Thursday, October 13, 2011

From barnyard to black tie The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has it all

- Now in its 89th year, the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show returns, November 4th - 13th -

TORONTO, October 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Dust off your cowboy boots and get ready to experience the magic of the fair as The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair gallops into town this November. Introducing country to the city, the spectacular sights and sounds of thousands of horses and livestock animals, combined with the thrill of international competition - from equestrian to agriculture innovation - will no doubt wow fairgoers.

Running from Friday, November 4th to Sunday, November 13th, 2011, at Exhibition Place in Toronto, The Royal is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. Originally started in 1922 by a group of farmers as a way to meet and catch-up on business after the busy fall harvest, The Royal has now expanded to showcase Canada's best in agricultural products and innovations. The Royal's reputation for offering best-in-class competitions was clear from the outset: the prestigious Horse Show drew in the spirited equine community with exciting and engaging shows. Today's Horse Show has expanded its reach to include a more diverse audience base who may never have had the opportunity to watch live horse competitions before.

The 2011 Royal has its best line-up of events ever, featuring celebrity appearances, highly recognized chefs, cowboys, cattle and cocktails.

Committed to local fare, The Royal will host The Annual Celebrity Chef Competition on Friday, November 4th featuring the star of Food Network Canada's Pitchin'In, Chef Lynn Crawford. As culinary curator, Crawford will create a magical dessert alongside The Thirsty Traveler's Kevin Brauch and local chefs Nick Liu (Niagara Street Café) and Howard Dubrovsky (L.A.B.), with a focus on Ontario-grown products.

Trading in blades for belt buckles Toronto Maple Leaf hockey heroes Darcy Tucker, Curtis Joseph, Darryl Sittler and Mark Napier will be in the saddle for a match of Horse Hockey on Saturday, November 5th. Played just like polo, these all-stars will put their sporting skills to the test as they trot alongside world-famous professional polo players Dave Offen and Cliff Sifton.

Proving again that The Royal will reign superior, equestrian legends and Olympic gold medalists Mark Todd and Eric Lamaze will take the reins at this year's Royal Horse Show. The Royal also welcomes special appearances by Ian Millar and internationally acclaimed Charro horseman Jerry Diaz who brings this 17th century Mexican discipline to the ring.

"The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is not only the city's most unique event - but also the most diverse. The Royal offers experiences that encompass every aspect of our daily life," said Bob Jadavji, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. "From agriculture to entertainment, and everything in between, The Royal has something for everyone."

"Only at The Royal, can you see fairgoers in tuxedos and gowns milling through cattle barns," added Jadavji.

On Sunday, November 6th fairgoers can catch an authentic rodeo, complete with bull riding, bronc riding and barrel racing at The Ontario Toyota Dealers Royal Rodeo. The Royal boasts a nightlife scene that can't be rivalled. From sipping champagne at the posh Tanbark Club to dancing on tables alongside cowboys at the Hitching Ring Café & Bar, The Royal proves that the magic of the fair keeps going, well after the animals hit the hay. Continue to mix and mingle with locals at The Outrageous Bull Pen Saloon, The Royal Brew House, the Bit & Bridle and the Royal Harvest Grill - a high-end restaurant committed to creating a fine-dining atmosphere. Meanwhile, The café Taste Ontario Wine Pavilion provides tutored wine tasting events for new wine drinkers and aficionados alike.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair's star attractions

Royal Horse Show

The most prestigious and important indoor equestrian event in North America, The Royal Horse Show always captivates its crowds. This year's show will amaze audiences like never before with the presence of world-famous riders including Eric Lamaze and Mark Todd, competing in Olympic disciplines such as Show Jumping and The Royal's own Indoor Eventing. Set in the impressive Ricoh Coliseum, these horse and rider performances will showcase the best in equestrian sport; combining the thrill of competition with family entertainment in a package not found anywhere else.

Agri-Food Innovation

The Agri-Food Innovation Pavilion is dedicated to educating visitors on the importance of the agriculture and food sectors and how they impact our everyday lives. The pavilion encompasses five components: healthy living, renewable energy, environmental stewardship, agriculturally based bio-products, as well as safe and locally produced food.

Journey to Your Good Health

The Journey to Your Good Health Pavilion boasts an abundant bounty of locally grown food, as well as the latest trends in functional foods. Freshly prepared samples from the Canada Food Guide are served, while registered dietitians are also on-site to answer any questions you may have about the food we eat and how it affects - and benefits - our bodies.

The President's Choice® SuperDogs Show

Drawing huge crowds for every single one of its shows, The President's Choice® SuperDogs Show remains one of The Royal's biggest attractions. From dancing Dalmatians to Frisbee-playing bulldogs, these canines are not to be missed. Several shows take place daily.

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