What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Wrap Up & Photo Gallery

November 22, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Wrap Up & Photo Gallery

By Kim MacMillan, MacMillan Photography & Media Services

Photos by Kim & Allen MacMillan, Tammy Brown and Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography Media Services. All photos are copyrighted. For more information or to purchase photos please contact us at photo@looncreekenterprises.com.

The 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair wrapped up in Toronto last weekend with dozens of champions being named in the Royal Horse Show, as well as in the Agriculture Show. Roughly 300,000 visitors attended the Fair which ran from November 7 – November 16 at the Canadian Exhibition Place located near Lake Ontario in the heart of Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

The Royal Horse Show is one of the last remaining grand, old-style horse shows packing the stands each day with fairgoers from Canada and around the world. The show offered classes for draft horse hitches, antique carriages, hunters, jumpers, dressage horses, Welsh Ponies, Standardbreds, Hackneys, Thoroughbreds and Canadian Sport Horses. The popular annual Canine/Equine Challenge class held on the final Saturday combines a jumper horse and rider pair with a canine agility competitor and handler as each runs over their own course (show jumping for the horses and agility for the dogs) with the two scores being combined to determine the winners.

The first week featured a rodeo, the always exciting indoor eventing and Shetland Pony Grand National racing complete with tiny jockeys and simulated steeplechase fences. The second week of the Royal featured Australian “Bush Poet” and horse trainer Guy McLean performing with his four home-bred, red dun Australian Stock Horses. Now based in Texas, McLean entertained the audience with his unique mix of humor while riding one horse and working the other three at liberty.

The Royal international show jumping tour continued in the second week including:  the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix on November 12 (won by McLain Ward and Rothchild from the U.S.A.); the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on November 14 (won by Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo from the U.S.A.); the always entertaining $15,000 Canine,/Equine Challenge class (won by Jessica Springsteen and Zero from the U.S.A. plus their dog and handler partners) held in the afternoon on November 15, and the $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge (won by Nicola Philappaerts from Belgium and Challenge Vd Begijnakker) on November 15.

Leading Canadian Rider was Jonathon Miller, Leading International Rider was McLain Ward of the U.S.A. and the Leading Canadian Jumper Horse was Game Ready owned by Susan Grange and ridden by Ireland’s Connor Swail.

The Royal is the largest indoor combined horse show and agricultural fair in the world. The Royal Agriculture show features classes for livestock, farm crops and garden produce, as well as unique classes such as the Gay Lea Butter Sculpture Contest (see gallery of sculptures here:   http://www.royalfair.org/node/229), the Most Unusually Shaped Vegetable Class, and the Ladies Lead and Wool Class where the handler and sheep are both dressed in wool (see description of this class at http://www.royalfair.org/td-ladies-lead-and-wool).

The 4-H bunny jumping competition, held in the President’s Choice Animal Theater arena for the second year in a row, was a very popular program. The competition involved each 4-H member taking their pet rabbit through a course that was a cross between a show jumping course and a dog agility course, only with heights set appropriately for rabbits. Other events featured in the President’s Choice Animal Theater were:  educational clinics for dressage, eventing and show jumping (to educate the crowds about the sports competing in the upcoming 2015 Pan American Games to be held in Toronto); Goats on the Go; Super Dogs agility performances; a performance by the Medieval Times cast; The Spirit of the Horse breed demonstrations, and more.

The Royal is truly a unique competition with the top international level horse show alongside the Canadian agriculture showcase with a host of shopping, entertainment and dining options as well. Hundreds of merchants offered wares ranging from antiques and artwork to tack and riding clothes and from clothing and home improvement products options to health and beauty items and gifts. There were a number of farms offering Canadian grown meats, produce and dairy products for sampling and purchase as well. Cooking classes, riding clinics, horse breed demonstrations, wandering musicians, square dancing, children’s’ activities, Toyotas to test drive, and Super Dogs performances were among the many entertainment and educational programs offered during the Royal.

For more information and a complete list of results to go www.royalfair.org. The 2015 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will run November 6 – 15.

1-McLain Ward and Rothchild won the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix on November 12.

1-McLain Ward and Rothchild won the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World Cup Grand Prix on November 12.

2-U.S. rider McLain Ward won the coveted Leading International Rider sash at the 2014 Royal Winter Fair. He has been competing at the Royal for around 20 years and loves the atmosphere.

2-U.S. rider McLain Ward won the coveted Leading International Rider sash at the 2014 Royal Winter Fair. He has been competing at the Royal for around 20 years and loves the atmosphere.

3-Jonathon Miller’s mount Calvin Klein could hardly control his enthusiasm at Miller being named Leading Canadian Rider at the2014 Royal.

3-Jonathon Miller’s mount Calvin Klein could hardly control his enthusiasm at Miller being named Leading Canadian Rider at the2014 Royal.

4-Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri won the Royal Invitational Grand Prix dressage competition, which included a Grand Prix class on one evening and a Grand Prix Freestyle on the next evening.

4-Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri won the Royal Invitational Grand Prix dressage competition, which included a Grand Prix class on one evening and a Grand Prix Freestyle on the next evening.

5-Wysteria Lane owned and ridden by Nancy Fagan, won the Lieutenant Governor’s Cup class on the final Saturday morning. The Governor General’s Cup (in-hand) and Lieutenant Governor’s Cup (under saddle) classes are the highlight of the sport horse breed show. The classes are for three-year-old Canadian-bred horses suitable to become sport horses.

5-Wysteria Lane owned and ridden by Nancy Fagan, won the Lieutenant Governor’s Cup class on the final Saturday morning. The Governor General’s Cup (in-hand) and Lieutenant Governor’s Cup (under saddle) classes are the highlight of the sport horse breed show. The classes are for three-year-old Canadian-bred horses suitable to become sport horses.

6-The 2014 Governor General‘s Cup winner was Abbey Road FF (by Aloha) shown by Ronnie Davidson and owned by Shannon and Chris Smith.

6-The 2014 Governor General‘s Cup winner was Abbey Road FF (by Aloha) shown by Ronnie Davidson and owned by Shannon and Chris Smith.

7-A small pony hunter packs his precious cargo around the Ricoh Coliseum arena during the Royal Horse Show. The hunter show included classes for ponies, juniors, adult amateurs and also featured the Canadian Hunter Derby.

7-A small pony hunter packs his precious cargo around the Ricoh Coliseum arena during the Royal Horse Show. The hunter show included classes for ponies, juniors, adult amateurs and also featured the Canadian Hunter Derby.

8- First place yearling Thoroughbred colt Copy Cat Creek (by Yellow Creek), handled by Amber Cranston and owned by Sandra Zelmer. The Royal Horse Show is home to the country’s most prestigious breed show with classes for Thoroughbreds, sport horses, draft horses and Welsh Ponies.

8- First place yearling Thoroughbred colt Copy Cat Creek (by Yellow Creek), handled by Amber Cranston and owned by Sandra Zelmer. The Royal Horse Show is home to the country’s most prestigious breed show with classes for Thoroughbreds, sport horses, draft horses and Welsh Ponies.

9-Champion Thoroughbred stallion at the 2014 Royal, Simply Decadent by Niigon, handled by Marc Desautels, and owned by Treena McClelland-Desautels.

9-Champion Thoroughbred stallion at the 2014 Royal, Simply Decadent by Niigon, handled by Marc Desautels, and owned by Treena McClelland-Desautels.

10-The diminutive and feisty pony jumpers are fun to watch as their determined riders pilot them around a miniature Grand Prix course.

10-The diminutive and feisty pony jumpers are fun to watch as their determined riders pilot them around a miniature Grand Prix course.

11-The ground shakes as the draft horse hitches take center stage. Here 11 four-horse hitches were lined up in the arena all at one time; that’s a huge amount of horse power!

11-The ground shakes as the draft horse hitches take center stage. Here 11 four-horse hitches were lined up in the arena all at one time; that’s a huge amount of horse power!

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume.   The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume. The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume.   The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

12-The Green Meadows Carriage competition was for antique carriages pulled by four matching horses. The drivers, passengers and grooms were all dressed in formal costume. The First Place Red ribbon went to Glenmore Farms Entry driven by Glenn A Werry Jr.

13-The “Road Horse” classes feature Standardbred race horses complete with sulkies and racing silks.

13-The “Road Horse” classes feature Standardbred race horses complete with sulkies and racing silks.

14-A favorite of the audience and the competitors alike, the indoor eventing offered lots of action and thrills. Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix rode Charlotte Schickedanz’ Trakehner mare Abby GS.

14-A favorite of the audience and the competitors alike, the indoor eventing offered lots of action and thrills. Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix rode Charlotte Schickedanz’ Trakehner mare Abby GS.

15-Educational clinics for show jumping, dressage and eventing took place in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre arena. Here show jumper Hyde Moffatt explains the finer points of competing over fences.

15-Educational clinics for show jumping, dressage and eventing took place in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre arena. Here show jumper Hyde Moffatt explains the finer points of competing over fences.

16-The featured equestrian entertainer at the Royal Winter Fair in 2014 was Australian “Bush Poet” Guy McLean and his four  home-bred red dun Australian Stock Horses.  For his signature finale three horses stand over one horse laying down as guy wails his bullwhips.

16-The featured equestrian entertainer at the Royal Winter Fair in 2014 was Australian “Bush Poet” Guy McLean and his four home-bred red dun Australian Stock Horses. For his signature finale three horses stand over one horse laying down as guy wails his bullwhips.

17-Twins in a stroller were greeted by a friendly lamb.

17-Twins in a stroller were greeted by a friendly lamb.

18-Goats were everywhere at the Royal. The Royal Goat Show offered many prizes, plus a “Goats on the Go” presentation in the President’s Choice Animal Theater and also many goats in the pens in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. You could also sample and purchase many flavors of goat’s milk cheeses at a number of booths in the shopping area

18-Goats were everywhere at the Royal. The Royal Goat Show offered many prizes, plus a “Goats on the Go” presentation in the President’s Choice Animal Theater and also many goats in the pens in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. You could also sample and purchase many flavors of goat’s milk cheeses at a number of booths in the shopping area

19-Some white Sebastopol geese in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. Agriculture historians think that this goose breed was developed either in Central Europe or the Ukraine.

19-Some white Sebastopol geese in the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm. Agriculture historians think that this goose breed was developed either in Central Europe or the Ukraine.

20-This Jersey dairy cow tethered in the Royal barn area appears to be telling onlookers all about her show career.

20-This Jersey dairy cow tethered in the Royal barn area appears to be telling onlookers all about her show career.

21-Alyssa Deneau, Coldwater, ON, and her ewe Karma, contestants in the Ladies Lead to Wool class

21-Alyssa Deneau, Coldwater, ON, and her ewe Karma, contestants in the Ladies Lead to Wool class

22-In Canada the color of the first place ribbon is red rather than blue as in the U.S.A.

22-In Canada the color of the first place ribbon is red rather than blue as in the U.S.A.

23-Garden and farm produce exhibits added color to the show. It was anyone’s guess how many pumpkin pies this large pumpkin would make.

23-Garden and farm produce exhibits added color to the show. It was anyone’s guess how many pumpkin pies this large pumpkin would make.

24-4-H bunny jumping was a huge hit at the Royal Winter Fair. Featured in the President’s Choice Animal Theater, each 4-H member attempted to put their rabbit through a cross between a show jumping course and a dog agility course.

24-4-H bunny jumping was a huge hit at the Royal Winter Fair. Featured in the President’s Choice Animal Theater, each 4-H member attempted to put their rabbit through a cross between a show jumping course and a dog agility course.

25-The 2014 Royal Agricultural Fair Dairy Show Supreme Champion, a Jersey cow. Jersey’s are known for their sweet temperaments and the high percentage of cream they produce in their milk making the milk great for premium ice cream production.

25-The 2014 Royal Agricultural Fair Dairy Show Supreme Champion, a Jersey cow. Jersey’s are known for their sweet temperaments and the high percentage of cream they produce in their milk making the milk great for premium ice cream production.

26-There were many educational agricultural exhibits at the Royal, such as this egg fact:  One good hen can lay around 332 eggs in a year.

26-There were many educational agricultural exhibits at the Royal, such as this egg fact: One good hen can lay around 332 eggs in a year.

27-Butter sculptures are a popular exhibit at the Royal Winter Fair. Young artists are given a theme, a large amount of butter and a time frame in which to complete their masterpieces while working in a cooler. The sculptures are judged and then put on display for the fair attendees to view.

27-Butter sculptures are a popular exhibit at the Royal Winter Fair. Young artists are given a theme, a large amount of butter and a time frame in which to complete their masterpieces while working in a cooler. The sculptures are judged and then put on display for the fair attendees to view.

28-Several antique tractors and trucks were on display in the Royal shopping area.

28-Several antique tractors and trucks were on display in the Royal shopping area.

29-Cooking demonstrations were offered at several locations throughout the Royal Winter Fair. Celebrity chefs made appearances and the Canadian dairy council offered classes in cooking with cheese.

29-Cooking demonstrations were offered at several locations throughout the Royal Winter Fair. Celebrity chefs made appearances and the Canadian dairy council offered classes in cooking with cheese.

30-The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a great place to do Christmas shopping. Several hundred merchant booths offered a wide variety of wares from antiques and home décor to tack, horse care products and riding clothes, to health and beauty aids, to food and gift items.

30-The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a great place to do Christmas shopping. Several hundred merchant booths offered a wide variety of wares from antiques and home décor to tack, horse care products and riding clothes, to health and beauty aids, to food and gift items.

31-This enterprising young musician was one of several wandering performers who added to the festive atmosphere at the Royal. The Toronto area Salvation Army brass band was another group who performed.

31-This enterprising young musician was one of several wandering performers who added to the festive atmosphere at the Royal. The Toronto area Salvation Army brass band was another group who performed.

32-An artistic horse sculpture made of cardboard and packing tape mounted on a base decorated with photographs of war horses honored the working horses of World War I and World War II. Artwork in various mediums is also featured at the Royal – everything from oil paintings, watercolors, woodworking, textiles, ceramics and sculpture were available for viewing.

32-An artistic horse sculpture made of cardboard and packing tape mounted on a base decorated with photographs of war horses honored the working horses of World War I and World War II. Artwork in various mediums is also featured at the Royal – everything from oil paintings, watercolors, woodworking, textiles, ceramics and sculpture were available for viewing.

33-The University of Guelph “EquiMania” area offered many fun and educational activities about horses for kids and their parents.

33-The University of Guelph “EquiMania” area offered many fun and educational activities about horses for kids and their parents.

34-A little girl tries her hand at milking a cow in “Ag-Tivity Central” in the middle of the Royal Marketplace.

34-A little girl tries her hand at milking a cow in “Ag-Tivity Central” in the middle of the Royal Marketplace.

35-A little girl exercises her artistic expression as she paints a small Breyer model in the kid’s activity area.

35-A little girl exercises her artistic expression as she paints a small Breyer model in the kid’s activity area.

36-Tossing a ball into the back of a Toyota truck was a way for kids to win fun prizes.

36-Tossing a ball into the back of a Toyota truck was a way for kids to win fun prizes.

37-“The Amazing Food Journey” educational exhibit offered kids and their parents a look underground at simulated growing root vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips).

37-“The Amazing Food Journey” educational exhibit offered kids and their parents a look underground at simulated growing root vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips and turnips).

 

2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show Underway in Toronto

November 13, 2014 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show Underway in Toronto

 

By Kim & Allen MacMillan/MacMillan Photography – All Photos by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

 

The 2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair kicked off on Friday, November 7 with a flurry of activity that makes the Royal one of the iconic indoor horse shows of the year. This final stop of the year on the North American Nations Cup show jumping indoor tour, the 2014 Royal Winter Fair Horse Show CSI4*-W features top-tier international jumper riders hailing from Canada, the U.S.A., Colombia, Ireland and Belgium.

 

These riders are all vying for over $800,000 in total prize money and the top ribbon in the $100,000 Hickstead FEI World CupTM Grand Prix presented by Hudson’s Bay (Wednesday, November 12th), the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open (Friday, November 14th) and Saturday evening’s sold-out $75,000 GroupBy Big Ben Challenge.

 

The Royal, which received the “Royal” designation by King George V of England, began as a Canadian agriculture showcase in 1922 and has been operating continuously since then except for during World War II. The Royal takes place at the Canadian National Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. Today the Royal attracts over 300,000 visitors annually. This year’s fair runs November 7 – 16.

 

Over 800 horses will compete at the Royal Winter Fair including show jumpers, hunters, dressage horses, draft horse hitches, antique carriage teams, indoor eventing competitors, Shetland Pony Grand National steeplechasers, and sport horse breeding class participants. In addition there are many other horses in the Royal Rodeo and in other entertainment programs and demonstrations throughout the 10-day run of the show.

 

Beyond the horse show, there are cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits and poultry, as well as crops and garden produce, butter sculptures and 4-H rabbit jumping contestants entered in the Royal Fair. And the “Super Dogs” are back competing in agility. Add to that an amazing array of food choices and shopping booths (offering a wide variety of equestrian, agricultural and mainstream products). There is never a dull moment at the Royal! For more information about Royal Agricultural Winter Fair go to www.royalfair.org .

 

All photos courtesy of MacMillan Photography. Photos are copyrighted. For information or to purchase photos contact us at photo@LoonCreekEnterprises.com

New to the Royal this year was the Grand National Shetland Pony racing. We submitted this picture to Wikipedia to help them illustrate their definition of “CUTE!”Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

New to the Royal this year was the Grand National Shetland Pony racing. We submitted this picture to Wikipedia to help them illustrate their definition of “CUTE!” Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

The Grand National Shetland Pony racing jockeys practicing their “cool” Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

The Grand National Shetland Pony racing jockeys practicing their “cool” Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Winning the opening round of the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships on the first night of the Royal Horse Show was the 13-year- old Dutch Warmblood gelding Star Power, owned by Team Works and ridden by Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Winning the opening round of the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships on the first night of the Royal Horse Show was the 13-year- old Dutch Warmblood gelding Star Power, owned by Team Works and ridden by Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Flying over the Maple Leaf jump is the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Appy Cara, owned by Angelstone Partners and ridden by Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, Ontario. Just a year and a half after a horrible fall left Ballard with many broken bones, potential nerve damage and a doctor warning her to give up riding, Ballard amazed even herself at her return to riding and her success in returning to the jumper ring. They took second in the opening round of the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships on the first night of the Royal Horse Show.Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Flying over the Maple Leaf jump is the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Appy Cara, owned by Angelstone Partners and ridden by Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, Ontario. Just a year and a half after a horrible fall left Ballard with many broken bones, potential nerve damage and a doctor warning her to give up riding, Ballard amazed even herself at her return to riding and her success in returning to the jumper ring. They took second in the opening round of the Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championships on the first night of the Royal Horse Show. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Winning the opening round of the $8,000 Canadian National Talent Squad presented by the Uplands Charitable Foundation on November 7, was the 7-year old gelding  Corrido, owned by Jessie Bonisteel with rider Neil Badcock of Schomberg , Ontario, in the irons. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Winning the opening round of the $8,000 Canadian National Talent Squad presented by the Uplands Charitable Foundation on November 7, was the 7-year old gelding Corrido, owned by Jessie Bonisteel with rider Neil Badcock of Schomberg , Ontario, in the irons. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Cheptel Gaston and his owner/rider by Vanessa Fenwick, Pefferlaw, Ontario, were competitors in the opening round of the $8,000 Canadian National Talent Squad. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Cheptel Gaston and his owner/rider by Vanessa Fenwick, Pefferlaw, Ontario, were competitors in the opening round of the $8,000 Canadian National Talent Squad. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Taking fourth in round one of the Canadian National Talent Squad jumping competition was (and it looks like practicing for the Puissance) the mare Just Stella L owned by Gabrielle Pelchat and ridden by Melissandre Lincourt of Montreal, Quebec. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Taking fourth in round one of the Canadian National Talent Squad jumping competition was (and it looks like practicing for the Puissance) the mare Just Stella L owned by Gabrielle Pelchat and ridden by Melissandre Lincourt of Montreal, Quebec. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Pinning the Large Pony  Hunter Under Saddle Class during the 2014 Royal Horse Show on the first Friday Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Pinning the Large Pony Hunter Under Saddle Class during the 2014 Royal Horse Show on the first Friday Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

An eventing clinic was held on the first weekend of the Royal Winter Fair in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre arena. The Animal Theatre is also the location of Super Dogs, 4-H bunny jumping, “Goats Galore” and many other entertaining events. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

An eventing clinic was held on the first weekend of the Royal Winter Fair in the President’s Choice Animal Theatre arena. The Animal Theatre is also the location of Super Dogs, 4-H bunny jumping, “Goats Galore” and many other entertaining events. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

A ring jammed full of massive draft horses and amazing wagons in the All-Breeds Four- Horse Registered Mares draft horse hitch class.  The class started with two groups being judged separately; then the ringmaster brought in all 11 teams back in at one time to line up.  The awesome sight of 44 horses and 11 wagons in the ring was impressive. The winner was Blue Ribbon Days  Farm with driver Cody Woodbury, owned by the Albert Cleve and Jim Day Families. The team is from Winchester, Indiana, U.S.A.Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

A ring jammed full of massive draft horses and amazing wagons in the All-Breeds Four- Horse Registered Mares draft horse hitch class. The class started with two groups being judged separately; then the ringmaster brought in all 11 teams back in at one time to line up. The awesome sight of 44 horses and 11 wagons in the ring was impressive. The winner was Blue Ribbon Days Farm with driver Cody Woodbury, owned by the Albert Cleve and Jim Day Families. The team is from Winchester, Indiana, U.S.A. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Trick riding, a preview of some of the action for the upcoming Sunday rodeo at the RoyalPhoto by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Trick riding, a preview of some of the action for the upcoming Sunday rodeo at the Royal Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Dutch Times, owned by Christina Aharoni and ridden by Tik Maynard of Vancouver, British Columbia. They were winners of the always exciting first round of the Horseware Ireland Indoor Eventing Challenge. Photographer Shelley Higgins says that Tik was interesting in that “he just about never touched the horse’s mouth; there were loops in the reins most of the time!”Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Dutch Times, owned by Christina Aharoni and ridden by Tik Maynard of Vancouver, British Columbia. They were winners of the always exciting first round of the Horseware Ireland Indoor Eventing Challenge. Photographer Shelley Higgins says that Tik was interesting in that “he just about never touched the horse’s mouth; there were loops in the reins most of the time!” Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Second place in the round one of the Horseware Ireland Indoor Eventing was Free Spirit, owned by Peter Barry and ridden by Colleen Loach. The course was designed by the Canadian International Eventing Coach Clayton Fredericks from Australia. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Second place in the round one of the Horseware Ireland Indoor Eventing was Free Spirit, owned by Peter Barry and ridden by Colleen Loach. The course was designed by the Canadian International Eventing Coach Clayton Fredericks from Australia. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Photographer Shelley Higgins couldn’t resist including a photo of the diminutive Forrest Nymph, ridden by U.S. eventer Sinead Halpin, Oldwick, New Jersey, and owned by Beth Davidson, in the Horseware Ireland Indoor Eventing Challenge. “Forrest Nymph was only 14.3 hands, but what a trier,” says Shelley. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

Photographer Shelley Higgins couldn’t resist including a photo of the diminutive Forrest Nymph, ridden by U.S. eventer Sinead Halpin, Oldwick, New Jersey, and owned by Beth Davidson, in the Horseware Ireland Indoor Eventing Challenge. “Forrest Nymph was only 14.3 hands, but what a trier,” says Shelley. Photo by Shelley Higgins/MacMillan Photography

 

2013 North American Stallion Testing Pronounces Winner During Epic Storm, Top-American-bred Gallant’s Reflection HU Named Reserve Champion

December 19, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma—The 2013 North American Stallion Testing will go down in the record books as one of the largest, and most challenging, since Silver Creek Farms began hosting and producing the event seven years ago at their top-notch facility outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A collection of stallions bred in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Canada and the United States were trained, tested and judged by a panel during their stay in the Sooner State. The winner of the 70-Day Test, Canadian-bred Fabian DSF (Freestyle x Hierarch), claimed top honors with exceptional marks for rideability. The Reserve Championship went to Horses Unlimited’s Gallant Reflection HU (Galant du Serein x Rohdiamant). The bright chestnut was the top-placed American-bred, with an impressive fourth place in the jumping index and a very close second in rideability index.

 GallantRelectionHUConfOKE

During the testing, candidates were evaluated on a series of universal criteria including gaits, jumping, rideability and character. This process allows stallions to show their versatility without emphasizing any one style or discipline. They received marks from multiple judges during both the “training phase” and “test phase” of the event. The 70-Day Test began with a veterinary inspection of a large group of eighteen stallions, ages 4-8 years, on the 27th of September.  Two ponies and a three-year-old joined the group on the 7th of November for the 30-Day Test portion of the event. The training phase commenced during the pleasant falls days of western Oklahoma. By the time the final scores were given, one of the most difficult winter storms in recent memory had taken ahold of the entire region. The Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, declared a state of emergency and traffic across many surrounding states came to a standstill. 

 

 

A major storm, rider injuries, nor a series of other challenges deterred the team from completing their goal and awarding final marks to the twenty-one contestants. “This is the first time we had a perfect finish. All of the stallions that were presented completed their testing,” explained Summer Stoffel, owner of Silver Creek Farms. She credits not only the tenacious equines, but also a dedicated staff, guest riders and judges, Barbara Sikkink and training director Harald Hoffmann for achieving this milestone. Stoffel, herself a breeder of a 70-Day Test winner, is passionate about giving stallion owners in North America a path to evaluate their horses. Anne Sparks, owner and breeder of Gallant Reflection HU, was very complementary of the level of commitment Stoffel’s team brought to the testing. “Summer was there for us as owners during the entire process and was willing to do whatever was needed to help our horses be successful,” explained Sparks.

 

Education and mentorship in the industry is a priority for both Stoffel and Sparks. Both women are quick to share their experience with others seeking to test and license stallions in North America. “ I sent another homebred through the 70-Day Test in 2009. Galante HU (Galant du Serein x Landor S) is now fully licensed and a grand prix showjumper. That experience taught me the importance of correct preparation of your stallion for testing.” Building on the knowledge gained several years ago, Sparks decided to send her Zweibrucker colt to Christian Baier of Southern Blues Equestrian in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally from Tranås in southern Sweden, Baier is a well-seasoned stallion handler and trainer. He and Sparks partnered successfully on other occasions making the choice easy for Gallant Reflection’s breeder. Baier was the handler of Pikko del Cerro HU during his 2009 Dressage at Devon Stallion Championship, as well as his 2011 American Hanoverian Society East Coast Licensing Championship.

 GallantReflectionReserveChampCropped

“Reefer”, as he is affectionately called, arrived at the Tennessee Farm in February. During the following months the colt would learn the basics and prepare for the rigors of a 70-Day Test. Mr. Baier spent the first three months focused on rhythm in all three gaits. “Reefer has huge gaits so I had to be patient as he gained the strength and balance needed to carry himself.” An emphasis on these principles is key to developing a horse’s natural movement. “Once he had the strength, all the work was very easy for him. He is extremely straightforward and an absolute gentleman around other horses,” remarked Baier. During the fourth month, the training emphasis became suppleness and an introduction to light jumping. The remainder of preparation time was spent building more rhythm, suppleness and strength. Baier fondly recalls Reefer’s positive attitude and cooperative nature both under saddle and in the stable. “I delivered him to Oklahoma and was looking for a positive outcome based on what he showed to me during his time at my farm. I’m so happy Reefer was named Reserve Champion, he is an excellent horse.”

 

Good basics and admirable character were also key qualities in the winner. Fabian DSF was bred in Canada by Jennifer and Armin Arnoldt, and prepared for the test by his owner Martha Diaz at her Red Wind Farm in El Paso, Texas. Diaz has a small training business and breeds two of her own mares each year. She also trains and shows the Horses Unlimited mare Gitana HU, half-sister to Gallant Reflection HU. Diaz is experienced with young horses and was considering a new project when she purchased him on-line as a yearling. “I wanted a horse to bring up the levels. I was also looking for something I could use to live cover my own mares without having to travel several hours to do artificial insemination,” explained Diaz.  When asked about her expectations for the 70-Day Test, Diaz was hopeful and pragmatic. “I knew early on that Fabian was so smart, smart as a whip,” she described. “During the breaking process he was very kind and I hoped he would do well in rideability.” Fabian DSF did her proud by besting the field with the highest overall score in that category.

 

Fabian DSF will return to Diaz’s farm and begin his career as her dressage mount. “My plans for him are primarily focused on performance. He’s a blast to ride. He’s always looking for you to tell him what you want him to do.” Diaz also plans to breed her mares, and offer some breedings to outside mares. “Winning was a complete surprise. My only hope was that he would score a 90 or higher so that he was licensed for my mares.” Diaz has two weanlings by Fabian DSF and is expecting two more foals next spring. 

 

Anne Sparks, owner of Horses Unlimited, is equally as enthusiastic about her four-year-old stallion and talks about him with much veneration. “Since Reefer was young, I knew he was special. When I decide to leave a colt intact, I have to have great confidence that they will be as good or better than their father.” The versatile New Mexican-bred colt certainly has a high standard to live up to. His sire, Galant du Serein, was a successful dressage mount for Hubertus Schmidt before being bought by Horses Unlimited and eventually making appearances in the Olympics, World Equestrian Games and FEI World Cup Finals.  “Gallant Reflection has always been a quick learner and his movement very natural. He has “schwung” and even though he isn’t the tallest horse, his gaits are very powerful. His has presence and exceptional elasticity and hang time in the air,” remarked Sparks. Gallant Reflection HU received the top mark of 10 for character as well as 9’s for temperament, constitution and willingness to work. “Reefer will now move on to the next stage in his life. He is licensed with several registries, including the RPSI and AHS and will be available for limited breedings to outside mares. “We will balance both his career as a breeding and competition stallion going forward,” explained Sparks.

 

 

 

Gallant Reflection HU will make the voyage to Wellington, Florida at the beginning of 2014. He will be partnered with Olympian Lisa Wilcox and begin his dressage career. Sparks and Wilcox successfully brought the Horses Unlimited-bred stallion Pikko del Cerro HU from National Young Horse Champion to Grand Prix winner. They are both enthusiastic about their next collaboration. When asked about her plans for her newest equine partner, Wilcox commented,  “I’m thrilled to see him come to my program in Florida. He is quite talented and feels like a second Cerro to me. I’m looking forward to riding him in the Young Horse Program this year and climbing the dressage ladder.”