Toronto, Ontario â€“ The Royal Horse Show opened in style on Friday, November 2, with a win for Eric Lamaze in the $100,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship presented by Greenhawk. The Royal Horse Show is held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, celebrating its 85th anniversary, from November 2-11 in Toronto, ON.
Featuring $25,000 in prize money, the opening round of the Canadian Show Jumping Championship was a speed leg, where the fastest round won. Piloting Narcotique de Muze II, Lamaze took advantage of an inside turn to stop the clock at 57.72 seconds, which would prove to be the fastest of the evening.
“My horse jumped well, and it is nice to be back at the Royal,” noted Lamaze of Schomberg, ON.
Lamaze edged eight-time Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON, into second position. Millar had masterfully guided In Style to a clear round in a time of 57.86 seconds to the delight of the crowd in the Ricoh Coliseum.
Ainsley Vince of Milton, ON, took third place riding Top Gun who, at only seven years of age, jumped like a seasoned competitor. Owned by Iron Horse Farm, Top Gun raced around the track set by course designer Michel Vaillancourt and left all the jumps in place in a time of 58.83 seconds.
Millar’s son, Jonathon, challenged his dad, but was off the pace, stopping the clock at 60.73 seconds to take fourth with Fancy Hill 2. Mario Deslauriers of Bromont, QC, was the only rider to take both inside turns offered on course and, while he was successful the first time, he was not as lucky coming to the final fence, adding a four-second time penalty to his score.
All of Friday night’s scores are carried forward to Round Two of the Canadian Championship concludes on Saturday afternoon, which is a two-round competition.
Other featured events on Opening Night at The Royal Horse Show included a live performance by Grammy and Juno award winning Canadian recording artist, Alannah Myles. A packed audience in the Ricoh Coliseum was mesmerized as Myles and her band performed five songs including ‘Black Velvet’ while international dressage athletes Neil and Cindy Ishoy executed an intricate pas de deux musical freestyle. Also on Friday night, the $8,000 Alfred Rogers National Talent Squad Championship, Round One, was held. David Arcand of Ville Mt. Royal, QC, emerged the winner after posting the fastest clear round riding Santos Utopia while Mark Leyton of St. John’s, NF, placed second with Sunday B.
On Saturday afternoon, The Royal Horse Show continues with the second and final phase of the $100,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship presented by Greenhawk. Past champions since The Royal Horse Show began hosting the national championship in 2001 include Ainsley Vince (2001 and 2002), Eric Lamaze (2003), Ian Millar (2004), Jill Henselwood (2005) and current title holder Laurie Bucci (2006).
Alannah Myles will perform during the matinee as well as the evening performance of Saturday’s Royal Horse Show while the $70,000 Kubota Cup National Final will be the featured show jumping event on Saturday evening. In total, $745,000 in prize money is offered during the 10-day Royal Horse Show, making it one of the richest equestrian events in the world.
For more information on The Royal Horse Show and The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org.
Canadian Show Jumping Championship presented by Greenhawk â€“ Round 1
1. Eric Lamaze Schomberg, ON Narcotique de Muze 57.72
2. Ian Millar Perth, ON In Style 57.86
3. Ainsley Vince Milton, ON Top Gun 58.83
4. Jonathon Millar Perth, ON Fancy Hill 2 60.73
5. Mario Deslauriers Bromont, QC Naomi 60.82
6. Jill Henselwood Oxford Mills, ON Black Ice 62.78