Travel Rockton, Ontario: World’s [Greatest Horseshow] Fair

rockton jump 4Fall is fleeting. Figures it’s my favourite season. Cool, crisp and country – country fairs that is and every year I attend one (or two) in Southern Ontario because, let’s face it, they’re very similar… except for the horses. Clearly, country fair and horse show combos are the way to go.

I figured if I was gioing to attend one in Canada, why not make it the world’s largest? The Rockton World’s Fair in smallrockton jump 1 town Rockton, Ontario. The claim of size and status is rarely challenged – maybe because it’s a charming idea or maybe because the event has called itself a ‘world’s fair’ for 162 years.

Either way, it’s big. And popular.

I was there the Sunday of (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend just in time for the amateur equestrian jumping event. So, guess where I spent the first hour of my day, armed with a camera and an obligatory carton of poutine (fries, gravy and cheese), which I once swore I wouldn’t touch?

rockton jump 6The jumping course, in my view, was challenging for the advanced/intermediate class with jumps less than 2 rockton jump 5metres high and tight turns that made the course a bit harrowing (maybe too much for non-pros). A clean ride under time led to an immediate jump off round and surprisingly about half the horse and riders qualified for the back-to-back run.

Bright sunlight and high-in-the-sky oscillating midway rides posed distracting and even unnerving to almost all mounts. Yet, the dedication and focus of these love-of-the sport riders was impressive, making for edge-of-the-seat viewing and an appreciation for the almost daily training it takes to get this far.

Here are some photos to prove it. Unfortunately, no list or program was available to identify the riders and horses, who registered at the door when they arrived at the Rockton World’s [Greatest] Fair … and [awesome] equine event.

rockton jump 3

rockton jump 7

TRAVEL GUIDE: The Rockton Agricultural Society hosts the 163rd Rockton World’s Fair Oct. 9 to 12, 2016 with demolition derbies, midway, 4-H club animal judging events, horse shows, pie-eating contest, pet show and helicopter rides. The event is dog-friendly (on a leash) but dogs aren’t allowed in many buildings.

Hours are Friday 2 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission $13, $5 for children six to 15, children five and under are free. Adult weekend pass is $40, youth pass is $10 and family rate on Sunday is $30 for two adults and up to four children.

The fair is in Rockton, Ontario (Flambourough) near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.



  1. […] a carton of poutine to watch the high-level amateur jumping event that started as we arrived (see The riders did well, but the horses were a bit rattled by the fair noises and high-flying rides […]


  2. […] Missed some fair coverage? Read about Why Dogs Roll in That after an experience at a fall fair or Last year’s horse event coverage at the Rockton World Fair in Ontario. […]


  3. […] standards, this one is. I go every year to write about the Rockton World’s Fair for both horsetrotting and (Hey, it’s dog-friendly).  This year will be no different – hopefully, […]


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