Marie Messier kicked off the 2024 show jumping season at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON, by winning the $15,000 Julia MacAngus Memorial Grand Prix on Saturday, May 18.

The Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments is celebrating its tenth year of show jumping competition at Wesley Clover Parks. In response to competitor demand, the Ottawa Welcome was expanded to two weeks this year, May 16-19 and May 23-26, and quickly proved its popularity by selling out stabling for both weeks.

The first week of competition, the Ottawa Welcome I tournament, was highlighted by the $15,000 Julia MacAngus Memorial Grand Prix held in memory of Julia MacAngus, a promising local equestrian and niece of Canadian Olympic team silver medalist Jill Henselwood who tragically lost her battle with terminal illness at the age of 22.

Course designer Jedd Smith of Chelmsford, ON, set an inviting track to start the season in the All-Weather Ring which produced a total of nine clear rounds.  When all nine horse-and-rider combinations once again jumped clear in the jump-off, time became the only deciding factor in determining the final placings.

As the final rider in the jump-off, Messier of Laval, QC, saved the best for last by racing through the timers in 37.61 seconds, more than a full second faster than Jade Lalonde of Candiac, QC, who, as the penultimate rider, had only just moved into the lead with a time of 38.82 seconds riding Kapital Creation Z. Yet another Quebec competitor, Laval’s Stephanie Bourassa, rounded out the top three with a time of 39.23 seconds with her mount, Chrome d’Argouges.

Messier trains with Paul Halpern at Nova Stables near Montreal, QC, and took his advice for the jump-off. He told her, “It doesn’t matter what anyone else does. Ride the plan that you made, ignore everyone else, and execute your own plan.”

That advice paid off with Messier winning the first grand prix of her riding career. In addition to appreciating Halpern’s coaching, Messier had kind words for her winning mount, Chacco Mio Al Khair Z, an Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Polling) that is better known as “Olaf” around the barn.

“He’s perfect!” Messier said of her partner of four years. “He’s a really special guy. He’s 17 this year and has come back from injury. He has the biggest heart and is the barn mascot. He is more than human; he is the most special horse. Everyone that has ever had anything to do with this horse thinks he is magnificent.”

Taking home a win from her first show of the season was meaningful for Messier, an amateur rider who works full-time in the finance and insurance industry.

“I love this venue, and the horse really likes it as well,” said Messier. “Showing here also makes it easy to commute for work to Montreal. We love being at Wesley Clover Parks.”

Messier plans to compete at the remainder of Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments upcoming gold shows, including the Ottawa Welcome II from May 22-26; the Ottawa Summer Tournament I from July 3-7; and the Ottawa Summer Tournament II from July 10-14; and the Ottawa National from September 12-15.

International show jumping returns to Wesley Clover Parks from August 21-25 with Major League Show Jumping Ottawa, offering CSI5* and CSI2* divisions sanctioned by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Attracting some of the highest-ranked show jumping athletes in the world to the Nation’s Capital, Major League Show Jumping Ottawa features a unique jumpers-only format offering more than $800,000 in prize money in team and individual events.

Adding to the excitement of Major League Show Jumping Ottawa, the Spurs & Sparkles Gala, presented by RBC Royal Bank, will kick off the week of world-class show jumping on Monday, August 19. Benefiting the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, Spurs & Sparkles offers one-of-a-kind entertainment, incredible prizes, and local craft beverages paired with delectable food from some the city’s best restaurants and vendors. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

With a thrilling season of show jumping competition ahead, Wesley Clover Parks is hosting two Grand Prix parties on July 6 and 13 as well as three days of first-rate hospitality during Major League Show Jumping Ottawa in August. Tickets and tables are available for purchase at For more information on the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments, visit

Results here.

$15,000 Julia MacAngus Memorial Grand Prix
Saturday, May 18, 2024
Rider / Hometown / Horse / Faults / Time

1. Marie Messier / Laval, QC / Chacco Mio Al Khair Z / 0:0 / 37.61
2. Jade Lalonde / Candiac, QC / Kapital Creation Z / 0:0 / 38.82
3. Stephanie Bourassa / Laval, QC / Chrome d’Argouges / 0:0 / 39.23
4. Mackenzey Nadeau / Stittsville, ON / HHS Fairy Fort / 0:0 / 39.68
5. Maria Yzerman / Montreal, QC / Lazzaro / 0:0 / 40.12
6. Olivia Blaber / Ottawa, ON / Mauna Lani / 0:0 / 40.72
7. Rayne Dubois / Ottawa, ON / Eristos de l’Heribus / 0:0 / 41.06
8. Jerome David / Saint-Lambert, QC / Lanicka / 0:0 / 41.52
9. Kaila Robert / St. Bruno, QC / Hesmee / 0:0 / 42.18
10. Natasha Dionne El Chaer / Baie-d’Urfé / Dalton d’Argouges / 4