Thanks to a contest run by Horse Canada magazine, I found myself to be the lucky recipient of two Gold VIP tickets to Cavalia’s Odysseo. I had the opportunity to see the show a few years back, the last time it came to Ontario. This time, however, I was going to be treated to a gourmet buffet before the show (with open bar!), desserts and coffee at intermission, VIP lounge access, meet and greet with some of the performers, a stable tour after the show, souvenir program, and VIP seating.
If you’ve never seen Cavalia before, the best way to describe it is like Cirque de Soleil with horses. Along with high energy acrobatics and aerial stunts, and stunning high-tech theatrics, audience members are also treated to liberty acts, trick riding, and beautiful displays of horsemanship.
As all horse people know, horses have a mind of their own and don’t always follow the script. There were a few times some of the liberty horses tried to steal the show but the cast never once reprimanded them; only incorporating it into the act, letting the horse’s personalities come through.
Having been an equestrian performer myself with the Canadian Cowgirls, it takes a lot to impress me now, having seen many acts from all over the world. Cavalia kept me captivated the entire time and my heart was in my throat for a few of the trick riding moves. (Skip to about 2:12 in the video to see a tease of why!)
After showing this video to my very non-horsie boyfriend, I was surprised at his reaction that it was something he would enjoy going to see. Whether you are a horse person or just a lover of horses, I can’t recommend this show enough. The show is on until July 16th. You can purchase tickets here: https://cavalia.com/mississauga/#anchor-calendar.
Fun facts: Cavalia travels with 65 horses (16 of which are stallions!)and they are rotated throughout the touring schedule. When travelling, they eat the same Quebec hay they would get at home and the team has the same farrier which they fly in when needed.
10K tons of stone, dirt and sand are required to build the massive 17,000 square foot stage. An underground drain system creates an impressive 40k gallon lake. At the end of the tour, the sand is often donated to a local equine charity.
The iconic white Big Top ten is the equivalent size of an NFL football field!
13 breeds are represented in the show, including the Appaloosa, Arabian, Quarter Horse, Canadian Horse, Canadian Warmblood, Holsteiner, Lusitano, Paint Horse, Percheron Hanoverian Cross, Selle Français and Spanish Purebred