The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (The Royal) returns to Toronto from November 1-10 in the Ricoh Coliseum and Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place. Visitors who flock to the annual fair next month will enjoy innovative new programs – as well as everything that “loyal Royals” have come to love and expect from the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.

“To celebrate our 91st year, we’ve compiled the top 91 reasons to love the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair,” said Sandra Banks, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “With so much that’s new this year, we wanted to highlight the must-see competitions, activities, celebrities and of course, animals, that our guests can enjoy at The Royal.”

1. THE PRESIDENT’S CHOICE ANIMAL THEATRE: an all-new facility, home to feature animal presentations including:
2. President’s Choice SuperDogs
3. Goats on the Go – just… imagine it
4. Victoria Stilwell, star of The Animal Planet’s hit series ‘It’s Me or The Dog’, onstage November 1 to help beleaguered pet owners solve their training issues
5. Animal psychic, Lauren Bode, will demonstrate her uncanny ability to connect with horses and dogs, both weekends of The Royal
6. Rabbit Jumping demonstrations!
7. Jack Russell Races
8. Sheep herding demonstrations by those clever border collies
9. Spirit of the Horse – equine education! Meet and learn about different breeds of horses
10. THE ROYAL HORSE SHOW: tradition and prestige combine with athletic rigour and family entertainment to highlight the best in national and international equestrian sport, featuring:
11. The 48th Highlanders, who will open the horse show Friday evening, November 1– who doesn’t love bagpipes?
12. Sylvia Zerbini, formerly of Cavalia, will entertain with her nine Arabian horses, November 6-9
13. Horse whisperer Guy McLean will amaze and delight audiences, November 1-5
14. Rider rivalries: William Fox-Pitt, ranked second in the world in eventing and teammate Oliver Townend, both of Great Britain, will seek to dethrone Waylon Roberts of Port Perry, Ontario during opening weekend at the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge
15. Black tie affairs: Wednesday through Saturday evenings you will find that much of the crowd is in fancy attire, and it’s not unusual to see Jimmy Choo’s stepping carefully through the cattle barn en route to the Tanbark Club for box-seat holders
16. Really, really big jumps: The Hickstead FEI World CupTM, presented by GroupBy, will be the most difficult show jumping you will see all week, with riders facing jumps ranging between 1.45 metres and 1.60 metres, with spreads of up to two metres wide, in the hopes of taking home their share of the $100,000 prize money
17. Canadian actress Amber Marshall of CBC’s Heartland will return to the Royal to host:
18. The Ontario Toyota Dealers Rodeo on November 3 – this classic rodeo is home to trick riders and barrel racers and all the western hooplah fans love
19. Olympians: The Ricoh Big Ben Challenge, the evening of November 9, will feature top international and Olympic riders and horses competing for a chance at the $75,000 purse
o Tip: Tickets are nearly sold-out but if you attend Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday night shows, you can see the same pairs competing!
20. Dances with horses: don’t miss Thursday night’s competition featuring horses and riders literally “dancing” to music in the Olympic sport of freestyle Dressage
21. The Dog & Pony Show, aka the International Canine/Equine Challenge, teams a President’s Choice SuperDog with an international jumper, each to jump their respectively sized courses, on November 9 (matinee performance)
22. Massive and magnificent: top teams from each breed (Belgian Draft Horse, Clydesdale and Percheron) return to the ring together for an overall grand-championship on November 9, for the $15,000 Royal Championship Six-Horse Draft Hitch (evening performance)
23. Weekday matinee horse show performances and the full horse show Sunday November 10 are free with a General Admission ticket
24. THE a-MAZE-ing FOOD JOURNEY: walk the path your food takes from farm to table at this brand new interactive exhibit, where it’s ok to play with your food
25. AGtivity CENTRAL: where parents can check their smartphones while their little ones enjoy:
26. Face painting
27. Mini tractor rides
28. A farm-inspired playscape
29. THE PIZZA PIZZA PETTING FARM: home to more than 60 friendly, child-sized farm animals
30. FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Royal visitors can rub elbows with farmers, scientists, and of course, chefs, all sharing their passion for food and an interest in farm based learning to encourage sustainability, conservation and preservation of our environment, while enjoying:
31. A working greenhouse so serene it will make you forget your day job
32. An edible garden – sit down and relax among the herbs and edible flowers
33. Health Professionals night where guests can hear from dietitians, nutritionists, and food industry professionals
34. Taste Canada’s “Cook the Books” competition featuring George Brown College chefs and cook book authors
35. Home Cooks contest, meal preparation and knife skills demonstrations – for the rest of us!
36. The Royal Wine competition featuring 60 Ontario wineries you need to know about
37. The Royal Mixology Competition where 10 of the city’s top mixologists compete for Royal honours from 6-9 p.m. on November 4
38. The Royal Pub Crawl kicking off at 7:30 p.m. at The Royal Vineyard & Brew House, November 2
39. ART in the Royal Winter Gallery and Cafe featuring a 300 piece exhibit by Canadian naturalist and painter, Robert Bateman, who will be on site both weekends to discuss his art
40. CANADIAN YOUNG SPEAKERS FOR AGRICULTURE: where youth from all across Canada will come to The Royal to deliver their prepared speeches on current agricultural topics, November 2 at 9am
41. Provincial 4-H Go For The Gold Competition Finals: again this year, this youth game show tests 4-H members on their knowledge of 4-H best practices and current agricultural trends
42. THE ROYAL AGRICULTURAL “HARVEST PATH”: hosting competitions celebrating the best in fresh, locally grown and produced food, featuring:
43. Honey & beeswax, including entries by beekeepers as young as three years old
44. Maple syrup and maple products, a truly Canadian competition
45. Jams, jellies, and pickles where family recipe rule
46. Field crops: the beautiful wheat, oat and barley sheaves are not to be missed
47. Vegetables: because everyone needs to see a pumpkin that weighs more than 1,000 lbs
48. Apples: witness the best of this year’s bumper apple crop
49. Cheese: more than 400 lbs of glorious cheese AND a chance to sample champion wines and cheeses at daily “cinq a sept” events (5 – 7 p.m.)
50. The delicious art of butter sculpting
51. THE ROYAL CULINARY THEATRE: home to the Royal’s biggest food competitions
52. The Road to the Royal Chef Challenge finale on November 2, where guests will see finalists from each regional fair fight for the winning title of The Road to the Royal Chef Challenge, including:
53. Chef Justin W. Miller, Cabin Bistro, finalist from The Great Northern Exhibition
54. Chef Justin Downes, Vineland Estates, finalist from the Niagara Regional Exhibition
55. Chef Andrea Legacey, Devlin’s Country Bistro, finalist from the Paris Fair
56. Chef Bryan Simmons, Chatterpaul’s, finalist from the Brooklin Spring Fair
57. With Ben Mulroney, eTalk, and Bob Blumer as hosts!
58. And Chef Jonathan Goodyear, Top Chef Canada finalist, as part of the judging team
59. The Royal Chef Challenge 2013, where Toronto’s finest hotel kitchens square off in heated competition hosted by Bob Blumer, November 1 & 3
60. And the red hot finale, hosted by Chef Curtis Stone, at 2pm on November 9
61. THE ROYAL BARNS: home to more than 4,000 animals during the 10-day fair, including:
62. More than 800 horses and ponies representing every imaginable size and skill set
63. More than 800 dairy cattle from five dairy cattle breeds, including Ayrshire, Holstein and Jersey
64. More than 600 beef cattle from six beef cattle breeds, including Angus, Limousin, Shorthorns and Herefords.
65. More than 450 sheep representing eight varieties, including Suffolk, Oxford, Lincoln, Texel, North County Cheviot, Southdown, Hampshire, and Dorset, as well as…
66. Sheep shearing demonstrations! (In 2012, a baby lamb was born to a sheep awaiting shearing)
67. More than 250 goats, including Nubian, Alpine and Saanan breeds- both dairy and meat breeds
68. More than 800 chickens, geese, turkeys, pigeons and all associated clucks, crows and coos
69. More than 600 rabbits and cavies from more than 100 different breeds
70. THE ROYAL FARM ANIMAL COMPETITIONS: taking place in the Scotiabank Ring of Excellence
71. A family favorite, the Rabbit and Cavy show is on November 10, and with more than 100 different classes for rabbits, cavies, and wool products, this may be the softest competition the Royal has to offer
72. The National Junior Beef Heifer Show will see 4-H members from across Canada come to Toronto to claim the National title of Grand Champion – youth who have been working with their cows all year to prepare them for their moment in the limelight on November 4
73. The Royal welcomes back the National Hereford Show, November 2
74. East National Dairy Goat Show opening weekend, November 1-3
75. TD Junior Sheep Show with more than 100 youth participating – a great example of the next generation of Canadian farmers
76. Royal Poultry, Waterfowl and Pigeon show trophy presentations on November 6
77. Dairy breeds galore: the Ayrshire show, the Brown Swiss show, the National Black and White Holstein show, the National Red and White Holstein show, and the National Jersey show… all will be vying for the Grand Champion Banner of their breed and the coveted title of Supreme Champion of The Royal
78. THE ROYAL AUCTIONS: serious business events for farmers at the Royal, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the complex role of genetics in the food production industry
79. The Sale of Stars, a premier event for Holstein enthusiasts from Canada and around the world, which grossed more than $2-million in 2012, November 7 at 5:00 p.m. in the Scotiabank Ring of Excellence
80. The Queens Guineas Competition and Auction, open to bona fide 4-H Beef Members in the Province of Ontario with a 2013 beef steer or market heifer, takes place November 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the Scotiabank Ring of Excellence
81. The Ontario Junior Barrow, a youth swine competition for both showmanship and conformation in the show ring, prepares the top placing animals to be sold Ontario Junior Barrow Auction November 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Royal Swine Ring (Lower East Annex)
82. The Royal Elite All Breeds Sale featuring top quality beef cattle takes place on November 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Scotiabank Ring of Excellence
83. The Royal Market Lamb Auction on November 5 at 5:00 p.m. in the Royal Sheep Ring (Lower East Annex)
84. The Royal Wool Auction, for champion fleece and shawls, will close the Royal on November 10
85. FABULOUS FOOD: celebrate the harvest at any of The Royal’s seven onsite restaurants including:
86. Fine dining at the Royal’s flagship restaurant, The Royal Court
87. The Hitching Ring Cafe & Bar, where you sit alongside the equine warm-up ring; The Tanbark Club, exclusive to Horse Show box seat subscribers; The Bull Pen Saloon, where all the after-show action is (dancing, anyone?); The Bit & Bridle Pub, a hidden hot spot on the upper level of the Horse Palace
88. Award winning VQA wines and Ontario craft brews at The Royal Vineyard & Brewhouse
89. High tea at The Royal Winter Gallery and Cafe
90. The famous Food Court for fudge, fries and all your favourite fair treats (potato rosti, apple dumplings, cinnamon buns, baked potatoes, lamb on a bun?) Oh my!
91. SHOPPING: featuring everything from cowboy boots to winter horse blankets, barn jackets to belt buckles – including Tuesday evening, where many equine themed retailers will be giving a discount if you show your Canadian Hunter Derby Finals ticket stub

A full schedule of The Royal’s 2013 programming is available at Discount tickets can be purchased online at or full price at the door. The Royal Horse Show tickets are also available online through or you can upgrade your general admission ticket for a Horse Show ticket at the Fair.