Spruce Meadows has a big collection of fences from different championships and Olympic Games - all the way back to the Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Jon Garner is Competitions Manager at Spruce Meadows and thus responsible for all the fences.
"We decide during the championships which fences we would like. Sometimes the designer and the organizers donate the fences - which is really nice! Now a lot of the designers and organizers know we have a collection. They like the idea of something they designed to stay here and going to keep getting used. Sometimes we can chose what fences we like and sometimes the organizer wants to keep some fences. For example in London we asked about the double decker bus but they really wanted to keep it. We are really thrilled with the ones we got though, they are iconic of London. And we want the fences to be obvious from where it came from."
Spruce Meadows has seven grass rings and every ring has its own inventory and own storage of fences. In total there are about 5 000 rails.
"We are constantly painting. As soon as the jumps comes out from the Masters we will start to get them refurnished, painted and fixed before the winter hits and the indoor season starts. The championships jumps are the tricky one because you really want to keep the integrity of them."
"What I found really cool is when you have riders that have ridden in a particular championship it is almost like they see an old friend again when they see the jumps. It is nice, they carry a story. What I hope and I think we are getting close too, is that we one day can build a course out on the international ring purely on championships jumps - that would be pretty neat!"
"The older fences are very heavy so mostly we use the wings and the fillings. With the international ring being so big most of the modern material don't fit in here, they get lost. That is the biggest reason why we stick with the 5 m poles."
"The championship fences is one of many things that make Spruce Meadows unique. I understand that other organizers want to keep their look but I think that Spruce Meadows is international and it is about the globe as much as it is about Calgary and Canada. You want to embrace that and I think it shows our local fans how well spread this sport is."
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