Exciting Entertainment and New Competitive Events Highlight the 91st Royal Horse Show, November 1-10, 2013
This world-class show provides top sport and family entertainment for
TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ – The excitement and time-honoured
tradition of the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show returns to the Ricoh Coliseum
as part of the 91(st) Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, November 1-10, 2013. Over 850 horses
of all shapes and sizes are guaranteed to thrill and astound with their
grace, power, beauty and athleticism. The Royal Horse Show is one of
just a handful of the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI)
prestigious four-star shows in North America.
A fantastic family event, this year’s Royal Horse Show will include
feature performances by Sylvia Zerbini, formerly of Cavalia, and her
nine Arabian horses at Liberte, appearing November 6-9, and Australian
“Horseman, Entertainer and Bush Poet” Guy McLean, appearing November
The hugely popular Jack Russell Terrier races return to perform in the
Horse Show as well as at the new President’s Choice Animal Theatre.
NEW in the Horse Show ring for 2013 are three divisions created by the
Royal to foster the development of young riders and help promote the
Thoroughbred industry, following the decline in horse-racing in
The Pony Jumper Challenge (November 2, matinee) is designed to emulate
competition in Europe, where children are typically exposed to the
atmosphere and challenges of the jumper show-ring much earlier than
their North-American counterparts.
The 1.20m Junior Jumper division (November 7 & 9) takes the concept one
step further, aiming to create growth from the grass-roots level in the
under-18 age group.
“We want to support the development of young Canadian show jumpers at an
earlier age,” explained Brian O’Leary, chairman of the Royal Horse
Show. “The greater horse show community approached the Royal to fill
this gap we have in the development of our up and coming National team
riders, and we are thrilled to promote and encourage their growth at
The third new development: two breed-specific classes for thoroughbreds,
who may or may not come to the Royal following careers as racehorses.
Two performance classes highlighting suitability for dressage or for
the hunter-jumper show rings have been exceptionally well-received by
the equine community – so much so that the Royal will have to run three
“flights” rather than the originally planned for single flight of seven
The Royal has also added a full slate of Horse Show competition for
Sunday, November 10, which will be FREE with general admission to the
OPENING WEEKEND at the Royal offers an incredible double-bill featuring
the $75,000 Greenhawk Canadian Cup and $20,000 Horseware Indoor
Eventing Challenge, running first and second rounds of competition
Friday and Saturday evenings respectively.
The biggest names in Canadian show jumping will be participating,
including ten-time Olympian Ian Millar (Perth, ON), fellow Olympians
Jill Henselwood (Oxford Mills, ON) and Mac Cone (King, ON), and upwards
of 20 others including three-time defending Canadian Champion Yann
Candele (King City, ON). Ainsley Vince (Burlington, ON), who has
represented Canada at three World Cup Finals and is a past back-to-back
Canadian Champion will also return to attempt to break Candele’s
Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge blends the skill and accuracy of
show jumping with the thrill and adventure of cross-country riding.
Indoor Eventing features a modified course of rugged cross-country
jumps such as hedges, walls, and a bank, combined with fragile stadium
jumps, whose poles and planks are designed to fall at the slightest
nudge of a hoof. Penalties accumulate over two nights of competition
and at the end the rider with the lowest score will be declared the
This year, Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge welcomes two very special
guest riders to the competition: William Fox-Pitt and Oliver Townend,
both of Great Britain. Fox-Pitt is currently the number two ranked
rider in the world on the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI)
Longines ranking list, having won major international competitions
across Britain and Europe this summer, following a second-place finish
at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this past April. Townend won both
the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials and the Burghley Horse
Trials in 2009, before being sidelined by injury for about a year.
Townend is on the mend, however, and will be a force to be reckoned
with in Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.
They will join a slate of top Canadian eventers in applying pressure to
Port Perry, Ontario’s Waylon Roberts, who has won the Indoor Eventing
title more times than not. Whether the most pressure comes from the
Brits, or from Canadian teammates Jessica Phoenix (Uxbridge, ON) and
Selena O’Hanlon (Kingston, ON), or even Roberts’ own father, Ian
Roberts (Port Perry, ON) – remains to be seen!
Opening weekend would not be complete without the thrills and spills of
the Ontario Toyota Dealers Royal Rodeo, Sunday, November 3(rd) , back once more to keep visitors on the edge of their seats. Bull
riding, bronc riding and barrel racing are just a few of the highlights
of this exciting afternoon. The much loved star of CBC’s Heartland,
Amber Marshall will be co-hosting the Rodeo once again.
The second week of competition at the 91(st) Royal will, as always, welcome an outstanding lineup of international
riders to compete in matinee and evening competitions including the
$100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup(TM) Grand Prix presented by GroupBy, the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open and
the $75,000 Ricoh Big Ben Challenge.
The biggest threat to the home squad may come from south of the border.
Top US riders including two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward
(Brewster, NY), Olympian Kent Farrington (Chicago, IL), Olympic team
gold medalist Laura Kraut (Wellington, FL) and Olympian Reed Kessler
(Armonk, NY) regularly make the trip north, and are often well rewarded
for their efforts.
Hotly anticipated international riders include Belgian twin brothers
Nicola and Olivier Philippaerts, fellow countrymen Francois Mathy Jr.
and Jos Verlooy, Ireland’s Conor Swail and Richie Moloney, Dutchman
Harrie Smolders and Great Britain’s Tim Gredley.
Wednesday’s afternoon horse show (free with general admission) and
Thursday evening will include the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage
where two-time Olympian Jacqueline Brooks (Cedar Valley, ON), Olympian
David Marcus (Campbellville, ON) and Diane Creech (Caistor Centre, ON)
will go head-to-head to produce a new Royal Dressage champion.
All of this action is complemented by a raft of National and World
Championships being contested in the horse show ring across breed,
discipline and level. All of the action from the Ricoh Coliseum is
available for live-streaming online and on-demand by subscription,
visit www.royalfair.org for complete details.
About the Royal Horse Show and 91(st) Royal Agricultural Winter Fair ~ A family tradition since 1922, the Royal Horse Show brings world-class
horses and riders from Canada, the U.S. and overseas, including Olympic
and World champions, to Toronto each November to compete for almost
$800,000 in prize money and prestigious titles. Over 850 horses of all
shapes and sizes participate in show jumping, dressage, indoor
eventing, driving, coaching and so much more, over the ten-days of
competition. Special features such as the President’s Choice Animal
Theatre, the aMAZEing Food Journey, AG-tivity Central, Trade-Fair
shopping & educational events round out a day at The Royal. The Royal
remains a highlight of the Toronto fall social calendar, visited by
Royalty, politicians and horse-enthusiasts for generations. For
competition schedules, LIVE webcasting, results and to purchase
tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.
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SOURCE The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Image with caption: “Top-ranked riders Oliver Townend and William Fox-Pitt, both of Great Britain, will compete in the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge opening weekend (November 1 & 2) at the Royal Horse Show. Fox-Pitt currently sits second in the world in the sport of eventing. (CNW Group/The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131017_C4951_PHOTO_EN_32207.jpg