Here I am, posing with the Great Pumpkin at The Royal. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, that is. Now in its 90th year, every November The Royal brings a little bit of the country to the city of Toronto. I first attended the fair many years ago with my parents. Tickets to see the horse show were my birthday treat. Later, I took my own kids. And this year, my sister and I enjoyed a night out together at the fair.
The Royal is a bit more commercial, a bit less agricultural than it once was, but you can still see cattle and sheep and chickens and prize-winning pumpkins and many other great displays. This pumpkin from St. Thomas, Ontario took first place in the largest pumpkin contest, weighing in at 1414.6 pounds.
This piggy on his scooter took first prize in the butter-carving contest.
All the enteries were well-done. I particularly liked this goose.
The third place entry presented an interesting juxtaposition of babies.
After we had had a good look around the displays, we moved on to the horse show.
The horse show offers a good assortment of classes. On the night we attended, we saw the six-horse percheron class. I was pleased that a team from my region, the Wilson’s of Vankleek Hill, took second place against stiff competition.
The coach-and-four class is a spectacle you don’t have a chance to see most anywhere else.
This year, there was an exhibition by the Lit Dressage Quadrille, who performed to James Bond theme music. You can watch the whole performance, complete with music, on Youtube, linked here.
The 48th Highlanders were on hand for a brief Remembrance Day ceremony.
The highlight of the horse show evening is always the international jumping class. On the evening we attended, the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open was featured. This is a timed event in which horses must jump a challenging course of huge fences. The best combination of low faults and time secures first place. The winner was young American rider Kent Farrington and his horse Voyeur, who had one of just 5 clear rounds in the field of 18 entries, and a blazing time. As the winners, Kent and Voyeur took home $16,500. You can read more about the class here.
I forgot to take my camera. Doh! Thanks to my sister for allowing me to use her photos and sharing a fun evening with me.