November in the Greater Toronto area means one thing to country loving girls like me. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is coming to town for 2 weeks, and every year I anticipate it’s arrival like Christmas Morning. The Royal is the worlds largest indoor agricultural and equestrian show with thousands of livestock animals, gigantic pumpkins and the worlds top equestrians – both the horses and the riders. Do you understand why I love it so much now?
Last year, I took a different approach to seeing the fair, instead of going as a spectator, I went to my friend and her horse Teade, to be a part of the Ontario Equestrian Federations “Spirit of the Horse” exhibit, which focuses on educating the visitors to the fair on the qualities of different breeds of horses. That’s right, Teade is a little bit famous, and believe me, he’s let it go to his head.
Sadly, this year Angela is in Holland, so I was forced to pay to go this year. My mom went with me, as always, because Scott would most likely complain about being bored. So we walked around for a few hours before sitting down to watch the evening horse show.
One of many beautiful horses hanging out in the Horse Palace (yes, that’s what it is ACTUALLY called) between classes. What I love about the Horse Palace is being able to walk around and look at all the animals, talk to their owners, learn about their breeds and sometimes you get to brush elbows with someone famous, like Ian Millar.
Everyone who has horses showing, pretty much moves in for the entire 10 days, most make a home in a stall, so they are near their horses at all times, which means bringing along the family dog. Like this little fella, who was quiet happy sitting on a bench watching the people walk by.
Food is a major part of any trip to the Royal, but I failed to take a picture of our dinners, the worlds best Bison on a Bun, ooooo how I drool when I think about it! Hmm, I might just have to make a second trip to the fair before the 14th.
Then it was time for the main event, first there were some kids riding their ponies over a hunter course. Cute, but not really a HUGE fan of hunters. Then we saw some dressage done to jazz music, cool, the horses had sparkles on their bums, and the singer was good. Then the big guys came out to play.
I absolutely LOVE the big breeds, when you are in the horse palace and they are going by you with the wagons and all, the noise is incredible, seriously, I do not know how you could miss it. My goal is to one day visit a Clyde farm and take some good pictures, they are so huge, but so very gentle.
After the 2 horse hitch class it was onto the indoor eventing! This is the first year this was done on a Saturday night, it’s always been a weekday event, and USED to be free to watch. But since I have to skip going to Kentucky in April because of the wedding, it was my one chance to get a fix on the sport.
** COMPLAINT ** The lighting in the Coliseum SUCKS, making it virtually impossible to get awesome pics from your seat.
After the indoor eventing, there was some show jumping as well, but by this point I had given up trying to take pictures, I get annoyed when they don’t turn out how I want.
So that’s that, another year, another fair. Can’t wait for the 2011 version, perhaps by then I will have figured out HOW to get a job working with the fair organizers….