This week we are changing it up once again (got to keep things interesting!), we thought we’d keep it simple because the team is dutifully working away to make sure the next issue (Special No. 3) is out by the end of next week.
And not to mention, in keeping the Royal Winter Fair spirit alive as long as possible we thought we’d share this brilliant, heart-warming, and inspirational video aired by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Saturday night (November 09) prior to the start of the Big Ben Challenge.
Big Ben was a horse whose personality fit his name, another world class show jumper who helped his owner rise to the top of the ranks, a position Ian Millar (Captain Canada himself) has yet to give up. Foaled in 1976 Big Ben (originally known as ‘Winston’), the 17 plus hand Belgian Warmblood, began his competition career in 1984. He really was a horse that seemed to defy the odds, rising to champion status while also surviving two serious bouts of colic and a road accident (his horse trailer overturned) that killed two other horses. After 11 impressive years of competition, Big Ben retired to Millar Brooke Farm in 1994, where he remained until his death in 1999.
The Ricoh Big Ben Challenge takes place every year at the Royal, and is always the last International competition of the fair season. Its always a sold out crowd, and this year was no exception. Not in a seat in the Ricoh Coliseum could be found, and not a dry eye likely to be had after this video was aired.
So we say here’s to Big Ben, to Hickstead, to Northern Dancer and the innumerable other great horses (famous, Canadian, or otherwise) who have changed lives, inspired nations, and brought crowds to their feet and their knees. Their’s is a legacy that has defined our sport, and will continue to long after we are gone.
Enjoy. Happy Weekend everyone!