CANADA’S SPORTS HALL OF FAME – Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Mourns the Loss of
Honoured Member, Ron Southern (1930-2016)
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame mourns the loss of Honoured Member Ron Southern, inducted in 2006. Ron Southern, along with his wife Margaret, who herself was inducted in 2006, created one of the world’s most renowned equestrian tournament and training facilities. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to share the stories of its Honoured Members so that their legacy is never forgotten. The Canadian flag at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, located at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, will fly at half-mast in honour of Ron Southern.
“Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is deeply saddened by the death of one of our inducted Honoured Members, Ron Southern. Ron received the highest sporting honour in Canada when he was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, along with his wife Margaret, as Builders for Equestrian sport in Canada. His passion for horse jumping and the equestrian sport led to the development of Spruce Meadows, one of the world’s foremost eventing arenas and training facilities in the world. His legacy will live on for generations to come”. Mario Siciliano, President & CEO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
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Ron Southern Bio
In the early 1970s, the husband and wife team of Ron and Marg Southern began creating one of the world’s most renowned equestrian tournament and training facilities, transforming open pasture lands into a venue that today is revered for its quality, atmosphere and standards. It quickly became the most important show-jumping competition and training facility in Canada and has since gained a world-wide reputation. Long-time residents of Calgary, the Southerns transformed a tired cattle feed lot into an equestrian complex that originally had three grass jumping rings, a stable, and a riding hall. Construction began in 1973, and two years Spruce Meadows was ready to welcome the world. To that end, the Southerns met with officials from the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world’s governing body for equestrian sports, and applied for permission to host a CSIO Nations’ Cup team event. So impressed was the FEI by the inaugural Spruce Meadows application that the Southerns were approved to host North America’s first and only outdoor Nations’ Cup Today, Spruce Meadows is home to six outdoor grass jumping arenas, the most significant of which is the famed Spruce Meadows International Ring which is recognized as the most renowned, challenging and potentially rewarding show-jumping stadium in the world. Spruce Meadows hosts the world leading Masters Tournament every September in addition to four other major international tournaments sanctioned by the FEI. For four consecutive years Spruce Meadows has been named the top show-jumping venue in the world be the FEI. In the early years the Southerns had no idea of the heights to which Spruce Meadows would rise. They built the facility for everyone, hoping to provide integrity and accessibility to the sport of show jumping and to the world of the horse. They created Spruce Meadows based on the tradition of the equestrian sports and a simple recipe of hard work, good friendship, good commerce and good sport. But for all this, Ron Southern’s fondest memory of Spruce Meadows was in 1990 when Queen Elizabeth II entered the Spruce Meadows International Ring in a horse drawn carriage to a thunderous welcome from the capacity crowd, with his wife Marg by her side acting as Lady in Waiting. The first of many royal visits to follow was a sign Spruce Meadows … “an unlikely facility in an unlikely place” … had arrived on the world sport stage.
ABOUT CANADA’S SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is an international award-winning facility with over 40,000 square feet of inspiring experiences. Located at Canada Olympic Park (COP), site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame features 12 galleries, more than 50 hands-on interactive experiences and a collection of more than 95,000 artefacts. It is a place of honour for the 605 inducted sport legends and the 65 sports they represent. Our mission is to share the stories of the achievements of our Honoured Members so that we can inspire all Canadians to be the best they can be in all aspects of life. Please visit www.sportshall.ca to learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
*Please note that the official name is Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, not the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
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