Friday, November 13, 2020

Royal Horse Show and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Virtual in 2020

It's never easy to used to the continuous cancellation of public events, here in Toronto, Ontario and around the world due to Covid precautions. The Royal shows, both the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Royal Horse Show which is run alongside the fair, was originally scheduled for November 6-15, 2020 in Toronto's Exhibition Place. Now the Royal is virtual from November 10-14 online at

On June 24, 2020 the Royal's Board of Directors issued a statement cancelling the event, "Due to our ongoing concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the excitement of The Royal will have to wait for another year. The Royal’s Board of Directors today made the heart-wrenching but unanimous decision to cancel the 2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, originally scheduled for November 6th to 15th at Exhibition Place, Toronto. This treasured annual tradition will return better than ever in 2021." Then on August 25, 2020 the Royal announced the virtual experience that was to come in November of 2020. The show is a highlight of Toronto's live events, from the vendors to the farm animals, with cooking, agricultural displays and the always exciting horse shows and jumping contests. 

You can get free access, with no download required, to the Canadian show jumping and equestrian sport along with Fireside Chats and Breaking Down the Round. From the Agricultural Winter Fair don't forget to check out the Burnbrae Farms cooking classes and the virtual butter carving competition.

Beezie Madden, a four-time Olympic medalist for the United States and fan favourite at the Royal Horse Show, will be featured on Fireside Chats, presented by Henry Equestrian, on Friday, November 13, at 7 p.m. ET. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

“The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will be a different experience this year as we are dedicated to keeping patrons and supporters of the event healthy and safe while also doing our part to celebrate the best of the best in Canadian agriculture, food, and horse sport,” said Charlie Johnstone, CEO of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “We are excited to provide Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience viewers access to some of the top equestrian athletes in the world. In addition, we are extremely proud to offer the virtual experience at no charge thanks to the unwavering support of our Royal sponsors and partners.”

Two-time Canadian Olympian for eventing, Jessica Phoenix, will be a guest on Breaking Down the Round, presented by, as part of the Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience from November 10 to 14, 2020. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography

More from the Royal Horse Show: "The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience also included an opportunity for equestrians to compete in a virtual conformation class. Over 250 entries were submitted in three categories – heavy horses, horses for sport, and ponies for sport – of all breeds, which were judged on conformation and suitability. Results will be announced on Tuesday, November 10, and the top three competitors in each category will received a pair of box seat tickets for opening night of the 2021 Royal Horse Show.

In addition to free access to all of the Royal Horse Show’s virtual content, registrants will also receive access to the FEI Campus. FEI Campus is a cutting-edge e-learning platform and the virtual reference point for education within the FEI and the equestrian world for horse education. The content and courses have been carefully crafted and selected by experts and professionals within the equestrian community and have the FEI seal of approval. The Royal Horse Show has been the proud host the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto since 2015 and is the only Canadian event in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League for the 2021/2022, and 2022/2023 seasons. For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit Funding support for The Royal is provided by the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto."

The Agricultural Fair virtual experience draws heavily on the University of Guelph conversations, the Burnbrae Farms Culinary Series and Royal Horse Show events. PS I loved Duke the rooster who was the Fair's Ambassador for 2020.

The virtual Butter Sculpture Competition was open to all Canadians for the first time in history. Participants of all ages could create a miniature sculpture from one pound of butter and by posting a photo on Instagram (@ButterSculptureChallange and tagging @theRoyalFair) to enter. Winners will be announced on November 14. Category champions will win a $150 Royal package. My favourite sculpture for the 13+ division was by Lex who created an owl.

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