BEAUTY OF THE BEAST

Ottawa Magazine - - Volume 18| Number 1 - BY HAT­TIE KLOTZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID KAWAI

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.

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