Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and The Royal Horse Show


Gallop over to The Royal Horse Show where equestrian royalty, Olympians, and some of the best competitors in the world will be on site this year to vie for over $350,000 in prize money.

The most prestigious and important indoor equestrian event in North America, The Royal Horse Show continues to captivate audiences 87 years after its inception. This year’s horse show is no doubt going to dazzle audiences like never before with the presence of world famous riders, competing in all three of the Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage and our own Indoor Eventing.

Highlights of The Royal Horse Show:

Show Jumping. Taking place throughout the ten days of The Royal – Show Jumping involves horse and rider working to clear jumps up to an impressive 1.6 metres (5.2 feet) high. The courses include a variety of jumping obstacles including uprights, spreads and combinations, with many turns and changes of direction. The goal for horse and rider is to get through the course in the allotted time, with time faults being assessed for exceeding the time allowance. Should a horse refuse to make a jump, or knock down a jump, jumping faults are also incurred.

. This truly unique equestrian competition challenges horse and rider to work together in a seamless display of what has been referred to as “ballet on horseback”. Horse and rider will be judged on their ability to achieve the precise athleticism and artistic harmony required for upper-level dressage, including the most popular freestyle to music competitions.

Indoor Eventing. Traditionally an outdoor sport, eventing combines the elegance of dressage with the accuracy and scope of stadium jumping. Eventing throws a third task into the mix – the jumping of solid cross-country obstacles including hedges, banks, walls, ditches, and through open water, all at the gallop. Now in its fourth year, Indoor Eventing at The Royal is a “hybrid” mix of cross-country and stadium jumping, and has been won by the same competitor for the past three years. Competition will be stiff this year to crown a new champion.

$100,000 CN FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix. It takes a very special horse and rider to win the biggest, most difficult class of the week. This event will feature the largest jumps, the best horses and the most prize money of the week. Last year, Canada’s very own Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Lamaze took home first place. With prestige and World Cup Standing points, the stakes are high as everyone vies for this year’s win.

Canine Equine Challenge. In an event that’s always a crowd favourite, horses and selected President’s Choice SuperDogs are matched up to compete in the International Canine/Equine Open Jumper Challenge. In this relay race the dog/horse team speeds through their respective obstacle course, shooting for the best combined time and fewest penalties. $15,000 goes to the top dog ─ and horse, of course.

$75,000 Ricoh Big Ben Challenge. All week leads up to this final event named in memory of Ian Millar’s celebrated horse Big Ben. Riders will be competing for the $75,000 purse this year. No one wants to win this class more than Ian Millar himself.

Horse Show tickets and schedule.
All horse show tickets include full General Admission to all areas of the Fair. Staged at the impressive Ricoh Coliseum, these performances will showcase the best in equestrian sport; combining the thrill of competition with family entertainment in a package not found anywhere else. Tickets can be purchased through www.royalfair.org, www.ticketmaster.ca, any Ticketmaster box office, the Ricoh Coliseum, or by calling Ticketmaster at 416-872-7777. For the full horse show schedule, visit www.royalfair.org.