The Horse Circus: 11.7.14

The Horse CircusWe pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows

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The Royal Horse Show

Today the ten-day spectacle known as The Royal Horse Show kicks off in Toronto. Over 800 horses of all shapes and sizes, including some belonging to top riders across the three Olympic disciplines, are now on hand to amaze and entertain audiences inside Ricoh Coliseum as part of the 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

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Photo 2013 Hickstead Grand Prix from

The best will strut their stuff in this hockey turned equestrian arena during high profile show jumping classes like the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World CupTM Grand Prix, the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open, the $34,000 Jolera International Welcome and the $75,000 GroupBy Big Ben Challenge, the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, and the always exciting, two-day Horseware Indoor Eventing competition, taking place today and tomorrow evening.

Never heard of Indoor Eventing? This high-energy competition features a mash up of cross-country style jumping elements and a show jumping format. The riders must navigate modified obstacles, such as rugged hedges, walls, a bank and drop mixed with fragile stadium jumps, for a clear round in lighting fast time to take top honors.

But the toughest element of all is the audience! You will not find the pin-drop composure of Grand Prix crowd here. This event features thundering music as the horses make their round, and a crowd on their feet roaring on the riders! It really is a good time!

Canadian eventer, Waylon Roberts, is the champion of this event, taking the win last year for the seventh time in his career. But he will have to watch his back with the likes of British eventing superstar, William Fox Pitt, getting in the mix. Here are rounds from both formidable competitors last year.

Also racing through the The Royal for the first time this year is the crowd favorite Grand National Shetland Pony Races on opening weekend November 7 and 8.  So be sure to get out to see all of the action if you can. Or do what the rest of the world will be doing – watch it live and on demand here: RoyalTV.

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