Thanks to Barry Finn, publisher of THE RIDER newspaper (www.therider.com), I made a flying visit to this year’s ROYAL WINTER FAIR in Toronto armed with my cellphone camera and a media pass!
Just arriving was a lovely surprise…look how pretty the boulevard in front of the Enercare Centre looks (below)I met up with Barry at the media office then headed straight for the Ontario Equestrian booth to drop of copies of the current issue of The Rider. Here’s Barry delivering newspapers to Saskia Samaroo, the organization’s administrative coordinator who laughed at me when I asked her to “strike a pose”!And then Barry corralled Saskia & Brandon Hall, OE’s marketing & communications coordinator, to show off their new logo. www.ontarioequestrian.caBelow – Barry met up with horsewoman and tack shop owner, Laurence Authier, of Laurastackroom.com who will soon be moving to Ontario (from Quebec) to train for eventing competitions. Good luck, Laura!Over the years, I’ve attended many Royal Winter Fairs, sometimes working in the Australian Shop booth to help promote my home country and sell Aussie clothing and accessories to the horse and cattle folks. Owner John Keating always reminds me of “Mantracker”…what do you think?In the Spirit of the Horse exhibit, I found these kids enjoying a ride on mechanical horses – personally, I would prefer a real pony ride but at least these beasties don’t get tired or upset with screaming, kicking kiddies…LOL!
And check out this friendly horsey who was right into the patting and cuddles. The kids adored him!
Me? Well, I just love my chooks! That’s what Aussies call chickens and these little red hens were so cute to watch. I felt kinda bad for them, not being able to run around and peck at worms and bugs, but it seems they were pretty contented hens…
And speaking of contented critters, check out these lovely heifers…. This year, there were a number of fine artists in the Heritage Court and I ran into one of my faves, Kari Serrao, surrounded by her fabulous (and very elegant) beasties.And don’t you just love the little piggy top right corner? Such an adorable wee face… Kari does pet portraits, too, so check out her site: www.kariserrao.com
Across from Kari I found this comfy cozy display…hello, Santa – I want one of these cushions please. Do you remember seeing the news about “goat yoga”? The lovely folks from Haute Goat brought in the Dwarf Nigerian goats for the yoga session last week. Here’s their booth inside featuring all their goat-milk products. You can also stay at their farm B&B outside of Port Hope, just 50 minutes east of Toronto www.hautegoat.com Below, co-owner Shain was busy today selling products and sharing the Haute Goat story with visitors. OMG…what the heck are these? Giant pumpkins…wow!And here’s the butter carving display (below) – it used to be a major event at the show in previous years, with massive carvings being displayed in giant “storefront” type windows around the equestrian ring. Now, just a few smaller carvings in a refrigerated trailer. How sad. They also used to crown the annual Butter Queen but I think she, too, has gone the way of the dodo. As I left The Royal, the cityscape looked beautiful but oh my, how all those new condos and office towers have dwarfed the once-proud CN Tower now. Thanks again to Barry for his media pass, and to all the folks I met today. Hurry on down to the fair to check out all the animals (I didn’t go into the barns as I forgot to take my allergy pills) but there are horses, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, bunnies and even a llama or two – the show closes on Nov. 12th. Details & directions: www.royalfair.org