first and second jumps when she was like "Wait!What?" :)

My very favorite part of this event, though, is that pretty much everyone goes. The divisions are usually huge for our area and it's a lot of fun to chat and catch up with everyone you might not regularly see.

Finally, they don't have events, but they should. My favorite 'real' show grounds is TBird. They won me over with the hot showers and laundry even at the off season events we attend, and they won Bridget over with the lovely stalls, all rubber matted with huge banks of shavings included. The grounds are always immaculate and the service is amazing. Surprisingly, for the shows I attend, the fees still are in line with other local venues with far less in the way of amenities.

Actually, checking the schedule,  a person could theoretically attend both Campbell Valley and T-Bird's Summer Fort Classic 4* Grand Prix.

22 minute drive between the two is doable.
Sounds like a road trip to me!


  1. Wow that looks gorgeous! Very jealous and totally love the tent. Great work!

  2. i love all the venue pics - esp the throwback pics of you and B out there eventing ;)

  3. Thunderbird looks like an amazing facility from what I've seen on social media