Funeral for Spruce Meadows co-founder to be held in his show jumping 'cathedral'

CALGARY -- A funeral is to be held in a riding arena today for a prominent Alberta businessman who co-founded one of the world's top equestrian venues.

See Full Article

Ron Southern died last week at the age of 85.

He established the Spruce Meadows show-jumping facility in Calgary with his wife Margaret in 1975. The facility held its first competition a year later.

Spruce Meadows has become a fixture for the world's best riders and horses. The equestrian world's governing body has dubbed the facility the world's top show-jumping venue multiple times. It marked its 40th anniversary in 2015.

"It's Mr. Southern's cathedral. It's where he spent countless hours welcoming people from around the world, teaching them about his world of the horse," said Spruce Meadows spokesman Ian Allison.

"It's where he spent virtually every Saturday and Sunday morning over the last 40 years."

Southern and his father also started the Atco Group (TSX:ACO.X) in 1947. It was first known as the Alberta Trailer Company and grew from a 15-trailer operation to an international conglomerate with interests ranging from construction trailers to pipelines to natural gas distribution.

It has a presence in more than 100 countries, employs 8,000 people and has $19 billion in assets. Southern served as its president for 48 years.

Southern was also the founder and controlling shareholder of Akita Drilling (TSX:ATK.A).

Forbes business magazine pegged Southern's net worth at $1.5 billion last year.

Despite his show-jumping legacy, Southern didn't get on a horse very often, said Allison.

"He was more of a student of everything about the horse sports, whether it be breeding, training competition, tournament organization and corporate sponsorships," Allison said.

"As in everything he did, he completely immersed himself in it."

Ian Millar, an Olympic and Pan American Games medallist from Perth, Ont., has credited the Southerns and Spruce Meadows for making Canada a force in the sport of show jumping.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Prague hotel fire kills 2, injures 8

    World News CTV News
    PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Czech officials say a hotel fire in downtown Prague has killed at least two people and injured dozens. Prague rescue service spokeswoman Jana Postova says that eight people have been rushed to hospitals with serious injuries after the blaze broke out in the hotel Saturday evening. Source
  • Gunmen storm Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital Kabul

    World News CTV News
    KABUL -- An Afghan official says that a group of gunmen have attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the capital Kabul. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish confirmed Saturday that the hotel came under attack at around 9 p.m. Source
  • U.S. cardinal calls pope's comments on abuse victims 'a source of great pain'

    World News CTV News
    LIMA, Peru -- Pope Francis' top adviser on clerical sex abuse implicitly rebuked the pontiff over his accusations of slander against Chilean abuse victims, saying Saturday that his words were "a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse. Source
  • Sherman family's private investigators believe couple was murdered: report

    Canada News CTV News
    Despite earlier information suggesting a possible murder-suicide, Toronto billionaire philanthropists Barry and Honey Sherman were murdered, according to the findings of a private team of investigators hired by the family, Toronto Star’s Chief Investigative Reporter Kevin Donovan tells CTV News. Source
  • Gunmen attack Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel

    World News CBC News
    A group of as many as four gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in the Afghan capital Kabul and were exchanging fire with security forces on Saturday as residents and staff fled. Hotel manager Ahmad Haris Nayab, who managed to escape unhurt, said the attackers had managed to get inside and people were fleeing amid bursts of gunfire on all sides, but he could say nothing about any casualties. Source
  • Men's Facebook group appears to re-emerge after being taken offline

    Canada News CTV News
    Despite being taken offline Friday night, a private, men-only Facebook group that was linked to trolling attacks on several B.C. businesses appears to have re-emerged.Scroll down or click here to vote in our poll of the day The ‘Official HimPower Backup Group’ Facebook group has garnered a slew of new members since the ‘HimPower’ group was shut down after CTV News revealed that some of its 44,000+ members were sharing intimate images of women without their consent and posting offensive online…
  • Junior hockey star charged in violent break-in at Calgary professor's home

    Canada News CBC News
    A Mount Royal University student and the former captain of its hockey team has been charged in a brutal attack on an MRU professor after a break-in at her Calgary home last weekend, CBC News has learned. Originally from Truro, N.S. Source
  • Mudslides take heavy toll on immigrants serving posh town

    World News CTV News
    Oprah Winfrey and Rob Lowe give Montecito its star power, but it's people like Antonio and Victor Benitez who keep the wealthy Southern California community running. The Mexican brothers are gardeners and part of the town's working-class immigrant population, which suffered outsized losses from the recent mudslides that killed at least 20, injured dozens and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Source
  • Turkish jets bombard Kurdish-run city of Afrin in Syria

    World News CBC News
    Turkish jets bombed the Kurdish-controlled city of Afrin in northern Syria on Saturday, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to expand Turkey's military border operations against a Kurdish group that has been the U.S.'s key Syria ally in the war on the group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Source
  • P.E.I. legion to apologize after Sikh man reportedly asked to remove headdress

    Canada News CTV News
    TIGNISH, P.E.I. - The president of a P.E.I. branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is expected to apologize after a Sikh man was reportedly asked to remove his religious head covering and heckled with racist remarks. Source