BEAUTY OF THE BEAST
Hanging out with the horses at Wesley Clover Parks
FOR A BURGEONING CAPITAL CITY, Ottawa has a surprising amount of horse activity. What’s more, much of it is within city limits. In the east end, children can visit the stables of the big black beasts of the RCMP musical ride. Meanwhile, in the west, there’s the reborn Wesley Clover Parks — formerly the Nepean Equestrian Park — a large piece of agricultural land to the north of the Queensway, west of Moodie Drive. On any given weekend throughout the spring, summer, and much of the fall, you’ll find row upon row of horse trailers visiting for some form of equestrian competition. The skill and age ranges are vast, from international show jumpers soaring over coloured fences up to 1.6 metres high and two metres wide — that’s larger than the back of a Ford F-150 pickup — to local competitions where some riders appear barely old enough to walk on their own two feet. Perhaps that’s why they choose four instead.