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Canterdown To Host Ontario Provincial Finals
Corbyville, ON, Canada
Reprinted with permission of The Intelligencer

Ontario's best event riders and their mounts will be in the Quinte area competing in the provincial championships this weekend.

Canterdown Horse Trials, located just north of Belleville on Hwy. 37 (adjacent to Trillium Wood Golf course) will play host to over 150 riders competing in four division Saturday and Sunday.

Canterdown was awarded the Ontario Championships by the Ontario Horse Trials Association (OHTA) in February.

"We're excited about hosting the best of the best from across the province. The competition promises to be the best and the largest equine competition the Quinte region has ever seen," said competition organizer and farm owner Burle Summers.

Riders will compete in four divisions -- entry, pre-training, training and preliminary.

Dressage and cross-country phases will be held Saturday, Aug. 30. Provincial champions in the four divisions will be decided Sunday, Aug. 31 during the stadium jumping phase.

Canterdown Horse Trials is one of the longest running competitions of its kind in Ontario, held continuously at the farm of Kay and Burle Summers since 1989.

Preparations for the horse trials have been ongoing for the past nine months.

Final touches are being made to over 70 challenging cross-country jumps. Rules governing the design and construction of cross country courses are stringent. The course has already been inspected twice by OHTA officials.

The cross country course, designed by Glenn McMechan, features two water complexes, numerous banks and combinations.

"It's one of the toughest cross country courses in the province. We want to encourage the public to watch as horse and riders wind their way around the course. It's exciting to watch," said Summers.

In order to accommodate the number of horses, temporary tent stabling will be erected on the show grounds this week.

Summers said hosting a competition of this size and calibre involves over 100 volunteers and officials.

Home-cooked food is being prepared to feed over five hundred participants and their supporters, and spectators.

"Carry on the great excitement you felt when you watched Canada's best equestrians compete so successfully at the Olympics," said Summers. "Bring your lawn chair and prepare to enjoy a relaxing day in the sun as you watch thrilling rides over challenging jumps."

Approximately 2,000 riders have competed at Canterdown events since competitions began.

Many local riders have gone on to represent the province and Canada at competitions across North America. Last year's event featured about 150 competitors from the Montreal, Ottawa and the GTA.

"Hosting the provincial championships takes Canterdown to a new level of competition," said Summers.

"Many riders have gained experience at Canterdown. They have moved on to compete at higher levels to represent the province in national and international competitions. Our focus has been on the development of young riders and horses."

Canterdown played host to the provincial training championships in 1996 and 2001.

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