Countdown to The Royal’s Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge

Michael Jung and Cruising Guy, winners of the 2016 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

We are counting down to the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge, which kicks off tomorrow night, Nov. 3, at the Royal Horse Show as one of the marquee events at the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario.

The invitation-only event is limited to 10 riders, and the winner will take home a $6,000 chunk of the prize money. Here’s the list of nine Canadians and one American who will face off over Capt. Mark Phillips’ course:

Dasha Ivandaeva
Kendal Lehari
Holly Jacks-Smither
Colleen Loach
Boyd Martin
Rachel McDonough
Brandon McMechan
Selena O’Hanlon
Jessica Phoenix
Waylon Roberts

Waylon Roberts and West River, winners of the 2015 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Waylon Roberts has won the Indoor Eventing Challenge at The Royal an incredible eight out of the 10 years it has run, so we are definitely looking to him as a strong contender. But Selena O’Hanlon, hot off a big win at the Fair Hill International CCI3*, is ready to put up a challenge on Linnea Given’s Uptown Girl.

“My horse is very cat-like and is an excellent jumper,” Selena said. “I know her well, and she knows her job. My goal is to keep our turns smooth, and she will look after me. Overall, I just want to have a good time.”

The Royal Horse Show, now it its 95th year as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, is a time-honored tradition for Canadian horse enthusiasts. Selena has competed in the Indoor Eventing Challenge for all 10 runnings of the competition and said she is thrilled to return for an 11th time.

Selena O’Hanlon and A First Romance at the 2014 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge . Photo courtesy of Alec Thayer.

“I have been going to The Royal Horse Show long before I started competing in indoor eventing; when I was growing up, my mother owned stallions that would compete in breed competitions at The Royal, and I remember sleeping on tack trucks in the barn and exploring every inch of the fair. There is something to do for everyone who attends.”

The Indoor Eventing Challenge will run across Friday and Saturday nights, with penalties for fallen rails and refusals added to the time on the clock. The rider with the lowest combined score on the second night wins. The highest placed Canadian will also take home the Colonel Michael Gutowski Award.

Tickets are still available for both nights of the competition and can be purchased at this link. More information about The Royal is available on the show’s website.