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Indoor Eventing Returns to The Royal Horse Show
Toronto, ON, Canada
Photo: StockImageServices.com

This November, the three Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing will be showcased at Toronto's Royal Horse Show, part of the 87th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The Good Crop Services Indoor Eventing Championships take place the evenings of Monday, November 9th and Tuesday, November 10th 2009.

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Oliver Townend with the 2009 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials trophy
Eventing, traditionally an "equestrian triathlon" held outside, moves indoors at The Royal and becomes a hip hybrid event, mixing the skill and accuracy of show jumping with the thrill and adventure of cross-country riding. This year marks the fourth time the Good Crop Services Indoor Eventing Championships will take place at The Royal, and the field will be tough.

20-year-old Canadian rider Waylon Roberts, of Port Perry, ON, has won this event since its inception in 2006. Currently in training in Britain, Roberts (2007 Pan-Am Team Silver medalist) is poised to make the trip back to Toronto to defend his title. His toughest competition however, may come in the form of two people closest to him: his current coach, Oliver Townend of Great Britain, and his own father, Canadian Olympian Ian Roberts.

Townend, 26, has an impressive resume of results including recently winning two of the world's most difficult three-day events, the 2009 Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials, both in England. His indoor record is equally as impressive however, featuring a £100,000 win in the inaugural £250,000 Express Eventing International Cup in November of 2008.

"I am very excited to be coming to Toronto, Canada to compete at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair," remarked Townend. "I am looking forward to competing in the Indoor Eventing Championships as I really like the thrill of this type of event and it will also be great to take part in one where I am away from home turf. It will be great to be competing against Waylon and to see how things are done over in Canada."

Indoor eventing at The Royal features a modified course of rugged cross country jumps such as walls, hedges, a bank and a "keyhole" mixed with the relatively fragile stadium jumps whose poles and planks are designed to fall at the slightest touch of a horse's hoof. Over two nights of competition, penalties are accumulated and at the end, the rider with the lowest score is declared the Champion.


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