I had the most amazing opportunity this week to watch world-class show jumpers put on a jumping demonstration at one of the most picturesque locations in the world, Stanley Park. And it’s right in my back yard! Karl Cook, Ben Asselin, and Gareth Graves took time away from their training at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, B.C., to treat us to a show right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. They will be competing at the $135,000 FEI Longines World Cup Qualifier at Thunderbird this weekend.
Karl Cook is a 27 year old California native who won the World Cup Qualifier at Tbird last year, and placed in the top 12 at the World Cup Finals in Sweden in 2013. His family owns Pomonio Ranch in Rancho Sante Fe, California. Sidenote, and totally nerdy accountant fact: Karl’s dad, Scott Cook, invented the popular tax software company, Intuit! So cool! Maybe you’ve heard of the Intuit app for personal finance planning, Mint? If not….I highly recommend giving that a download. It is a super effective tool for helping you to understand where all of your money is going every month.
Ben Asselin is a 24 year old Calgary (woot woot, Canada!) native with big aspirations. He has competed amongst the top of his class since the early 2010s, and continues to be a top competitor in FEI and other international show jumping events. In 2013, he won the 1.60m Encana Cup at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament with his trusty steed, Makavoy. Keep an eye out for Ben!
Gareth Graves of Highbury Show Stables in Edmonton, A.B. (woot woot, again!), got his start with horses in South Africa as a child. He bought his first horse at the age of 16, and has built a successful training business and show career. Gareth often does jumping clinics in BC and AB, so keep an eye out for Gareth as well!
The event started at 7am on August 23rd, which meant a 4:30am wake up for me, but it was well worth it for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I hope you enjoy the photos! I will also be at Tbird on Sunday to vlog/photograph the World Cup Qualifier. Stay Tuned!
Youtube: The Westcoast Equestrian