There is a wonderful Youth Education programme initiated by the Guelph University Equine department focusing on safety around horses. On the facing page illustrations of horses with ears back, forward, swishing tails etc and the students are asked to match the correct description with the illustration. EG "annoyed", "relaxed" etc. They have a great website; www.Thehorseportal.ca/equimania
The Horse Show has been conducted here for the past 96 years. The main Coca Cola arena is used for ice hockey for much of the year. Saturday night was sold out with 7500 spectators.
New Zealand rider, Sharn Wordley posted a clear and four to take fifth place in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto riding the Sky Group's Baloubet du Rouet gelding, 'Barnetta'.
The trip to Canada was worth it alone just to see McLain Ward's winning jump off round in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto. It was as close to riding perfection as it gets. He rode the Double H Farm nomination, 'HH Gigi's Girl' by Vingino to claim the $67,000 first prize. This was the ninth time McLain has won the Toronto Grand Prix beginning in 2000.
USA based UK rider, Amanda Derbyshire rode the Irish Sport Horse, 'Roulette BH' by Moschino to post a good double clear to take fourth place in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto.
Devin Ryan was second in the 2018 World Cup Final and with 'Eddie Blue' a member of the USA WEG Gold Medal team. They jumped two beautiful rounds to take second place in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto.
Sadly it was not Australian, Rowan Willis' night. His super talented mare, 'Blue Movie' got a bit onward bound and lowered two fences in the first round of the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto. Rowan was one of 10 hand picked international riders along with, 10 Canadaians and 10 from the USA to ride at this wonderful show.
Twenty six year old Ali Ramsay riding, 'Hermelien VD Hooghoeve' by Tangelo VD Zuuthoeve was the best of the Canadian riders and took third place in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto. Trained by former Canadian international, Jill Henselwood, Ali jumped two super clear rounds. Interestingly , only the five first round clears (of 21) went against the clock
On the last night of the show, the organisers managed to get Guy Mclean in to tails and a top hat, but alas, no white tie. The sold out crowd loved his performance, as did many of the showjumping riders, sitting and watching before they walked the World Cup course..
Bob Funk's team of Express Ranches Percherons have had a successful show and driven by Josh Minshull they took out the $25,000 Royal Six Horse Hitch Championship. Interestingly, Percherons make up 75% of the purebred heavy horses in North America.
On the final night of The Royal there was a spectacular drive off of ten teams of six heavy horses, Clydesdales, Percherons and Belgian Draughts. David and Margo Carson's, Carson Farms nomination of six Clydesdales took fourth place in a very strong Championship.
Devon Morrow drove David McDonald's, 'Highland Chiefton' to take out the $5000 Hackney Horse World Grand Championship Stake. And yes they are real flowers.
Miller Young Fina has had a successful show with Jessica Mann Baker's Morgan Horse, 'Maximum Velocity' and won the final round of the Open Saddle Seat Battle of the Breeds.
Kirby Tapper rode Kristen Dellac Croce's big Friesian, 'Oxalis Fan'e Tsjonger' to take fourth place in the final of the Open Saddle Seat Battle of the Breeds.
Dr Rae and Nancy Fischer's team of impressive Dutch Warmbloods pulling a Kimble Park Drag, with Dr Fischer at the reins won the Green Meadows Coaching Pleasure class on the final night of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
The evening programme at The Royal is a formal affair. White tie and tails is mandatory for male judges and Coaching judge, Mark Broadbent from Devon in the UK wears them well.
Karen Waldron drove the Bent Tree Farm's nomination, 'Steely Dan' to claim the $5000 Single Harness Pony Canadian Championship.
During the K9/Equine Challenge, Karen Polle watches admiringly as her canine partner, 'Honour' makes a super leap over his final obstacle. Karen and her , 'Little Lord 90' won the class.
The $25,000 Equine/K9 Challenge involved pairing a dog with a rider on horseback, each completing a round against the clock. "Pigeon' was partnered with Devin Ryan from the US who took third place in the class. Devin earned $4000 for his effort, so it was certainly more than just a bit of fun.
Nicole Honsberger drove the All Star Farms and Doyle and Renee Dingman Percheron nomination to claim the Royal Lady's Heavy Horse Cart Championship.
The Willowdale Farms/McLean Stables Belgian Draught nomination is pictured during the Royal Lady's Heavy horse Cart Championship.
Marilou Montambeault drove Pierre Gagnon and the Pro Motion Belgian Draught nomination to take fourth place in the Royal Lady's Heavy Horse Cart Championship.
Amber Geiman drove Rick and Donna Farrows Resting Spirit Stables' Clydesdale nomination to take third place in the Lady's Heavy Horse Cart Championship.
Hannah Deer drove the Deer Family's Rapid Percherons nomination to claim the Lady's Heavy Horse Cart Reserve Championship.
There were lots of wonderful trade stands selling lots of wonderful things. However, in Australia we have access to to most of it, except maybe a solar powered waving Queen in an equestrian outfit and one of family stickers for the car showing how many family members your horse has bucked off.
There are 300 vendors at the show this year selling everything from socks, foot massagers to maple syrup in the snow (sort of maple toffee poured on crushed ice and then wound around a stick as it hardens. It looks good). Understandably there are a lot of maple products.
There are over 1400 stables at Toronto over two levels. The top level is accessed by a slated rubber floored ramp. The stables are not big, especially for the Clydesdales, but all the horses seem to be very content in their warmed boxes. It is -1 degree outside.
The decorated tack rooms in the stable area are a highlight, and yes there is a prize for the Best Decorated.
There is plenty of classy horse gear for sale.
There are about 3000 cattle both beef and dairy shown over the ten days of the Winter Fair. These beautifully presented Jerseys are lined up for judging. Watch out for a few Canadians at the 2019 Tatura Dairy Week and make them welcome.
The Kingpin Farm and Burger Barn Clydesdale Team really go to town decorating their corner of the barn. They have ten horses showing at Toronto.
The magnificent sight of ten Six Heavy Horse Hitch entries in the Coco Cola arena at Toronto.
There is a vast array of dining options at the Fair, from fine dining (pictured) to Poutine and everything imaginable in between. However, the Apple Dumplings win the prize. And yes they will be on the menu at home.