Toronto, ON (CAN) – The temperature outside may have been dropping but they were turning up the heat with a tough night of competition in the Ricoh. The evening opened with a range of cart classes, including the 6 horse hitch and road pony. Here’s a highlight of the winners:
- $2500 Belgian Six Horse Hitch: Kyle Forsyth and the Country Lab Belgians hitch
- $5000 Single Road Horse to Bike Championship: Entry 508 Carolyn Nugent and Storm Trooper
- Four in Hand Coaching Class Performance (Green Meadows): Harvey Waller and the Order in Farm Hitch
- $1000 Single Harness Pony Open: Entry 401 – Karen Waldron and Sweetheart of Success
Things got intense quickly in the first round of show jumping as rider after rider dropped the rails. First out of the gate, Canada’s own Jonathon Millar, finished with 16 faults aboard Bonzay, and it wasn’t until rider number 8, British rider Nick Skelton aboard Big Star, took the ring that we saw our first clear round.
Rails continued to fall as round one progressed, and in the end only 5 riders, in a field of 22, went clear and into the jump off. Bets were placed and it was anyone’s guess who would win. Would it be Olympic gold medalist Nick Skelton aboard Big Star or defending champion, American rider McLain Ward aboard HH Azur?
These two champions went up against Skye Sweetnam (IRL), Kent Farrington (USA), and Mac Cone (CAN), and as the second phase commenced it was anybody’s game. With 4 faults out the gate and a time of 37.26 seconds, Nick Skelton set the bar for the riders who came after. In the end, McLain Ward once again took the title with a final score of 0 faults and 36.02 seconds. This was the fourth time McLain Ward took the top title at the Royal, and he did so with another stunning performance aboard the 10 year old Belgian mare HH Azur.
Here’s how the top 6 breakdown:
- McLain Ward & HH Azur (USA)
- Kent Farrington & Creedence (USA)
- Nick Skelton & Big Star (GBR)
- Shane Sweetnam & Chaqui Z (IRL)
- Mac Cone & Gasper Van Den Doorne (CAN)
- David Will & Monodia H (GER)
Full results and horse show schedules are available from the Royal Winter Fair website (Royalfair.org).
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is an annual event where city meets country in the heart of downtown Toronto. Highlights of the fair include horse and agriculture shows, shopping and fine dining. More information about the Royal Winter Fair can be found by visiting their site.