My Royal Experience 2015

  It's that time of year again in Toronto. The time of year when farm animals take over the Exhibition Place. From November 6 to 15, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is back!

Pure Horse Sense Blog- Ricoh Coliseum at the RAWF

Photographed by me

  I was able to spend the whole day at the fair yesterday (from 10 am to 11 pm). It was a long day, but we had a lot of fun.

  We started our morning by visiting the horses in the two level stable called the Horse Palace. We said hello to the draft horses, ponies and sport horses. The barn was still quiet as all of the fair goers were just starting to arrive.

Pure Horse Sense Blog- Horse Palace Overlooking the Warm-Up Ring at the RAWF

Photographed by me

  At about 10:30, we wandered over to the Remembrance Day ceremony. It was great to see so many people attend it and show their appreciation for those who serve our countries, especially when there is so much to do at the fair.

  We spent the rest of our time walking from venue to venue to try to watch as many events as possible. For the horse shows at the Ricoh Coliseum, we watched the CET National Medal Finals Flat and Gymnastics Phase and the McKee Family International Jumpers. At the animal theatre, we watched the President's Choice Super Dogs and the Medieval Times. At the educational centre, we learned how to shear a sheep properly. All of these shows were fantastic to watch and kept us entertained throughout the day.

Pure Horse Sense Blog- CET National Medal Finals Flat and Gymnastics Phase at the RAWF

Photographed by me

Pure Horse Sense Blog- Medieval Times at the RAWF

Photographed by me

  Time flew by and before we knew it, it was 4 pm. With our stomachs growling, we headed over to the food court. We ate various fair foods including an Oreo funnel cake that we shared. Sure, what we chose to eat wasn't healthy. But we figured that, since the fair only comes once a year, we might as well enjoy it. Right?

Pure Horse Sense Blog- Oreo Funnel Cake at the RAWF

Photographed by me

  With our stomachs full, we browsed the rows of shops. I made sure to keep my spending to a minimum as it could be so easy for anyone to max out their credit card on tack, homeware and jewellery.

  We then went to say hello to the sheep and cows before heading to the Horse Palace while we waited to enter back into the Ricoh Coliseum. The night's shows started at 7 pm. These shows are not included in the standard admission's price, but they are worth the money. We watched the Belgian Six-Horse Hitch, the Road Horse to Bike Championship, the Cavallo Equestrian Arts, the Green Meadows Coaches (where Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson made an appearance) and the Harness Pony-Open. All of this, lead up to the main event that started at 9 pm; the $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup.

Pure Horse Sense Blog- Sheep at the RAWF

Photographed by me

Pure Horse Sense Blog- Calf at the RAWF

Photographed by me

  It was great to watch some of the great international show jumpers compete at the highest level right before our eyes. We watched 20 top horse and rider combinations try to win the first place prize of $43,560. Some of these riders included Ian Millar, Beezie Madden, Reed Kessler, McLain Ward and the Philippaerts brothers.

  In the end, McLain Ward came out on top with his horse HH Azur. The announcer also mentioned that this win meant that McLain had won 7 Wednesday night competitions at the Royal so far. That's pretty impressive. On top of that, he won the McKee Family International Jumpers on Carneyhaugh Manx that morning too.

  We enjoyed ourselves a great deal at the Royal this year and we plan on going back again next year. I'd recommend anyone to book their tickets and visit the fair if they're ever in the Toronto area at the same time. If you want to a sneak peek of the show, FEI will be live streaming Friday's $50,000 Weston Canadian Open and Saturday's $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge on their YouTube channel.

  Until next time, happy riding!