A highly-competitive field of 17 horse and rider combinations from across Canada will contest the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby on Sunday, November 6, at 1 p.m. and the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby for the Lorna Jean Guthrie trophy on Tuesday, November 8, at 7 p.m. at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.
The star-studded field features the best derby horses in the country as well as several past Canadian Hunter Derby National Champions competing in the sixth edition of the event, including:
- Erynn Ballard, 2015 Canadian Hunter Derby National Champion and regular grand prix competitor riding Hide Away
- Darcy Hayes, two-time winner of the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby at The Royal riding Say When, owned by Danielle Baron. Say When successfully competed in the 2015 USHJA Derby Championships in Kentucky with great results and placed second in the $50,000 International Hunter Derby at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Hayes has won ten Canadian Hunter Derby titles in the history of the series. At The Royal, Hayes will also be riding Crush, the 2016 Ontario Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion with Cawthra Burns
- Two-time National Champion Ryan Roy will be riding Bayridge, the 2014 National Champion and the winningest combination in Canadian Hunter Derby History. Roy and Bayridge are competing in their sixth consecutive National Finals, trained by Randy Roy.
- Cawthra Burns was the top amateur competitor in the 2015 Canadian Hunter Derby National Championships and will be back to contest her sixth National Derby Championship title.
- Muffie Guthrie will ride 2015 Eastern Champion Lucky 2Knight in his fifth Canadian Hunter Derby National Championship at The Royal. ‘Lucky’ is ranked third in the Amateur-Owner Hunter standings for Ontario. Guthrie will also ride a new derby mount, Damiro van ter Notalaire, winner of the first leg of the 2015 Western Championships.
- Sam Pegg, a hot, young professional rider who is also competitive in the grand prix jumper division, placed fourth in last year’s $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby at The Royal. Pegg will ride Corby and Harraby, both trained by Mark Hayes.
- Junior rider Sam Walker will ride Miracle, a new entry into the 2016 Canadian Hunter Derby Series.
- Carly Campbell-Cooper and California, winners of the last qualifier of the year in the eastern division, and the only qualifying event to be held indoors.
- Isabelle Lapierre riding Excellent Balou headlines a total of three Quebec entries. Lapierre was crowned the National Talent Squad Champion at the 2015 Royal Horse Show, and is also a regular competitor in the grand prix jumping division.
Making the event even more visually appealing, and keeping in line with true hunter derby competition, several generous jump sponsors have stepped forward to support this year’s event. Several new fences will be featured as well as refreshed old favorites. The black Riviera gate with swoop rail will be back again this year.
Following Tuesday’s night’s $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby, the winner will be presented with the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge trophy for the Canadian Hunter Derby Champion.
Tickets for the Royal Horse Show can still be purchased by visiting royalfair.org or ticketmaster.ca.
For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, visit royalfair.org/horse-show. A complete horse show schedule can be accessed here.
Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.
About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs from November 4-13, 2016, at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results, and to purchase tickets, visit www.royalfair.org.