Cross one off the bucket list.
Finally, I did it. I went back to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to see professional Dressage competitions – something I say every year after watching the International Eventing and Canadian Show Jumping Finals on the first Saturday of this ten-day annual event, complete with horse competitions every day in Toronto, Ontario.
I wasn’t disappointed, but there were fewer riders at the Royal’s annual Invitational events than I’d hoped: Four riders competed at the Dressage Invitational Grand Prix on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
Here are the results:
- Megan Lane riding Caravella
- Jacqueline Brooks riding D Niro
- Esther Mortimer on Diamond Geezer
- Eiren Crawford riding Warello
The next night, Thursday, November 9, 2017, (the night I attended) saw only the third and fourth place riders switch places. Crawford took third place, and Mortimer ended the evening in fourth.
Megan Lane of Collingwood, Ontario left the Royal Thursday night $20,000 richer after she and her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Caravella won the Dressage Invitation Grand Prix Freestyle Cup – for the second year in a row.
During the freestyle performance, writers choreograph required movements to music of their choice. Lane’s technically precise performance, including a one-handed pirouette, outperformed other competitors in execution and the jaunty Latin music deviated from the other competitors’ more serene selections.
However, Jacqueline Brooks’ second place freestyle performance on D Niro, a grey 18-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, was truly haunting and crowd pleasing though slightly less technically proficient as Lane’s. Selecting to ride to Australian band Disturbed’s version of The Sounds of Silence (the only music with lyrics) was a powerful choice, and Brook’s end-of-performance enthusiasm clearly indicated her satisfaction with her captivating execution.
Next up on horsetrotting.net: The Royal Winter Fair Horse Show $35,000 International Accumulator Challenge – a surprise bonus (for me) at Thursday night’s show.