Margaret And Ron Southern
Equestrian Builders - Inducted 1992
Margaret and Ron Southern had a dream to develop and operate a world-class equestrian facility. In 1976, their dream became a reality as Spruce Meadows hosted its first tournament. Over the years, Spruce Meadows has developed into one of the finest showjumping venues in the world. Spruce Meadows is the locale for four coveted world-class tournaments annually, including “The "Masters" -- that offers the largest purse of any show jumping event. Margaret and Ron Southern have prided themselves in showcasing equestrian competitions and their outstanding efforts have proven positive, as they have attracted competitors from over fifteen countries. The Southern's won the 1984 Calgary Booster Club's Sportsman of the Year Award.
Ron & Margaret Southern
2006 - Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
2008 – Jump Canada Hall of Fame
Ron Southern O.C., C.B.E. (b. July 25, 1930 d. January 21, 2016 at age 85)
1986 - Member of the Order of Canada
1990 - Member of the Order of the British Empire
1995 - Was promoted to the level of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
2003 - Officer of the Order of Canada and promoted to Companion in 2006.
2005 - Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation
2006 - Appointed Officer of Orange Nassau by her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands.
2006 - Companion of the Order of Canada – Appointment October 6, 2006, Investiture May 4, 2007.
2012 - Alberta Order of Excellence
2012 - Ron Southern O.B.E was one of approximately 2000 members of the Order of the British Empire to be invited by Her Majesty for a special service at St. Paul’s Cathedral during her Diamond Jubilee year of celebration.
2013 - Honourary member of the Tsuu T’ina chieftainship - given the name Chief Sorrel Horse
2016 - January 21, Ron Southern passed away
2016 – Inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame Southern Alberta (Posthumously)
2019 –the Alberta Champions Society honoured Ron (and five others) on a new monument located at Spruce Meadows - for individuals who have made an impact on Alberta (June 4).
Ron received numerous business awards throughout the years, including the International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and CEO of the Year Award. He was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Manufacturing Hall of Fame. He served on boards of directors worldwide. Throughout the years, his accomplishments were recognized by the GovernorGeneral, starting in 1986 when he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2003 was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2006 he received Canada’s highest honor when he has received the Companion of the Order of Canada. In 1990 Queen Elizabeth made him a Member of the Order of the British Empire and in 1995 upgrade him to Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Margaret Southern O.C., AOC (b. February 26, 1931)
1953 – University of Alberta – Bakewell Trophy (outstanding female athlete)
Founding and eight-year member of Calgary’s first Parks and Recreation Board
held executive positions and served on various boards and committees, including both the Alberta Equestrian Federation and the Canadian Equestrian Federation.
1987 – Member of the Order of Canada
1988 – Alberta Order of Excellence
1993 – Officer of the Order of Canada
2005 – Alberta Centennial Salute for Sport and Recreation
2006 – Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – (Ron & Margaret)
2007 – Companion of the Order of Canada – (citation read - for having) "demonstrated passionate leadership and commitment to sport as a professional and volunteer".
2019 – Inducted into the Alberta Business Hall of Fame Southern Alberta
More Information / Other Awards & Honours:
Ron & Margaret Southern
1984 – Alberta Light Horse Association’s Horseman of the Year Award
1984 – Canadian Tourism Medallion
1986 – Calgary Booster Club’s Sportsmen of the Year Award.
Spruce Meadows: Facts
Spruce Meadows has grown from temporary bleachers with seating for 800 people to being a year-round complex. They have received many awards for being the best equestrian facility in the world. In 2012 they expected more than 200,000 people in just a two-week span to visit the facilities and attend the Masters Tournament. Throughout the year, the facility hosts a number of events and programs.
New for 2015:
Founders Plaza – includes an English garden, exhibit space and a large washroom.
A running program – with both timed and non-timed 5K and 10K runs – benefitting local charities
Christmas market will be expanded
New pub and food service area – attached to the British House building will be ready in September.
Unveiling of a bronze sculpture of Ron and Margaret Southern on the Founders Plaza took place in June.
Size: 133 hectares, 20 buildings, 10 permanent stables, two indoor arenas, seven outdoor grass rings, tournament centre and online TV production suite to accommodate international media.
Visitors: More than 500,000 people come to the facility during 74 days of show jumping.
Prize Money: tops $6 million.