|The excitement and action of thrilling equestrian sport returns to the Ricoh Coliseum November 7-16, with the return of the Royal Horse Show, part of the 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Over 800 horses of all shapes and sizes will amaze and inspire with their grace, beauty and athleticism as they compete for over $800,000 in prize money and prestigious titles over the ten days.
This Toronto tradition features top national and international riders from across Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. Children, teens, adults, Pan-American Games champions, Olympians and World Cup Finals champions all have a place on the competition stage at The Royal Horse Show – where the genders compete on equal footing and horsepower often trumps all.
NEW this year, making their Royal and Canadian debut, the Grand National Shetland Pony Races will have families picking favourites opening weekend November 7 and 8.
Australian “horseman, entertainer and bush poet” Guy McLean will return to illustrate his incredible bond with his equine partners, November 11 through 16.
If you missed seeing them at this summer’s World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, the entire Canadian Dressage team will be competing in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup presented by Butternut Ridge, November 12 and 13.
Opening Friday November 7th and Saturday November 8th are great double bill nights at the Royal Horse Show with the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship, where the biggest Canadian names (ten-time Olympian Ian Millar, teammates Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone, and upwards of 20 others) will battle for the title, and the two coveted berths in the prestigious international division the following week.
Horseware Indoor Eventing is back, providing a ‘mashup’ of cross-country riding and show jumping. The modified obstacle course features rugged hedges, walls, a bank and drop mixed with fragile stadium jumps, whose poles fall at the tip of an equine toe. Port-Perry, Ontario’s Waylon Roberts has taken the title more times than not.
Rounding out opening weekend with thrills and spills is the Ontario Toyota Dealers Royal Rodeo, Sunday November 9, starring bulls, broncs and the much-loved star of CBC’s Heartland – Amber Marshall – back to co-host.
The second week of equine activities at the 92nd Royal will welcome an outstanding slate of international riders including America’s Beezie Madden, fresh from her bronze medal finish at the World Equestrian Games this summer following her wins at the World Cup Finals in 2013 and Hickstead earlier this year. Her Olympic teammate and double gold-medalist McLain Ward has enjoyed the winner’s circle on many occasions in Toronto, and you can be sure Jessica Springsteen, Laura Kraut, Todd Minikus, Leslie Howard and the rest of the stellar field would like to take their place in the winner’s circle as well.
In order to do that, they will have to prove their worth over courses designed by the just-named designer for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil – Brazil’s own Guilherme Jorge. They will surely welcome the sneak preview of his work.
Top Irish, Belgian and Columbian riders will join the North American contingent to complete the international field for 2014, including Ireland’s Conor Swail, who would love a repeat of his 2013 Leading International Rider title.
Competitive highlights of the week will include the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World CupTM Grand Prix presented by Hudson’s Bay, the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open, the $34,000 Jolera International Welcome and the $75,000 GroupBy Big Ben Challenge.
Three new full national classes for young riders have been added to The Royal Horse Show this year. The 2014 Running Fox Royal Championship Medal is a two-phase (flat and over-fences) jumper-based equitation competition for riders under the age of 21. After successful pilot projects in 2013, The Royal has expanded both the All-Canadian Junior Jumper Division and The Royal Horse Show Pony Jumper Division to full divisions.
About the Royal Horse Show and 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair ~ The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, The 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 7-16, 2014 in the Direct Energy Centre and Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. The Royal Horse Show CSI4*-W is just one of a handful of ‘four-star’ competitions in North America and was voted the top indoor horse show in North America by the North American Riders Group. To purchase tickets, request media accreditation, view competition schedules, LIVE webcasting, and for complete results please visit www.royalfair.org.