Toronto, Ontario – Canada’s own John Pearce opened the International Show Jumping Division of the Royal Horse Show by claiming victory in the $15,000 International Jumper Welcome. The Royal Horse Show is running as part of the 84th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the largest indoor fair in the world, from November 3-12 in Toronto, ON.

Tuesday afternoon marked the first time that the international competitors had the opportunity to compete in the Ricoh Coliseum. A total of 20 competitors lined up to attempt the track set by Canadian course designer, Michel Vaillancourt, assisted by Hector Loyola of Puerto Rico.

The first four riders into the ring all jumped clear, but Pearce of Stouffville, ON, had the fastest time, 50.42 seconds, to move into the early lead riding Urioso, his nine-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding. None who followed were able to catch his time, although California’s Richard Spooner made a valiant effort with Ace, stopping the clock at 50.86 seconds. As the final challenger, eight-time Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON, was on the pace, but his time of 51.14 seconds left him in third place riding Redefin for owner Susan Grange.

Yet another Canadian held her own against the international challengers – Jill Henselwood placed fourth riding her 2005 Canadian Show Jumping Championship partner, Black Ice. With a time of 51.86 seconds, Henselwood edged out recent World Equestrian Games double silver medalist Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, New York.

International show jumping action continues through to Saturday. Tickets for all Royal Horse Show performances, held as part of the 84th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 416 872-7777 or by visiting For more information on the Royal Horse Show, including complete schedules, please visit

$15,000 International Jumper Welcome

  1. John Pearce Stouffville, ON Urioso 0 50.42
  2. Richard Spooner United States Ace 0 50.86
  3. Ian Millar Perth, ON Redefin 0 51.14
  4. Jill Henselwood Oxford Mills, ON Black Ice 0 51.86
  5. Beezie Madden United States Desilvio 0 51.87
  6. Margie Engle United States Hidden Creek’s Wapino 0 58.63
  7. Eric van der Vleuten Netherlands Paloma 0 60.94
  8. Mario Deslauriers Bromont, QC Paradigm 0 61.92
  9. Erynn Ballard Hillsburgh, ON Robin van Roosendael 0 61.95
  10. Geir Gulliksen Norway Cattani 17 0 62.78