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sparkliest
Apr. 22, 2009, 01:32 AM
I've never been to Spruce and thinking may go watch one of the tournaments this summer for a mini-break. If I go, do I want to pay for the table seating or do the rush seating? I need an insider scoop please!

Hunter/JumperMom
Apr. 22, 2009, 08:42 AM
I would love some info on this show also. Daughter is going for 3 full weeks, horse or not. Will be working daily and hopefully showing. If no horse, just working! But if she is showing, I will be heading up for some of it, and would love some insiders tips! where to stay, how to get around, seating, etc!

Giddy-up
Apr. 22, 2009, 10:21 AM
Depends?

Last year a group of us were there. One family got a table. But it was like ground level & not very good watching I thought although depending ont he course the horses came right by it. The rest of us sat in the grandstands (elevated & covered) by the clock tower where the horses come in & out. That was awesome!! Not sure if that seating is available for the general public or only if you are competing?

In '06 we were there & just sat on the grass hills general seating. Or in those seats. You have to get there at a decent time to get your seats though cause I seem to recall it was free for all.

And when you go--don't be shy! Get out there & walk the course & see the jumps close up. It's really amazing! I am huge nerd & go look at everything so that included going down in the ditches & up the banks. The 2nd time we even got to go up that monster bank & peer over the edge. :eek:

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express both times I went (I groomed). http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/yycmt?rpb=hotel&crUrl=/h/d/ex/1/en/hotelsearchresults It was my home for over 2 weeks & I liked it! :yes: Close to showgrounds, close to food places, close to general shopping (we bought snacks, gatorade, etc...) indoor pool, internet room, on-site laundry facilities & an awesome breakfast spread which even if we left really early they would nicely grab me a muffin or something if it wasn't set up yet. It's off McCloud Trail which you can take straight north into Calgary. Coming from Chicago I thought it was pretty easy to get around (I was the navigator). We go for the last 3 weeks of the summer series & it coincides with the Calgary Stampede. I have never gone down for it (we drove around once), but the whole city gets rodeo themed.

If you go in my photobucket, I have pictures from both trips.

sparkliest
Apr. 22, 2009, 11:58 AM
Ooh, you can walk the course? That would be so cool! Thanks for the info on the seating, thats exactly the stuff i was curious about.

Giddy-up
Apr. 22, 2009, 01:30 PM
Yes you can. :yes: Which is actually pretty crazy cause they might have camera crews out there doing interviews with the sponsors & stuff plus all the riders are walking as well. It's a very well organized looking cayus. ;)

Since I groomed, I had an ID badge to wear all the time so that may have given us more access to different seating? I just went where I was told. :lol:

eclipse
Apr. 22, 2009, 02:04 PM
Hi,

I've done both. The paid table we had was in the East stands & had a really good view with finger foods included, and my friend (Linda's sister in law) always takes us into the Meadowview viewing area (free food AND drinks & all the riders go in there...pretty cool). But, in my opinion, the best views are from the grandstand, where they have both rush & paid seating. It's very reasonable to reserve a spot on the bench but it is just next to all the free seating so you all get the same views. The only advantage to paying to sit in the grandstand is that you don't have to get there super early to get your seats. What they do allow though (& I do it all the time), is that you can go in early in the morning & lay down a blanket to "reserve" your spot. Then when the class starts, go back & sit down. Amazingly, that spot will still be there & nobody even thinks about taking it. You cannot leave the blankets out all night to reserve the next day, they will remove it & there is a warning about that on their website too!

Enjoy, you'll have a blast no matter what you decide to do. But be warned, the Internation Ring routinely has 50,000+ people there watching! :D

eclipse
Apr. 22, 2009, 02:08 PM
I would love some info on this show also. Daughter is going for 3 full weeks, horse or not. Will be working daily and hopefully showing. If no horse, just working! But if she is showing, I will be heading up for some of it, and would love some insiders tips! where to stay, how to get around, seating, etc!

If your daughter is showing at the bigger shows you will also get a photo id badge (she can have hers plus 2). This will allow you into the barns (they are all fenced off) and will also allow you into the riders only seating (in the grandstand to the South) as well as into the Meadowview lounge. Unfortunatly if your daughter is fairly young (ie under 18) they don't allow them into Meadowview! You'll have a blast & will not have to reserve seating at all.

winter
Apr. 22, 2009, 02:11 PM
If you don't want to buy seating and go from ring to ring to watch, every ring has free seating with decent views. On weekdays it's so lovely and relaxed. On weekends a LOT of people come out to watch, so like eclipse said get there early to lay down a blanket on your spot.
My preference for the international ring is always to sit on the grass. It's free, comfortable and a good view of most of the course.

Have a great time!

Giddy-up you should really go to Stampede this year. It's a ton of fun!

Hauwse
Apr. 22, 2009, 02:56 PM
I have been going to SM since their very first show. If you are making the trip go during the week, spend some time around the schooling rings. There should be no seating issues during the week. It really only gets busy on the weekends and even then the free seating is fine. Not o mention there is so much going on that I would not want tobe stuck in a seat for much more than the big classes.

Giddy-up
Apr. 22, 2009, 03:10 PM
Giddy-up you should really go to Stampede this year. It's a ton of fun!

Unfortunately no trip planned for this year. :( But if I do ever make it back a 3rd time, I most definitely will try!

What I found most amazing about Spruce--people can come for FREE! And they have shopping & all sorts of other stuff going on (big tent with many booths). And the ice cream booth there....:cool: It really is a great family activity & then at the appointed time there is a BIG class in the International Ring everybody goes to watch. During the week is definitely quieter & watching the schooling rings is very cool. I got to see on the Monday/Tuesday the BIG riders hacking horses or (even better) giving lessons. :D

Hunter/JumperMom
Apr. 22, 2009, 03:47 PM
If your daughter is showing at the bigger shows you will also get a photo id badge (she can have hers plus 2). This will allow you into the barns (they are all fenced off) and will also allow you into the riders only seating (in the grandstand to the South) as well as into the Meadowview lounge. Unfortunatly if your daughter is fairly young (ie under 18) they don't allow them into Meadowview! You'll have a blast & will not have to reserve seating at all.

Now that sounds great! She will be there from 6/15 - 7/6, def grooming, and will know in about 2 weeks if she is bringing a horse or not! So one less thing I will worry about! It does look amazing, she can't go next year - broke it to her that she IS graduating with her class and not missing it! So this will be it as a junior rider!

Thanks for the info no the holiday inn - will look into it also!!

eclipse
Apr. 22, 2009, 04:38 PM
Now that sounds great! She will be there from 6/15 - 7/6, def grooming, and will know in about 2 weeks if she is bringing a horse or not! So one less thing I will worry about! It does look amazing, she can't go next year - broke it to her that she IS graduating with her class and not missing it! So this will be it as a junior rider!

Thanks for the info no the holiday inn - will look into it also!!

If she's there as a groom you won't get a card to let you back into the barns, unless the person she is grooming for will give you one. If she's riding then she'll get two on top of hers!