The countdown to The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s 100th Anniversary is officially on! With just over 100 days until doors open, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is proud to unveil the 2022 Royal Ambassador, Winston. The 26-year-old Percheron cross is over 1.7 metres (16.3 hands) tall and will be a key figure in the centennial celebration hosted at Toronto’s Exhibition Place from November 4-13. Winston joins a line of beloved Royal Ambassadors which includes Turbo the Goat, Lil’ Ben the Miniature Horse, and rooster-duo, The Royal Duke and his son The Royal Roy.

“The Royal is an iconic Canadian event that celebrates the very best in local food, agriculture, and equine excellence this country has to offer. And after a two-year hiatus, we’re back bigger and better than ever before as we celebrate our 100th Anniversary,” said Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “Given the significance of this year’s Fair, we knew we needed a larger-than-life ambassador to embody ‘A Century of Champions’. We’re incredibly proud to have Winston on board – a majestic draft horse who is an icon in this city’s history.”

Donated through a partnership between The Royal and The Toronto Sun, Winston joined the Toronto Police Service Mounted Unit in 1999 and was aptly given the name “Winter Sun” – nicknamed Winston. After 17 years of service, he retired in 2016, making Winston the longest-serving mount of the unit.

In addition to announcing The Royal Ambassador, The Fair is pleased to share further information on marquee initiatives taking place this November:

  • The Royal 100th Anniversary Gala and Royal Showcase. On November 2, The Royal 100th Anniversary Gala and Royal Showcase will pay tribute to the vibrant history of The Fair with a special event inside the Coca-Cola Coliseum. Treasured Canadian television personality Rick Mercer will emcee the evening events. Feature performers include St. Andrew’s College Pipes & Drums, the RCMP Musical Ride, Ontario’s first Poet Laureate Randell Adjei, rising Canadian country singer-songwriter SACHA and First Nations singer-songwriter Mary Bryton. Capping off the evening, there will be a special performance from legendary Canadian band Blue Rodeo.
  • The Royal Horse Show. Ranked as the #1 indoor horse show in North America and #3 in the world, The Royal Horse Show welcomes equestrian excellence from World Cup and Olympic athletes from around the globe. For the first time in The Fair’s 100-year history, The Royal Horse Show will be an FEI 5*-W event and will feature The Royal’s beloved world-class competitions and inspiring entertainment. The Royal 100th Anniversary Gala and Showcase tickets, along with Royal Horse Show tickets, are now on sale at
  • The Royal 100th Anniversary Timeline. From first dates to family traditions, from long nights to early competitions, The Royal is proud to spotlight a “Century of Champions”. The Royal 100th Anniversary Timeline is a unique, interactive, and engaging opportunity for all those who compete, exhibit or attend our beloved event to upload and share their treasured memories, photos and stories from over the years at
  • Agreement between The Royal, City of Toronto and Exhibition Place. With 100 years behind them, The Royal is also focused on the next 100, confirming a new five-year licence agreement with Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto. This agreement between 2023 – 2027 reaffirms The Royal’s long-standing presence at one of the city’s most iconic and historic venues.
  • The Royal makes significant investment. To enhance the experience of exhibiting, competing, or attending this iconic event, The Royal has made the largest capital investment in The Fair’s history. Investments include the purchase of new large livestock and horse stalls, leasehold improvements including upgraded lighting, painting and footing in the Horse Palace, a completely new signage plan, and engaging and interactive “farm-focused” activities for families and school groups.

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