Fit for a King
The Royal Horse Show
Brianna Ballard (Contributor)
Top equestrian athletes from across Canada and around the globe will be competing for the chance at becoming national and international champions at this year’s Royal Horse Show in Toronto. The event will be held from November 7th to 16th in at the Ricoh Coliseum, showcasing the country’s best athletes in equestrian sports today.
The Royal kicks off with the National Talent Squad Finals on November 7th, where up-and-coming riders will compete for the National Championship at heights up to 1.45 meters. Also on November 7th is the Greenhawk Canadian S h o w j u m p i n g Championship, with $100,000 in prize money and obstacles reaching 1.60 meters in height and width.
Olympic and international riders will be competing from November 11th to 15th in the International Jumper division. The Royal is also host to the Hickstead FEI World Cup, which will determine the lineup of the World Cup in Las Vegas next spring. It is the most attended event at the Royal, and will be welcoming riders from North America, South America, and Europe. The Big Ben Challenge, the Royal’s final International class, will take place on November 15th. The class pays homage to one of the greatest horses in Canadian history, Big Ben, who was ridden by Ian Miller. With $75,000 in prize money, the class is one of the most popular and is likely to sell out.
One of the Royal’s most exciting events is indoor eventing. With $20,000 in prize money, members of Canada’s National Three Day Eventing squad will compete in an indoor version of what’s considered the world’s most dangerous Olympic event. Finally, the Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo will be showcasing its athletes’ talent, as well as a show from horseman Guy McLean. Athletes such as bull riders, saddle bronc and bareback riders, and barrel racers will all be competing for the top prize and the audience’s entertainment.
Hunter classes, road horse classes, wagon pulling, and hackney classes are also at this year’s Fair, in addition to a new exhibition for younger competitors. The Grand National Pony Racing event will be held in the Ricoh Coliseum November 7th, where young riders will race ponies over obstacles for the chance to be a Royal Champion. Highlights include the Hunter Derby National Championship, which will take place on November 11th; the Royal Dressage Cup Invitational November 13th; and the Canine/Equine Challenge on November 15th, where horse and rider team up with dogs and their handlers and race against the clock to see who can complete the course the fastest.
Inaugurated in 1922 with the purpose of exhibiting livestock and discussing agricultural trends, the Royal has become the largest indoor equestrian competition in North America. With over one hundred years of history, the Royal is returning with numerous exhibitions and events that will span over ten days.
For more information on events, dates, and tickets, visit www.royalfair.org.