November 27, 2022

The Royal Horse Show Showcases Top Show Jumping Sport for 100th Anniversary

The Royal Horse Show Showcases Top Show Jumping Sport for 100th Anniversary

By Sabrina Brashares / Jump Media

The Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, celebrated its 100th anniversary from November 4 to 13, 2022, in Toronto, ON.  This year’s event was elevated to CSI5*-W status by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and featured the highest level of international show jumping competition in addition to a variety of other disciplines including hunter, equitation, and heavy horses.

The highlight event of the 10-day celebration was the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, which took place in front of a sold-out audience of more than 7,000 fans in the Coca-Cola Coliseum on Saturday evening, November 12.  Featuring five of the top 20 riders on the Longines World Rankings list, this year’s starting list included several Olympic gold medalists.

Ali Ramsay, 31, of Victoria, BC, opened the Royal Horse Show by claiming the Canadian Show Jumping Championship title after two nights of jumping on Saturday, November 5.  Riding Bonita vh Keizershof Z, owned by Ramsay Equestrian Inc., Ramsay’s victory secured her a starting spot in the international show jumping division later in the week.

Canada’s Holly Jacks and Josephine, owned and bred by Donna Van Beek, took home top honors in the adrenaline-pumping $20,000 Horseware® Indoor Eventing Challenge, which sees horse-and-rider combinations tackle a course of cross-country fences and traditional show jumping obstacles in the fastest time.  Jacks claimed victory over past winner, Waylon Roberts of Canada riding CS Carrera, and two-time Olympic champion Michael Jung of Germany aboard the former racehorse, Renegade.

Hunter derby competition took center stage on Tuesday, November 8, with Carly Campbell-Cooper of Omemee, ON, receiving the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy as the overall 2022 Canadian Hunter Derby Champion.  Campbell-Cooper piloted Capriati, owned by Alexia Trapp, to the championship title after finishing second in both the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby on Sunday, November 6, and Tuesday evening’s featured $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby.

“It is my first time being derby champion at The Royal,” said Campbell-Cooper, who has competed in the hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions at the show over the years.  “We’ve been here a lot, but it’s such a special atmosphere and such a special venue that I still get butterflies every year I come.  It’s a special feeling to win.”

U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington opened the international show jumping division by defending his title in the $38,000 Jolera International Strength and Speed Challenge on Wednesday, November 9.  Riding Austria 2, owned by Take the High Road LLC, Farrington edged out world number five, Conor Swail of Ireland, for the win.

“It’s great to be back at the Royal,” smiled Farrington, who won the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto in 2017.  “They put a lot of effort into the 100th anniversary of the show; the place looks great!  The atmosphere and the crowd are always fantastic as well, so it’s a super start to one of my favorite shows of the year.”

On Thursday, Nicholas Dello Joio of the United States and Cornet’s Cambridge, owned by The Berry Group LLC, proved unbeatable in a competitive six-horse jump-off to win the $138,000 Big Ben Challenge, named for the legendary horse ridden by 10-time Canadian Olympian, Ian Millar.

“The last time I came here was when I was a kid and my dad was showing, and my only memory is the cinnamon rolls,” laughed Dello Joio, 33, who is the son of U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Norman Dello Joio. “That was the highlight of my trip here last time, and this win tops it!”

Egyptian Olympian Nayel Nassar also made his Royal Horse Show debut a winning one in the $74,000 Centennial Cup on Friday evening, November 11.  Nassar and El Conde, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, produced the fastest clear round in the speed event to hold off two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward riding Lezaro.

“Competing at The Royal has been unbelievable,” said Nassar, 31, of his Royal debut.  “I have no words.  These are the events that really motivate you as a rider and force you to dig in a little bit more.  This sort of atmosphere brings out the best in horses, especially the good horses.  They know when it’s time to rise to the occasion with a big crowd like that, and El Conde definitely knew it and was on tonight.”

Ireland’s Daniel Coyle made closing night of the Royal Horse Show one to remember by winning the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto and hoisting the Hickstead trophy.  Coyle and Legacy, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Chippendale Z x Bon Ami) owned by Canada’s Ariel Grange, were one of only three horse-and-rider combinations to qualify for the jump-off over the course designed by Canadian Olympic silver medalist, Michel Vaillancourt.  The pair thrilled the sold-out Coco-Cola Coliseum audience by then being the only combination to navigate a clear jump-off round.

“For sure it was not a simple course, and later on in the course was where the course designer was trying to test us the most,” explained Coyle, 28, who competed for Ireland at the 2022 World Championships in Herning, Denmark. “In the jump-off, Legacy can be very fast but I haven’t done that many where I’ve been really asking her to go as fast as possible.  I saw the distance early to the last fence and that gallop is something that I haven’t done much with her, but she went all the way.”

Israel’s Daniel Bluman riding Gemma W, owned by Blue Star Investments, secured second place in the class with one fence down in the jump-off while two-time Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster finished in third with nine faults aboard Northern Light, owned by Artisan Farms LLC.  Foster was awarded the Leading Canadian Rider at the 2022 Royal Horse Show while Coyle took the Leading International Rider title.

For more information about the Royal Horse Show and the Royal Agricultural Fair, visit