Time to sad­dle up for Win­ter Fair

The Delhi News-Record - - TRAVEL - JIM FOX one­tank­trips@hot­mail.com For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tank­trips.blogspot.ca

There are more an­i­mals than at Old Mac­Don­ald’s Farm as the coun­try has come to the big city for the next week.

Yes, there’s a moo, moo here, oink, oink there along with a quack, quack, neigh, neigh, baa, baa and cluck, cluck at the 95th Royal Agri­cul­tural Win­ter Fair in Toronto.

It’s time to get your boots pol­ished and sad­dle up for the big show this week­end through Nov. 12 at Ex­hi­bi­tion Place.

“Since its hum­ble be­gin­nings 95 years ago, the Royal has grown into a beloved Toronto tra­di­tion and an arena of ex­cel­lence for culi­nary arts, agri­cul­ture and equine sport,” said Char­lie John­stone, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

There are “top chefs and food pro­duc­ers of­fer­ing the best in the farm-to-ta­ble move­ment,” along with dec­o­rated Olympian eques­tri­ans com­pet­ing for a place on the Royal podium, he added.

It’s an ag­gie fair un­like any other with more than 2,000 agri­cul­tural com­pe­ti­tions fea­tur­ing 5,000 an­i­mals, ar­ti­san cheeses, On­tario wines, gi­ant veg­eta­bles, but­ter sculpt­ing and more.

An­i­mals are the big draw, in­clud­ing the eques­trian com­pe­ti­tions and per­form­ing dogs: Dairy cat­tle: The Na­tional Ayr­shire, Red and White Hol­stein and Jer­sey shows will take place in the new Ring of Ex­cel­lence.

There will be the 4-H Dairy Clas­sic, youth show and Na­tional Black and White Hol­stein show at the Ri­coh Coli­seum. Sheep and wool: The Royal wel­comes 400 sheep with eight spe­cial breeds — Suf­folk, Ox­ford, Lincoln, Texel, North County Che­viot, South­down, Hamp­shire and Dorsets. Poul­try water­fowl and fancy-birds See 50 dif­fer­ent breeds of stan­dard poul­try, 48 ban­tams, 40 pi­geons and 34 breeds of water­fowl com­pet­ing. Goats: Check out 250 goats com­pet­ing in 13 di­vi­sions while the Youth Goat show has pee www ju­nior, in­ter­me­di­ate and se­nior ju­nior, in­ter­me­di­ate and se­nior di­vi­sions. Rab­bits and cavies (guinea pigs): They’re fun, cute and kids love them, with more than 100 dif­fer­ent se­lec­tions of breeds.

There are sev­eral classes show­cas­ing wool and gar­ments made of an­gora wool and other nat­u­ral fi­bres.

Giddy-up

The Royal Horse Show, held in con­junc­tion with the fair, hosts 1,000 com­peti­tors and of­fers $1 mil­lion in prize money.

In­ter­na­tional show jump­ing ath­letes per­form in the World Cup competition.

This in­cludes Olympians Kent Far­ring­ton and McLain Ward, ranked first and third in the world, re­spec­tively.

The Cana­dian Show Jump­ing Cham­pi­onship has the best, in­clud­ing 12-time win­ner and de­fend­ing cham­pion Ian Mil­lar of Perth.

A rodeo and the K-9 Equine Re­lay fea­tur­ing the Su­per-Dogs are fam­ily favourites re­turn­ing this year.

Birds of prey are a new event with a se­ries of daily hawk and owl demon­stra­tions to “thrill fair­go­ers and il­lus­trate the re­la­tion­ship be­tween farm­ers and their feath­ery friends.”

Learn about the “on­go­ing legacy of in­no­va­tion in On­tario agri­cul­ture and food” at an ex­hibit pro­duced in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Univer­sity of Guelph.

Along with cook­ing demon­stra­tions, there’s an in­tro­duc­tion to world food with sam­plings and the Farm-to-Ta­ble Dis­cov­ery Zone to meet bee­keep­ers, find out how green­houses work and take a vir­tual real­ity tour of a dairy farm.

There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties and fa­cil­i­ties to wine, dine and un­wind with sev­eral restau­rants and a food court and savour­ing award-win­ning craft beer, cider and wine.

PHO­TOS BY BEN RADVANYI/ SPE­CIAL TO POST­MEDIA NEWS

Kent Far­ring­ton of the U.S., the top show-jump­ing ath­lete in the world, is com­pet­ing at the Royal Horse Show.

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