Toronto, ON (Nov 11) – November 11th is a solemn day in which we take time to reflect and honour those brave men and women, dogs, and horses that have given their lives (and still do) for our freedoms. Its about remembering those we’ve lost through battles not that long ago, and remembering those who are still with us, the survivors and soldiers of war — wars that are still raging in countries not that far away.

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Dermott Lennon (IRL) and

Dermott Lennon (IRL) and Loughview Lou Lou

Wednesday night was also the night for intense showjumping competition as the international classes really ramped up. The annual Wednesday night FEI Hickstead Cup was replaced this year with the Longines FEI World Cup Showjumping Toronto competition, and competition it was. Though we were impressed to see that the course designer honored the day as well, with a “Lest we Forget” fence adorned with a large painted poppy. It was a nice gesture in our opinion.

Early out the gate it became very clear that this was going to be a gruelling test of horse and rider speed and precision, as rail after rail hit the footing in the Ricoh. In gact, it seemed no riders would go clear as the faults started racking up, 4, 12, even 16. Some of the top riders in showjumping competition, including Captain Canada himself (Ian Millar) aboard Teddy du Bosquetiau, who retired from competition with 16 faults.

In a field of 22 riders total, representing 6 countries (CAN, USA, IRL, BEL, NZL, COL) only 2 riders went clear. Ireland’s Dermott Lennon, aboard Loughview Lou Lou, was the first to post a clear ride, with a time of 74.51 seconds. Shortly thereafter, McLain Ward (USA) ensured there would indeed be a jump off as he also, aboard  HH Azur, posted a clear ride.

In the end it came down to a jump off between Ireland and the United States as Dermott Lennon and McLain Ward went head to head. Lennon (IRL) was the first rider into the jump off, and finished with a time of 42.04, and 8 faults. McLain Ward (USA), took the title with a edge of your seat (for the audience at least) ride that ended clear, but with one time fault.

McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur

McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur

The top 5 ranking:

  1. McLain Ward (USA) aboard HH Azur
  2. Dermott Lennon (IRL) aboard Loughview Lou Lou
  3. Roberto Teran (COL) aboard Woklahoma
  4. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) aboard H&M Forever D Arco Ter Linden
  5. Beezie Madden (USA) aboard Breitling LS

American riders Callan Solem, Georgina Bloomberg, Laura Kraut, Charlie Jacobs, Reed Kessler, and Leslie Howard, placed 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 20, respectively.

Canadian Riders Jonathon Millar, Erynn Ballard, Lisa Carlsen, Mac Cone, Christian Sorensen, and Ian Millar, placed 7, 8, 9, 17, 19, and 21, respectively.

Other events from the evening horse show included the Belgian Six Horse Hitch, the Single Road Horse to Bike Championship, the Green Meadows Four in Hand, and the Single Harness Pony Open.

There was also an interesting, and somewhat daring, performance by Cavallo Equestrian arts that included trick riding, dancing, vaulting, Roman riding, and flips on horseback (yes, we said flips on horseback).

We also got a new mascot, who will be rocking it around the Royal for the next couple of days in what we are officially dubbing (and hashtagging) #SockPonyAdventures. Meet Lola (name curteosy of one of our Twitter followers), a former MBC Sock Pony turned Eloquent Equine correspondent:

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If you follow any of our social media channels you may have already got a taste of what her Royal adventures have been so far!

Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@EloquentEquine) as we’re live tweeting events from the Fair for the next couple of days. And as always, be sure to snag some sweet buttons if you see us!

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