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

  • What you need to know about B.C.'s new travel restrictions

    Canada News CBC News
    B.C. Premier John Horgan announced new travel restrictions on Monday to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Horgan said the new restrictions were put in place to ensure that British Columbians stay within their own local areas and reduce non-essential travel. Source
  • Defence criticizes evidence in Kristin Smart slaying arrests

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Lawyers for a father and son charged in the 1996 disappearance of California college student Kristin Smart criticized the evidence used Monday to make arrests, with one saying it was "so minimal as to shock the conscience. Source
  • Disinfecting surfaces to prevent COVID-19 often all for show, CDC advises

    World News CTV News
    The risk of surface transmission of COVID-19 is low, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. Far more important is airborne transmission -- and people who obsessively disinfect surfaces may be doing more harm than good. Source
  • Feds weighing how to respond after verdict in Chauvin trial

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration is privately weighing how to handle the upcoming verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, including considering whether President Joe Biden should address the nation and dispatching specially trained community facilitators from the Justice Department, aides and officials told The Associated Press. Source
  • Walter Mondale, Carter's vice-president, dies at 93

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Vice-President Walter F. Mondale, a liberal icon who lost the most lopsided presidential election after bluntly telling voters to expect a tax increase if he won, died Monday. He was 93. The death of the former senator, ambassador and Minnesota attorney general was announced in a statement from his family. Source
  • Man with Adam Toledo when he was shot by police out of jail

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- The man who was allegedly with a 13-year-old shortly before the child was shot to death by a Chicago police officer has been bailed out of jail, the Cook County Sheriff's Department revealed Monday. Source
  • Budget goes big on green spending as environmentalists criticize tax credits for carbon capture

    Canada News CBC News
    As the world confronts a warming climate, the federal Liberals are committing billions more dollars to a variety of measures meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the economy and help drive a "green recovery" from the pandemic-induced economic slowdown. Source
  • Tennessee House OKs new transgender 'bathroom bill'

    World News CTV News
    NASHVILLE -- Tennessee House lawmakers on Monday passed a bill that would put public schools and districts at risk of civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multi-person bathrooms or locker rooms that don't reflect their gender at birth. Source
  • 2 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kinngait

    Canada News CBC News
    Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Kinngait, Nunavut. The cases were announced by Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer in a news release Monday. The cases are not linked to the outbreak in Iqaluit, it says. Source
  • Grizzly mauling near Yellowstone kills backcountry guide

    World News CTV News
    WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT. -- A Montana backcountry guide has died after he was mauled by a large grizzly bear that was probably defending a nearby moose carcass just outside Yellowstone National Park, officials said Monday. Charles "Carl" Mock, 40, who lived in the park gateway community of West Yellowstone, died Saturday, two days after he was attacked while fishing alone in a forested area along the Madison River several miles north of West Yellowstone, Gallatin County Sheriff's Office…