Darcy Hayes rode Danielle to supremacy at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto today. There were two Langley riders competing in this show, as well. (Ben Radvanyi Photography)

Langley riders earn spots in top 10 at Toronto competition

One equestrian competitor takes third and fourth prize in today’s Royal Horse Show.

Two Langley equestrian riders ranked high during a national horse show back east today.

Brent Balisky earned both third and fourth place in the Royal Horse Show on Sunday, Nov. 5 in Toronto, while fellow Langleyite Laura Jane Tidball place 10th atop Candyland.

The show’s winner Darcy Hayes, of Aurora, won $15,000 and the blue ribbon on a nine-year-old gelding named Danielle, scoring a total of 110 points.

Another Ontario rider, Erynn Ballard, and Enchanting, finished second with a total score of 100.

Balisky finished very close behind Ballard, taking both third and fourth place with scores of 99.5 and 99, aboard Class Act owned by Wendy Valdes, and Easystreet owned by Langley’s Thunderbird Show Stables (respectively).

“I had a good feeling today because he warmed up so well for me before the class; he really shined today,” said Hayes of Say When.

“I don’t do jumpers much because my daughter (Quincy Hayes) does the jumpers, so these derbies are kind of my grand prix each week. Here at The Royal, it’s just that much more exciting because there’s more of a crowd. Friends come that wouldn’t necessarily come to a horse show, and you get everybody in one place.”

The win marked not only Hayes and Say When’s second consecutive victory in the Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby, but also their fifth derby win overall at the Royal Horse Show, having topped the same class in 2014 as well as the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby in both 2015 and 2016.

“He’s actually easier to ride in a derby than he is in a regular hunter course,” Hayes said of Say When’s knack for excelling in hunter derby events.

“I think he’s really smart, and the derby kind of peaks his interest and keeps him interested instead of just being regular jumps. He knows this is special and he knows he is special; his face was on the cover of the Royal Horse Show prize book. He loves himself, and we love him.”

This equestrian competition was part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian event that is running Nov. 3 to 12 at Exhibition Place, in Toronto.

The Royal Horse Shows hosts more than 1,000 competitors and offers $1 million in prize money over the course of its 10-day run.

International show jumping athletes made their way to Toronto from all corners of the world to compete in the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Toronto on Wednesday evening, Nov. 8.

This year, top-ranked international competitors will include Olympians, Kent Farrington, and McLain Ward, ranked #1 and #3 in the world respectively.

In addition to international competition, the $100,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship returned in 2017.

Top-ranked Canadian riders, including 12-time winner and defending champion Ian Millar of Perth, Ont. are going head-to-head and seeking to be crowned the Canadian Show Jumping Champion.


Erynn Ballard took second place at today’s Royal Horse Show in Toronto today. (Ben Radvanyi Photography)

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