My Royal Experience: The Shows
The shows at the Royal Winter Fair are what most people buy their tickets for. The competitions are scheduled continuously throughout the day and involve many levels and disciplines to meet the interest of every horse person. For the most part, the competitions are free to watch with the purchase of the general admission ticket. However, there are some shows that require an additional fee which are definitely worth the extra spending.
The competition ring itself is surrounded by rows and rows of seats. It is also used for hockey tournaments so it is quite a large ring to ride in. Since there is so much for a horse to look at, it's a great opportunity to expose your horse to different environments that he is not used to. You can really tell the difference between the experienced horses from the novice in this arena.
We enjoyed watching various competitions throughout the day while we gave our feet a break from all of the walking we did around the vendors and horse stalls. The competitions we watched ranged from international show jumping to intermediate hunters to international dressage.
But the evening shows, like I said before, were the ones to stick around for. I specifically called these shows, because that's what it felt like. Although they were all competitions (except for Guy McLean's performance), they dimmed the lights and had an announcer that made you feel like you were at a show. This wasn't something I expected at all. But it was a nice surprise.
The competitions we watched included: the Belgian Six Horse Hitch, the Single Horse Road to Bike Championship, the Four in Hand Coaching Class Performance, the Single Harness Pony Open and finally the Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix.
The FEI World Cup was just as entertaining as watching any show jumping competition on tv... except you're watching it in person. The jumps were high (up to 1.60 metres high and 2 metres long) with $100,000 split between the top 12. There were a total of 21 athletes from all over the world who competed that day. Only 9 of which made it to the jump off. McLain Ward came out on top with his horse Rothchild to win $33,000. If you want to see how your other athletes scored, you can click here (the show was on November 12).
Congratulations to McLain Ward and all of the other athletes who competed throughout Royal Winter Agricultural Fair. It was a lot of fun to attend and we hope to go back again this year.
Thank you for being patient with me as I get back on schedule with my postings. It may take a few more weeks before Pure Horse Sense is back to how it should be. I'm also working through changing the appearance of the blog so there will be a many new changes to come. I'd suggest subscribing to Pure Horse Sense if haven't done so already as blog posts may not be published on the same days every week until I find a schedule that works best.
Thank you for reading. Don't forget to read the other posts about my experience at the Royal if you've missed them:
Until next time, happy riding!