Riders Confirmed for Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge at The Royal

Selena O’Hanlon returns to the Indoor Eventing Challenge for the 11th consecutive year. Photo courtesy of Alec Thayer.

The countdown is on to the $20,000 Horseware Indoor Eventing Challenge, which takes place Nov. 2-3 at The Royal Horse Show during the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario.

Now in its 11th running, 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:

  • Lindsay Beer
  • Diana Burnett
  • Lisa Marie Fergusson
  • Holly Jacks-Smither
  • Lauren Kieffer
  • Kendal Lehari
  • Colleen Loach
  • Brandon McMechan
  • Selena O’Hanlon
  • Karl Slezak

The Horseware 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 Col. Michael Gutowski Award.

Col. Michael Gutowski of Poland played an incredibly important role in Canadian show jumping and eventing. As EN Canadian correspondent Denya Massey so aptly explained: “Col. Michael Gutowski was the cornerstone of Canada’s transition into international competition in show jumping, specifically, and love of eventing more generally.

“He was one of the cornerstones of the Virginia Combined Training Center in the 1960s and early 1970s, designed by Alex Mackay-Smith and Stewart Treviranus as a three-week program with two rotating classes a day of dressage, cross country and jumping. Col. Gutowski taught show jumping.

“Ian Millar credits Gutowski as his mentor and the one who shaped his riding for many years. Jimmy Elder credits him with getting Canadians onto the world stage, and that Gutowski in a temper would mix up his Polish and English swear words. He was a highly decorated World War II hero, and promoted to General before he died at 96 in 2006.”

The Royal Horse Show, now it its 96th year as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, is a huge tradition for Canadian horse enthusiasts. 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.