Spruce Meadows is an equestrian facility in Calgary, Alberta built by the Southern Family and opened in 1976. The show jumping complex is in the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains just south of the city and comprises 360 acres (1.5 km2). The current president of Spruce Meadows is Linda Southern-Heathcott, a former Olympian who competed in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games for the Canadian Olympic Team.
There are six major outdoor tournaments and eight indoor tournaments at Spruce Meadows annually. The indoor tournaments are known as the 'Nakoda Series' and are tailored for developing junior/amateur competitors. The outdoor tournaments start with the 'Summer Series' a five-week-long tour that comprises the following tournaments: beginning in June with the CSI 'National' tournament, directly followed by the CSI 'Continental', the 'Skyliner' (a strictly junior/amateur event that debuted in 2006), the CSI 'Canada One', and then the CSI 'North American' in July. The outdoor season culminates in the CSIO Spruce Meadows 'Masters' Tournament in September. Each tournament is well-recognized and attracts a wide array of athletes and their horses from around the world. Spruce Meadows was named number one show jumping facility in the world in 2001/2002 and 2003/2004.
Spruce Meadows breeds, trains, and sells Hanoverian horses, and holds an annual "Name the Foal" contest, in which three foals are selected to be named by the public. The contest is very popular, and when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation televises the tournaments, each foal from "Name the Foal" is individually profiled.
Construction of Spruce Meadows began in 1973, with the opening in 1975 and first equestrian tournament in 1976. It hosts 500,000 visitors annually and has the stable capacity for 1,000 horses. Spruce Meadows is open for visitors 365 days of the year. It is an all-season facility that hosts conventions and trade shows as well as show-jumping and dressage events. Spruce Meadows has a television production facility that produces Spruce Meadows Chronicles, a show-jumping related TV series that is broadcast to over 100 countries, in addition to other specials and programs.
Recently, the Southern family, who have owned the facility since its inception, have become vocal regarding the encroaching city development—once several kilometres outside of town, Spruce Meadows is now located adjacent to the residential neighbourhoods of Bridlewood and Somerset, with a third, Silverado, now partly constructed. Effective January 1, 2011 Spruce Meadows ceased to be within the City of Calgary in a deal with the MD of Foothills. The City of Calgary annexed approximately176.25 acres of land located northeast of the Sirocco Golf Course from the MD of Foothills. The MD of Foothills annexed approximately 138.45 acres of land situated between Highway 22X and the then municipal boundary.
In the late 1990s, the Southerns successfully lobbied the City of Calgary to rename the stretch of Highway 22X that runs north of the facility from Marquis of Lorne Trail to Spruce Meadows Trail.