Horse enthusiasts kicked up their heels on Saturday, June 2 at the fourth annual Toronto Horse Day, a free public event designed to educate people of all ages about riding and give them the opportunity to meet horses up close and personal.
“Toronto Horse Day was bigger and better than ever this year,” says Allan Ehrlick, the president of the Ontario Equestrian Federation, which hosts the event in partnership with the Riding Academy at the Horse Palace, Toronto Police Service’s Mounted Unit and Greenhawk Harness and Equestrian Supplies. “It’s a welcoming environment to experience the horse industry and many of the visitors who came out will no doubt be inspired to take up riding at some point in their lives.”
Avid equestrian and actor Daniel Fathers, host of Canada’s Greatest Know It All who played Uncle Brown in Disney’s Camp Rock and Stewart Forrest on CBC’s Heartland, was the official ring emcee at Toronto Horse Day. He entertained and informed the crowd during live demonstrations showcasing various breeds and riding disciplines, including jumping, mounted games, roping and endurance, to name a few.
Visitors toured the Horse Palace at Exhibition Place where various interactive displays were set up, including an Olympic Avenue that included a special guest appearance by Jim Elder, who represented Canada at seven Olympic Games, taking home team gold in show jumping at the1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. The Toronto Police Service’s Mounted Unit provided guided tours of their stables and Woodbine Entertainment Group brought the coveted Queen’s Plate trophy. Greenhawk Harness and Equestrian Supplies was on hand for free helmet fittings and acclaimed equine artist Debbie Goldring taught aspiring artists tips and tricks on illustrating horses.
“Toronto Horse Day is a great opportunity to introduce the public to horses in a safe and fun environment,” says Ehrlick. “It gives the public a chance to learn about different horse breeds and riding styles and how they can get involved in the sport. The Ontario Equestrian Federation is looking forward to the 5th annual event.”
Participants at Toronto Horse Day 2012 included:
Daniel Fathers, Riding Academy at the Horse Palace, EquiMania! Greenhawk, Woodbine Entertainment Group, Toronto Police Services Mounted Unit, Canadian Sport Horse Association, Canadian Pony Club – Central Ontario Region, Canadian Pony Club – Western Ontario Region, Arabian Horse Association of Eastern Canada, Ontario Quarter Horse Association, Ontario Rodeo Association, Canadian Road Horse Association, Ontario University Equestrian Association, University of Toronto Equestrian Club, Canada’s Outdoor Equine Expo, Cavalia’s Odysseo, Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Kevin Alcock, Symon Pidhainy, Debbie Goldring, RCMP Officer Terry Russel, Mark Dobrindt, Jimmy Elder, Quest for Gold Athletes Bronwyn Barlow Cash, Alana Aird, Brook Pickering, Zoe Beckerman.