“There’s no feeling like winning here at The Royal,” shared Barker, 28
Toronto, Ontario – Sarah Barker of Branchton, ON, dominated the Junior/Amateur 3’3” Hunter division, supported by Pommies Cider, by earning both champion and reserve honours on Monday, November 6, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
Barker piloted her own Cheers to the championship title, while Troubador, owned by Suzanne Deuel, finished reserve. For her division triumph, Barker was presented with the Murray and Louise Cornblum Challenge Trophy.
Sarah Barker of Branchton, ON, guided Cheers to the championship title in the Junior/Amateur 3’3" Hunter division, supported by Pommies Cider, on Monday, November 6, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
“There’s no feeling like winning here at The Royal,” shared Barker, 28. “It’s incredible. We work so hard all year. It’s a hard horse show, and you try to do everything you can to prepare for it. Even if it doesn’t go right, it is so exciting to show here.”
This championship marked an emotional victory for Barker who bought Cheers as a two-year-old and started him under saddle herself. While bringing Cheers along in the hunter ring and developing their partnership, the pair has enjoyed continued success, including winning the Adult Amateur Hunter championship at the 2022 Royal Horse Show.
Photo at Right: Sarah Barker rode Troubador, owned by Suzanne Deuel, to reserve champion in the Junior/Amateur 3’3" Hunter division. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
“We have a pretty long relationship,” said Barker, who trains with Whitney Gibson of The Summit Equine in Burlington, ON. “I got Cheers from his breeder, Emil Spadone, in Florida. I went and saw him as a young horse, and he was with a big group at the breeding farm. I watched him free jump, and I thought he was so cute. He is so special to me. He’s my little pet. He lives at home with me in my backyard, and I take care of him every day.”
Barker and the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding sired by well-known Canadian-owned breeding stallion, Cabardino, won the Junior/Amateur 3’3” Hunter Stake class with a score of 86. The pair earned an additional second and third-place ribbon in the division to secure the championship title out of a competitive starting field of 18 horse-and-rider combinations.
Sarah Barker and Cheers with Whitney Gibson (left) were presented with the Junior/Amateur 3’3" Hunter championship title and the Murray and Louise Cornblum Challenge Trophy. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
“He’s incredibly brave, and we trust each other so much,” said Barker. “I know he’s going to be there for me, and he knows I’m going to be there for him. We just know each other so well, and we count on each other. He’s such a good horse.”
The Royal offers numerous hospitality experiences including the Royal Terrace for VIP and corporate hosting and the Coliseum’s Sky Suites which offer stables and groups their own private suites. The Tanbark Club will continue to welcome Gold and Platinum VIP ticket holders. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or HSvip@royalfair.org for full details.
For more information on the Royal Horse Show, including daily schedules and to purchase tickets, visit www.royalfair.org/royalhorseshow. Also download the new Royal Agricultural Winter Fair app for more news and information at your fingertips!
Photo of the Day
From the Coca-Cola Coliseum
Elissa Reisman riding Angel Twist was presented as the winner of the Lorna Guthrie Memorial Amateur-Owner Working Hunter over fences class by Liza Jean Brandmaier (left) and Jeff Brandmaier before earning the J. Elliot Cottrelle Memorial Trophy as the Grand Amateur Champion. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian event. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 3-12, 2023, at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.