Every fall the Royal Winter Fair happens in Toronto. Dubbed as “Country Coming to the City” it is always the final Country Fair of the season and the biggest with the most prestige, and prize money attached. If you made it to the Royal with your calf, pony, sheep, goat, etc, you have done really well for the show season and have a ton to be proud of! Before I became involved with dogs, it was horses, and cattle that I showed competitively.
My biggest win at the Royal was in the Robert Graham Memorial Judging competition for horses. I was 16 or so at the time. It was a judging competition for horses where you were required to judge a class of heavy horses and a class of light horses and place them accordingly. Then you were required to give proper judging reasons regarding structure, type etc and why they were placed the way you decided to the officials judging your judging abilities. There was over 100 people under the age of 29 years of age taking part in that competition. I went with my 4-h horse club just for fun. It is one of my favourite memories of the Royal. Having my name being called out that day as the winner of that huge judging class.
Looking back I suppose things haven’t changed that much. Horses and cattle have changed into Cavaliers. Structure, type and movement are still what my eye immediately goes to, and it is not hard for me to “see” the complete picture. Although relearning conformation terms in dogs is still a work in progress. “Elastic” “Floaty” “Flat” movement, with a “large bascule” “scopey jump” and “refined dishy head” are not terms that are used in the dog world. Some day I hope horses and cattle will once again be in the picture. For now Cavaliers are a bit more portable and less expensive!
Since the dates always fall on my Birthday it is a long standing tradition that I make it down for at least one day during the fair. That day almost always includes tickets to the Horse show during the evening to take in International jumping competitions with all the world’s top riders.
Wednesday happened to be that day last week. It was also a very special day as I was accepting a big award that my family’s farm had won for Champion Seed Potato. My Father was unable to attend due to being at a meeting. I went to the fancy awards ceremony, picked up his Championship ribbon, and very nice silver plate on the Farm’s behalf. My Dad works incredibly hard to produce the best product he can for Potato Growers and to get some awesome well deserved recognition at the Royal is incredible for our Farm. He had beautfiul Yukon Gold seed potatoes entered. It was a wonderful luncheon and I was very fortunate to make some great contacts that I hope to use at a later date. It is my career goal to mix my post graduate program in public relations with my agricultural background. Maybe someday it will be me helping to organize the fair! I also did some shopping, and attended the horse show. It was a great day and I look forward to next years Royal!
My best find of the day for shopping was handmade Chilly Dog Sweaters in “Monkey” that I have been looking for. They are made by Quechua Indian Artisans and follow fair trade guidelines. My girls will now be toasty warm for the winter and look adorable in their sock monkey sweaters.
I tested out the camera on my new Iphone. Not the best but not bad either!