The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is returning to Toronto for its 92nd annual run in November, promising to connect families and competitors with an expanded line-up of activities and entertainment that focus on Farm fresh Fun™.

Featuring 10 days of diverse programming which showcases all that’s new in the world of farming and fresh, local food, The Royal takes place from November 7-16, 2014 in the Direct Energy Centre and Ricoh Coliseum.

“Whether you enjoy the excitement of the Horse Show or discovering fresh food ideas from talented chefs and local producers, The Royal has a lot for everyone to love,” said Sandra Banks, CEO of The Royal. “We’ve got a lot that’s new, but we’ve also got all of the activities and attractions that our visitors have come to love and expect from The Royal over the years.”

Highlights of The Royal’s expanded line-up include:
• Animals take centre stage at The Royal – in the show rings, in the livestock auctions and in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre, all covered by general admission.

• Demonstrations at the President’s Choice Animal Theatre will showcase the talents and contributions that working animals make to our lives with 10 hours of programming every day, featuring new Spirit of the Horse demonstrations supported by Ignite Ontario, 4H rabbit jumping, Goats on the Go, President’s Choice Superdogs, sheep herding and Jack Russell races.

• The Royal Horse Show, currently ranked as No. 1 indoor equine competition in North America showcases the athletic talents of the best in national and international equestrian competitors who will compete for over $800,000 in prize money and the title of Royal Champion. Crowd favourite performances include The Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Campionship, Hickstead FEI World Cup, Weston Canadian Open and the GroupBy Big Ben Challenge.

• Three new full national classes for young riders will be added to The Royal Horse Show in 2014. The Royal is pleased to host the 2014 Running Fox Royal Championship Medal which will be a two-phase (flat and over-fences) jumper-based equitation competition for riders under the age of 21. After successful pilot projects in 2013, The Royal will expand both the All Canadian Junior Jumper Division and The Royal Horse Show Pony Jumper Division to full divisions.

• Guy McLean, Australian bush poet and horse whisperer, returns to The Royal with an expanded show from November 11-15.

• Grand National Shetland Pony Racing will make its first appearance in Canada at The Royal on opening weekend, November 7-8. Young riders and their ponies race at full speed negotiating a course of obstacles.

• Remembrance Day at The Royal on Tuesday, November 11 will be a full day and night tribute commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of WWI. Learn about the key role horses and dogs have played in our military efforts. Take in the Culinary Historian’s demonstrations of war time recipes making great food with limited ingredients. Don’t miss The Royal Horse Show with the 48th Highlanders parade and a musical salute to Canada’s military history.

• The new Food & Lifestyle stage will play host to 10 full days of food competitions and demonstrations including:
o The Road to the Royal Chef Challenge, presented by TSC Stores, is visiting six regional agricultural fairs leading up to The Royal, testing the creativity and culinary skills of local chefs. The winners of each regional competition will move forward to semi-final rounds which will be held on Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at The Royal. The top two regional finishers and a top Toronto chef will vie for the title of Royal Chef Challenge Champion during a final round at The Royal on Saturday, November 15.
o The Royal’s new International Invitational Chef Challenge on Sunday, November 9 will dish up the competition for top chefs from The Waldorf Astoria New York City and Peninsula Hotels Chicago who will compete against 2013 Royal Chef Champion, Chef Collin Thornton from the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto. Micheal Bonacini, a judge on CTV’s MasterChef Canada, will help judge the competition, while Ben Mulroney, anchor of ETALK, CTV’s Number 1-rated entertainment show, and award-winning chef and author Ted Reader will co-host.

• Food lovers will find plenty to see and taste at The Royal Vineyard and Brew Pub at “cinq a sept” happy hour gives guest a chance to enjoy Royal Champion cheeses and VQA wines and craft beers.

• The a-MAZE-ing Food Journey encourages families to “play with their food” as they explore the path food takes from farm to the table. This exhibit is a fun way for both kids and parents engage their senses, discovering the sights, sounds, texture and even smells of what we eat.

• Champions’ Day on Wednesday, November 12 will feature 2014 and past Royal Champions in agricultural products like jams, honey, maple syrup, wine and cheeses. There will be sampling and demonstrations all day long, plus the new Royal Butter Tart Competition finals.

“The Royal embodies the heart and community of a ‘local fair,’ but elevates it to a world-class scale,” said Banks. “The Fair celebrates the very best in Canadian agriculture. Hundreds of competitions take place to recognize Royal Champions and the people who devote their lives to agriculture to put the food they grow and the animals they raise up against the country’s best.”

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the Government of Ontario.