Hundreds of horses and riders participate in equestrian tournaments from Ottawa to Nepean.
The national show jumping event takes place at Wesley Clover Parks Thursday through Sunday.
The tournament is an opportunity for horse riding enthusiasts to discover show jumping at all levels.
“It’s a really nice, fun way to see these horses jump,” said Karen Sparks, executive director of Wesley Clover Parks.
After years of restrictions, spectators are also welcome to enjoy the experience, with big purse money taking in $50,000 on Saturday.
“High jumpers are everywhere, from tiny juniors, ages six to seven, all the way up to the over 70s,” Sparks said. “You see men and women competing equally and you see all the beautiful colors of horses.”
Ten-time Olympian Ian Millar was on hand at the event on Thursday and offered some advice to aspiring high jumpers who also want to compete in the Olympics.
“If you really want to do this thing, you better love horses first and foremost, because it’s a seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year thing,” Millar said. “You can never save it as a job, it’s not that, it’s a labor of love and you better learn everything there is to know about a horse,” a- he added.
Millar said competing in the sport also comes with a deep appreciation for the animals that make it possible.
“They are our partner in this area. Something happens to them, we have no place in the competition,” he said.
There are approximately 700 horses in Ottawa for the event and between 500 and 600 riders.