Tag Archives: Royal Horse Show

Daniel Bluman Opens International Division with a Win at 2015 Royal Horse Show

Bluman and Conconcreto Sancha LS. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Daniel Bluman of Colombia opened international show jumping competition with a win in the $20,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 10, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Show jumping talent representing six nations – Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ireland, the United States, and New Zealand – arrived in Toronto for five days of fierce international competition. Bluman and Conconcreto Believe, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ukato x Burggraaf) owned by Blue Star Investments, Alberto Simhon and Abraham Chehebar, topped a 19-horse starting field to score the first victory of the week. The pair turned in a time of 32.09 seconds for the win over a track set by British course designer Richard Jeffery.

“The first class of the week is usually a friendly one, but still has a very good purse,” said Bluman, 25. “If you have a horse that is naturally fast, you can let them go a little bit. That was the case with Believe; she is very careful and very, very fast. I saw the people go before me and they weren’t going crazy so I thought I wouldn’t intervene too much. It paid off, and I am happy to start with a win.”

Bluman is competing at the Royal Horse Show for the fourth time, and said, “I love Toronto. This show is a very prestigious indoor event here in North America, and I am always delighted to be invited to take part in the competition.”

Before Bluman clinched the victory, Reed Kessler of the United States had held the lead. She and Charity 33, owned by Kessler Show Stables, would eventually finish second with a time of 33.46 seconds while Ireland’s Conor Swail and Cita, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, took third place in a time of 34.42 seconds. Ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON and the appropriately named Heros took fourth in 34.76 seconds for owners AMMO Investments. Dermott Lennon of Ireland rounded out the top five aboard Fleur IV, owned by Canada’s Rebecca McGoldrick, in 35.24 seconds.

Having already scored one victory, Bluman has his sights set on Wednesday night’s feature event, the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto. The Royal Horse Show® was selected as one of only four Canadian events to be part of the newly formed Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.

“This is a great new format,” said Bluman of the change. “Before, there were too many World Cup qualifiers, making it difficult for the riders to jump in all of them. I think it’s great to have fewer events with more prize money and bring the level up. You can see that this week; there are only 24 riders here, but if you look at those 24, you have the big guns here. Longines has been a great supporter of equestrian sport and we, as riders, are very thankful for that.”

The Royal Horse Show marks Bluman’s fifth Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League appearance so far this season. His goal is to qualify for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final to be held from March 23 to 28 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“I’m in a qualifying spot, but it’s not over and I need to add more points,” said Bluman. “The idea is to go to World Cup Final this year. I’ve been building a string of horses for a very long time and finally now I have enough to go.”

Bluman plans to ride Conconcreto Believe in Wednesday night’s qualifier, explaining, “The characteristics of this venue fit her well and if the course is what I expect it will be, I think I could get a good ribbon.”

Conor Swail and Martha Louise
Conor Swail and Martha Louise

The $35,000 Jolera International Jumper Welcome was held Tuesday evening, and saw the final rider of the night come home with the win. Having settled for third earlier in the day, Swail tripped the timers in the fastest time, 58.17 seconds, to take the victory riding Martha Louise for owners Susan and Ariel Grange of Cheltenham, ON. Roberto Teran of Colombia placed second with a time of 59.30 riding Woklahoma for the ARK Partners LLC while Laura Kraut of the United States took third with a considerably slower time of 64.02 riding Andretti S for Stars & Stripes.

The $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby, also held Tuesday evening, saw a win for Darcy Hayes riding Say When for owner Danielle Trudell Baran. The pair was awarded the Paddy Ann Burns Trophy in recognition of the achievement.

Erynn Ballard and Valentino Now, owned by MVB Group, accepted the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy, awarded to the high point horse following both the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby held Monday evening and the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby. Ballard and Valentino Now won Monday night’s $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby before placing second in Tuesday’s featured competition.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Erynn Ballard Wins $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby

Erynn Ballard and Valentino Now. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON riding Valentino Now won the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby on Monday night, November 9, at The Royal Horse Show®, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

The top 17 horses in the Canadian Hunter Derby Series standings, held at various events across the country all season long, were invited to contest the National Final at the 2015 Royal Horse Show based on points accumulated in the Eastern (Quebec and Ontario) and Western (Alberta and British Columbia) qualifying divisions.

All horse and rider combinations jumped one round of competition, earning scores for their performances. Ballard was the sixth rider into the Ricoh Coliseum and laid down a trip that earned a score of 86 points from judges William Ellis of Ocala, FL and Mike Rosser of Southern Pines, NC. Ballard was also awarded ten bonus points for taking all of the high options, as well as seven bonus points for handiness, giving her an overall score of 103 points for the victory.

Already successful in the show jumping ring having won a 1.30m class at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, AB this year, Ballard decided to test Valentino Now, owned by MVB Group, in the hunter ring.

“He’s at an advantage because he’s seen more through his jumper experience than your average hunter,” explained Ballard, 35. “I think any experience is good experience, and Valentino’s days as a jumper paid off tonight. He made the transition to hunters easily; it’s a pleasure to have one that’s not complicated.

“He’s such a commercial, beautiful type so we thought his best option was to be a hunter,” she added. “We gave it a try to see what we have, and we have a superstar.”

Ballard will compete in both the hunter and international show jumping divisions as the Royal Horse Show continues through to November 15, and is proud to be one of the select few riders that have the opportunity to compete at The Royal.

“Anybody who is from Canada lives for The Royal,” said Ballard. “It’s important to be here, and it’s important to win here.”

Ryan Roy and Bayridge
Ryan Roy and Bayridge

Ryan Roy of King City, ON and Bayridge, owned by Doug Bannister, placed close behind Ballard in second with an overall score of 102, while Laurie Bucci of St. Jean, QC took third on a score of 101 aboard Quatro Z Fortuna for owner Monique Geseron.

Acclaimed equitation trainer Brent Balisky of Langley, BC has been coming to the Royal Horse Show for 30 years, but had never before competed himself. For the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby, Balisky traded his usual ringside view to take fourth in the irons of Vigolo Z, owned by Wendy Valdes, with a score of 98. Rounding out the top five was Ballard with a score of 96, this time aboard Contact, owned by Heather Delfino, Looking Back Farm and Redfield Farm.

Hunter Derby Course Designer Robert Carey of Caledon, ON utilized jump obstacles designed and constructed by Jeff Brandmaier of Guelph, ON and his wife Margaret ‘Muffie’ Guthrie, who are the founders and presenting sponsors of the Canadian Hunter Derby Series.

“To see everyone get excited and go after each other tooth and nail to get here put a lot of pressure on the riders,” Brandmaier said of the qualifying competition that took place throughout the 2015 season.

Giving a nod to fox hunting and traditional hunter courses, Brandmaier’s fences utilized rustic materials, but also introduced a new opportunity for sponsors within the hunter discipline.

“Sponsors have come through to present a unique set of jumps that have never been seen before tonight,” Brandmaier said. “They are on the edge of commercial, but still derby-oriented. The course encourages people to take risks, so it’s fun to watch. You saw people testing their limits with big gallops and inside turns.”

Hunter riders will return to the Ricoh Coliseum to kick off Tuesday night’s program with the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby. International jumper competitors also move into the spotlight on Tuesday with the Jolera International Jumper Welcome.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Waylon Roberts Wins Record Eighth Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge

Waylon Roberts. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON won his record eighth $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge on Saturday night, November 7, at the Royal Horse Show®, taking place as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Roberts, 27, rocked the full house in the Ricoh Coliseum, bringing home the win riding West River. Carefully navigating a mix of natural cross-country obstacles and delicate show jumping fences set by course designer Mark Phillips of Great Britain, Roberts cruised to victory, posting a winning time of 177.57 seconds over the two phases of competition. Held in a two-round format, riders carried forward their times and penalties from the opening phase of competition on Friday night. Roberts had been fast and faultless on Friday night, and repeated his foot-perfect performance on Saturday to take the title.

“I’ve been with a lot of different trainers, thanks to my parents Kelly Plitz and Ian Roberts; they thought it was really important that I get a rounded education in riding, and so I did a lot of show jumping as a youngster,” said Roberts of his secret to success. “That’s really carried through to help me for this class.”

Roberts, who was a member of Canada’s bronze medal team at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games, has won the title riding a total of six of horses including Slingshot, Myrddin’s Sebastian, Donaghan, Evil Munchkin, and his 2015 Pan Am Games mount, Bill Owen. However, West River has the distinction of being the first mare he has ever won with.

As for what makes an ideal horse for the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge, Roberts said, “It takes a handy horse, one that’s going to be really obedient for the tight turns and the quick speed, and that’s exactly what West River is. She’s not too big, and she’s really handy.”

Bruce Davidson, Jr.
Bruce Davidson, Jr.

Roberts held off the challenge from two-time World Equestrian Games competitor, Bruce Davidson, Jr. of the United States, who was also penalty-free on both nights of competition riding Wundermaske. However, his combined time of 193.97 would leave him in the runner-up position in his Royal Horse Show® debut.

Holly Jacks-Smither of Orangeville, ON added ten penalty points to her score riding Dynamo, finishing with a combined time of 196.62 seconds to take third. Karl Slezak of Tottenham, ON slotted into fourth position with Fernhill Wishes. Selena O’Hanlon of Kingston, ON rounded out the top five riding Uptown Girl.

Kendal Lehari of Uxbridge, ON rode RF D’Orbalia into sixth position while crowd favourite Jessica Phoenix of Cannington, ON recovered from a fall in Friday night’s competition – incurring 100 penalty points – to post a clear round with Bentley’s Best on Saturday night. Phoenix was the individual gold medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games as well as the individual silver medalist at the 2015 TORONTO Pan American Games riding Pavarotti on both occasions.

Competition resumes at the Royal Horse Show on Monday, featuring the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Jill Henselwood Claims Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship

Jill Henselwood and Farfelu du Printemps. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON claimed the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Saturday night, November 7, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Riding Farfelu du Printemps, Henselwood entered the second and final phase of competition in the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Saturday evening with a perfect score of zero, having won Friday night’s opening round. The pair stayed consistent, jumping another clear round before facing off against the top six in a final jump-off. Despite having a rail down early on course, Henselwood held on the lead to win the 2015 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship title.

“As soon as we started to jump and he could sense from me that it was serious he gave good efforts,” said Henselwood of the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Action Breaker x Volume vd Gasthoeve) owned by John Madigan. “For this horse to get this title really means something in his resume, and starts to identify him as a top horse for Canada.”

Farfelu’s rail fell at the third fence in the final round, leaving on room for further error.

“I thought we were going to jump it, but made a mistake,” Henselwood said of her downed rail. “After that, I think Farfelu jumped everything else with a margin of another foot. I could feel the effort that he made; he didn’t want to make another mistake. He’s that kind of horse.”

Henselwood’s victory marked her second Greenhawk Canadian Championship title at the Royal Horse Show®, having also won in 2005 aboard Black Ice.

Mac Cone aboard Gasper van den Doorn
Mac Cone aboard Gasper van den Doorn

British course designer Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, Dorset set difficult tracks in all three rounds comprising the Canadian Championships, which saw Canadian Equestrian Team veterans rise to the challenge. With two beautifully executed rounds on Saturday night, Canadian Olympian Mac Cone, 63, of King City, ON, moved into the Reserve Champion position with a final score of 4.79 riding Gasper van den Doorn for owner Chadburn Holdings, Inc.

Another Canadian Olympian, Lisa Carlsen, 50, of Okotoks, AB, produced strong performances to finish third with 5.66 penalties aboard Worlds Judgement for owners WJ Partners. Susan Horn of Bolton, ON and Kingsland Farm’s Lillyfee placed fourth on 6.15 penalties, while Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON and Bart C posted 6.93 penalties to placed fifth for owner Jaybird Farm. Keean White of Rockwood, ON rounded out the top six aboard For Freedom Z, owned by Angelstone Partners, with 14.11 penalties.

Based on their results in the Canadian Championships, Henselwood and Cone secured the final two positions available in The Royal’s international show jumping division, which begins on Tuesday, November 10. They will join pre-qualified riders Carlsen, Ballard, Ian Millar of Perth, ON, Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, and Chris Sorensen of Caledon East, ON, in representing the Canadian flag.

Also highlighting the action on Saturday, Isabelle Lapierre of Breakeyville, QC and Cescha M dominated the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships, presented by Uplands Charitable Foundation. Lapierre and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Hera XXIV) owned by Ecuries de la Chaudiere, topped both phases of competition to top a starting field of 16 contenders.

“She will try every time,” said Lapierre, 36, who has been riding Cescha M for the past three years. “Even when I make a mistake, she’s there, and if she makes a mistake, she knows I’ll be there. We’re a good team.”

Lapierre set a goal to pilot Cescha M in the National Talent Squad Championships following a successful summer, explaining, “She’s a young horse, and they need mileage in the ring before doing the big classes. This is a good class for young riders, and also for riders like me trying to produce young horses.”

Lapierre also won the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships riding Diaka de Semilly, the half-sister of Cescha M’s sire, Diamant de Semilly.

“I won this 15 years ago with Diaka de Semilly and I knew talent ran in the family,” she said. “Both horses have what it takes to win, and that’s all because of their breeding.”

Another Quebec athlete, Billie Derouet of Bromont, took home the Reserve Championship in the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships aboard her own Bonaparte VP Wisebecq. Derouet placed second to Lapierre in Friday’s opening round of competition before taking third place in Round Two on Saturday.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Jill Henselwood Leads Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship

Jill Henselwood and Farfelu du Printemps. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON scored a win on opening night of the 2015 Royal Horse Show® running through November 15 as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Riding Farfelu du Printemps, Henselwood won Round One of the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Friday evening, November 6. The new 2015 Canadian Champion will be crowned following Round Two on Saturday, November 7.

In the opening round of competition, speed was the name of the game as riders negotiated the track set by British course designer Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, Dorset. Henselwood and Farfelu du Printemps, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by John Madigan, posted one of only two fault-free trips, breaking the timers in 63.80 seconds to best a 24-horse starting field.

“He’s smart, clever, knows where the jumps are, and is naturally fast,” Henselwood said of the horse she found in Switzerland earlier this year for her student, Julia Madigan. While she focuses on her studies at Queen’s University, Julia Madigan has handed the reins to her coach.

“The qualities of a top show jumper are usually so high that if you put a less experienced rider on and they make a mistake it really tips the canoe, but this guy has an incredible mind,” said Henselwood, 53. “He’s a pleasure to have in my string.”

Keean White of Rockwood, ON and For Freedom Z, owned by Angelstone Partners, gave Henselwood a run for her money as the final challenger of the night. He posted a clear round, but his time of 66.02 seconds left him in the runner-up position.

Lisa Carlsen of Okotoks, AB, riding Worlds Judgement, owned by WJ Partners, were first into the Ricoh Coliseum and established the early time to beat, with a four second penalty added for one rail down giving her a time of 67.11 seconds. Her lead held for 20 trips until Henselwood and White bumped her into third. Fourth was presented to Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON and her own Viggo in 67.39 seconds, while Neil Badcock of King City, ON and Corrido rounded out the top five in 67.64 seconds for owner Jessie Bonisteel.

Henselwood is no stranger to success in the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship, having last won in 2005 aboard Black Ice. In addition to winning the national title, a top placing would also allow Henselwood to advance to the international division beginning November 10, highlighted by the coveted $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto on Wednesday night.

Waylon Roberts
Waylon Roberts

Opening night of the Royal Horse Show also saw a win for Isabelle Lapierre of Breakeyville, QC aboard Cescha M in Round One of the Jump Canada National Talent Squad Championships, presented by Uplands Charitable Foundation. The evening came to a close with seven-time winner Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON topping the opening phase of the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

2015 Royal Horse Show Opens in One Week

Yann Candele. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – With one week to go before the opening of the 2015 Royal Horse Show, tickets are selling fast. Held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair from November 6 to 15 at Exhibition Place, the Royal Horse Show welcomes hundreds of competitors to Toronto, ON for the final event of the Canadian competition season.

In a true celebration of the many disciplines in equestrian sport, the Royal Horse Show gets underway with the thrilling $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge on Friday and Saturday evenings, November 6 and 7. This innovative competition combines the exhilaration of negotiating natural cross-country obstacles as well as traditional show jumping fences in an indoor setting. Top-ranked U.S. competitor Buck Davidson will be making his Royal debut alongside TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games team bronze medalists Colleen Loach of Dunham, QC, Jessica Phoenix of Uxbridge, ON, and Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, ON.

The stakes are also high in the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships, held in a two-phase format on opening weekend, November 6 and 7. Ten-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ian Millar of Perth, ON will be back to defend his title with a new mount, Teddy du Bosquetiau, but faces stiff competition from the likes of Mac Cone of King City, ON, Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, and four-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion Yann Candele of Caledon, ON.

International show jumping competition is highlighted by the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto on Wednesday, November 11, held as part of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. Six nations will be represented – Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States – as riders battle for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“I always look forward to getting points at The Royal,” said Nicola Philippaerts, who will represent Belgium alongside his twin brother, Olivier, for the fourth consecutive year. “For us, it is always interesting to try and earn points in North America, in addition to riding in Europe. It has worked out well every year so far! The Royal is a very nice show with a lot of tradition, and it fits well in the program we have developed.”

The artistry of dressage will be highlighted in Thursday night’s Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge. Canadian Olympians Jacqueline Brooks, Christilot Boylen, Evi Strasser, and Belinda Trussell will go head-to-head in the popular freestyle competition, which sees required movements choreographed to the music of their choice.

Friday, November 13, will showcase both sport and entertainment with the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open, as well as an exhibition by Cavallo Equestrian Arts. The product of seven generations of entertainment professionals and show producers, Cavallo Equestrian Arts has performed its theatrical celebration of the age-old relationship between horses and humans to rave reviews throughout North America.

A perennial favourite, the $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge, presented by Hudson’s Bay Company, will close out the 2015 Royal Horse Show on Saturday night, November 14.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Top Riders Ready for International Show Jumping Competition at 2015 Royal Horse Show

Two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, pictured riding Rothchild, will be back to defend his grand prix title at the 2015 Royal Horse Show. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Downtown Toronto will host some of the world’s most decorated equestrian athletes – both two-legged and four – during the 2015 Royal Horse Show, which runs November 6 to 15 as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at Exhibition Place. International show jumpers from five different countries will converge in Toronto for top-level competition, highlighted by the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto as part of the newly founded FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.

Show jumping action kicks off at the national level with the $100,000 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships during opening weekend, November 6 and 7. Twenty-five Canadian riders, including Olympians Lisa Carlsen, Mac Cone, Jill Henselwood, Beth Underhill and defending champion Ian Millar, will vie for the coveted national title.

The highlight event of the international division takes place Wednesday, November 12, when the Royal Horse Show hosts the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto. One of only four Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping events to be held on Canadian soil, the competition is a qualifying event for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Goteborg, Sweden.

Friday, November 13 will showcase the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open, while Saturday afternoon brings family-friendly fun with horses and dogs teaming up for the $15,000 International Canine/Equine Challenge, presented by The Toronto Star. The 2015 Royal Horse Show closes out with the $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge, presented by Hudson’s Bay Company, on Saturday night, November 14.

Eight riders from the United States have been invited to travel to the Royal Horse Show. Most notably, two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY is eyeing his third win in a row in Wednesday night’s featured grand prix event. Ward has won the grand prix at the Royal Horse Show six times and is the defending champion from both 2013 and 2014.

“The Royal is a first-class, traditional event in a beautiful city,” said Ward, who recently claimed the individual gold medal riding Rothchild at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. “The Royal always has a packed house, making the atmosphere great. You need an experienced horse that handles that situation well.”

This year, Ward plans to defend his title riding HH Azur, an up-and-coming superstar owned by Double H Farm. The pair recently competed at the mare’s first indoor event at the Los Angeles Masters, where Ward characterized her performance as “phenomenal”, and Ward is confident in their chances at the Royal Horse Show.

“The presence of FEI competition in North America has been transforming over the last few years and it’s in a better place now,” said Ward of the Royal Horse Show’s inclusion in the new Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. “It’s always an asset to have more World Cup qualifiers, and this league has certainly been competitive.”

Ward will be joined at the Royal Horse Show by fellow Americans Georgina Bloomberg, Leslie Howard, Charlie Jacobs, Reed Kessler, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and Todd Minikus.

Rounding out the international field participating at the Royal Horse Show will be eight riders representing Belgium, Colombia, Ireland and New Zealand. Coming off a recent string of impressive wins, Ireland’s Conor Swail will return to the Royal Horse Show as a hot favourite.

“The Royal has always been a lucky show for me,” said Swail. “Every time I go there I have good success, but I also love the prestige and the huge crowds that come with the show. It’s extremely fun.”

Dermott Lennon will join Swail in representing Ireland. Twins Nicola and Olivier Philippaerts and Francois Mathy Jr. will represent Belgium, while Daniel Bluman and Roberto Teran will be flying the Colombian flag. New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley will be making his Royal Horse Show debut.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. The 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com

Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge Returns to the Royal Horse Show

Tik Maynard and Good Times emerged victorious in last year’s Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge. Photo © Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – The thrilling Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge will once again be part of a world-class line-up of equestrian sport and entertainment as the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, returns to downtown Toronto from November 6 to 17.

One of the most highly-anticipated events at the Royal Horse Show, the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge will be held on opening weekend, Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7. Offering $20,000 in prize money, the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge combines the exhilaration of jumping natural cross-country obstacles as well as traditional show jumping fences in an indoor setting.

This year’s event will feature some of the biggest names in the sport, including three members of Canada’s bronze medal team at the recent TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. Colleen Loach, individual silver medalist Jessica Phoenix, and Waylon Roberts have all confirmed their attendance, as have fellow Canadian Karl Slezak and veteran United States Equestrian Team member, Buck Davidson.

Currently ranked the number two rider in North America, Davidson has never competed at the Royal Horse Show before, and immediately accepted the invitation to contest the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.

“I’ve heard great things about the show being top-class in every way,” said Davidson, a two-time World Equestrian Games competitor (2010 and 2014). “I try to go to as many places as I can to showcase eventing, and also to bring the sport to a different audience. I’m lucky to have owners that let me do that. The Royal is another way to spread the word about eventing and if I can play a small part, I’m happy to do it.”

While Davidson may be making his Royal debut, his prior experience with indoor eventing in general has him well-prepared for the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.

“Indoor eventing always seems to look easier that it ends up riding,” said Davidson, 39. “To put cross-country jumps in a ring and add the elements of closeness and fans is tricky, but very exciting to watch. From an event horse’s perspective, they have to jump and turn quickly indoors when they are used to big, long, galloping strides out on cross-country. You need a horse with the experience to deal with the space and the crowd, and to keep their focus on their job.”

Jessica Phoenix. Photo © Starting Gate Communications.
Jessica Phoenix. Photo © Starting Gate Communications

Jessica Phoenix, who claimed the individual silver medal and led the Canadian Eventing Team to bronze at the recent Pan Am Games, is a regular competitor at the Royal Horse Show.

“What’s most unique about indoor eventing is that it is really a different sport altogether,” said Phoenix of Cannington, ON. “Our horses are brave enough to do cross-country, but to do it in a completely new atmosphere is another test altogether. It’s educational for the riders to put our horses in a new setting and see how they react.”

For Phoenix, it’s not just the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge that is unique at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The Royal also serves as a special opportunity for Phoenix and her husband, Joel, to compete together at the same event.

“I show horses, and my husband shows dairy cattle!” laughed Phoenix, 31. “We rarely get to do both and be together at the same event.”

Designing the courses for this year’s Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge will be Great Britain’s Mark Phillips. As the course designer at some of the world’s most prestigious three day events, Phillips will create a course of solid, rugged cross-country obstacles such as walls, hedges and banks, mixed with delicate stadium fences.

Over two nights of exhilarating competition against the clock, penalties are accumulated and, at the end, the rider with the lowest score will be declared the winner of the Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.

To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

About The Royal

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. The 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439
jward@jumpmediallc.com