The 90th Royal Horse Show welcomes an outstanding lineup of international riders to Toronto. They will compete this week in matinee and evening competitions including the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix (Wednesday, November 7), the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open (Friday, November 9) and the $75,000 Ricoh Big Ben Challenge (Saturday, November 10.)
The riders representing the home squad: Ten-time Olympian Ian Millar (Perth, ON), three-time back-to-back Canadian Show Jumping Champion Yann Candele (Caledon, ON), Olympian Jill Henselwood (Oxford Mills, ON), Olympian Mac Cone (King, ON), past Canadian champion Ainsley Vince (Burlington, ON), Angela Covert (St. Lazare, QC) and two riders who jumped their way into the big-money week via the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships: Isabelle Lapierre (Breakeyville, QC) and Neil Badcock (King City, ON).
The American riders are always in contention and this year they are fielding some impressive names. The list includes two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (Brewster, NY) and Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut (Wellington, FL). Kent Farrington (Chicago, IL) is no stranger to the international ring. Olympian Reed Kessler (Armonk, NY) and rising star Jessica Springsteen will be making their debuts in the international division this week. Kessler, at 18, competed in London this summer as the youngest rider ever in the history of Olympic show jumping.
Hotly anticipated international riders include 2002 World Show Jumping Champion Dermott Lennon of Ireland, fellow Irish riders Conor Swail, Richie Moloney and Shane Sweetnam, and Belgian twin brothers Nicola and Olivier Philippaerts. Olivier won the prestigious $1,000,000 CN International Grand Prix this September. London Olympian Daniel Bluman will represent Colombia.
The evening performance of Thursday, November 8, offers an exciting combination of international show jumping with the $32,000 MNP International Top Score and the $20,000 Dominion Regalia Royal Invitational Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle to Music competition, where Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer will appear to defend her multiple titles.
The Royal Horse Show is not limited to competition however, with family-friendly features such as an enchanting Lit Dressage demonstration (November 8 & 9) and Denim & Diamonds, pairing the elegance of dressage with the excitement of reining during the evening performances on November 7, 8 and 10. Of note: all weekday matinee horse show performances are FREE with general admission to the Fair.