What Are You Looking At?

In the 35 years I’ve lived in Toronto, I’ve never been to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – apparently the largest indoor agricultural and equestrian fair in the world.

It is now in its 93rd year and I was determined to correct that omission, so Helen – always a good sport – and I went off to check out what the farming community had to share.

Let’s just say I decided to dub the experience Robert “You-Talkin’-To-Me” De Niro Day.

Sheep

Goat

I think I probably got more amusement out of the baying, mooing, clucking, baaa-ing than the multitude of children who surrounded us.

Cow

Horse

Although I’m not a horse person – quite frankly, they make me a little nervous – I was fascinated by both the horse competition we watched for a while, and browsing through the Horse Palace where the stalls were located.

I have never been anywhere near a Clydesdale horse before and was overwhelmed with how HUGE these animals are.  Their back-end stands several inches taller than I am.

Nor have I ever experienced the cacophony created by an area full of assorted chickens, roosters, turkeys, and ducks … all vying for attention.  In fact, I had no idea there were so many different kinds of chickens, roosters, turkeys and ducks!

Even the vegetables seemed to have attitude.

Beets

During this 10 day event, there are various animal competitions, cooking demonstrations, Junior Master Chef competitions involving local schools, Super Dog shows, vendor market and probably so much more than I managed to squeeze in.

My verdict?  I had so much fun … I hope to be back again next year.

Stable

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in 52 New Things, Around Toronto, Nature, Random Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to What Are You Looking At?

  1. Pingback: 2015 – 52 New Things Come To An End | My Life Lived Full

  2. Alex Hurst says:

    Looks like a fun experience. Reminds me of the 4H fairs we used to have in my hometown down south…. Those veggies really DO have some attitude! Are they sweet potatoes?

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  3. badfish says:

    I’m not one much for fairs, but when/if I go, I usually have a good time. I want one of those veggies with attitude!!

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  4. It looks like such fun, I put it on my “must see” list.

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  5. Mrs. P says:

    A part of me always enjoyed these type of places. I don’r go often but when I do, it’s always interesting…except the smell. 😉

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  6. That is one very pretty cow 🙂

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  7. Nancy says:

    How cool! It’s like an indoor 4H fair. Do you have those there? We’re ther homemade goodies to eat? I love your furry friends!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I remember 4H from my childhood, but I don’t really know much about them now or how strong they are.

      I looked for homemade pies, cakes, etc but didn’t find any. I guess it wasn’t that kind of fair … probably more typical of small communities.
      There were however many artisanal vendor booths with lots of goodies. They were kind of tough to resist 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nancy says:

        I like those kind of goodies as well! Around here we are big on Peach Festivals (it’s Jersey, after all!) and the 4H people always have lots of booths and animals at those as well as their annual 4H Fair.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lael says:

    What a fun day you had! I want to kiss that goat on the head 🙂

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  9. That’s quite some market, especially the scary-looking veggies. The animals have really sweet faces though. 🙂

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  10. TheLastWord says:

    As an aside – The song Acres Wild on that album is a “special song” for My Beloved Bangalan and I 🙂

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  11. TheLastWord says:

    Hmmm…. I’ve lived here for 18 years and never been there yet. I’ve never seen Casa Loma too. Actually, I lived for 2 years in Niagara Falls and didn’t see the falls until my father-in-law came visiting and then did the Journey Behind the Falls when my brother-in-law came a good 8 years or so later. I still haven’t been to the Butterfly Conservatory and I love butterflies… but I’m the only one in my family who does, apparently, so have been outvoted overtime. Actually, as a married man, one vote is all it takes to outvote me 🙂 🙂

    Jethro Tull made an album called Heavy Horses – dedicated to animals, especially Heavy Horses,

    “Iron-clad feather-feet pounding the dust
    An October’s day, towards evening
    Sweat embossed veins standing proud to the plough
    Salt on a deep chest seasoning
    Last of the line at an honest day’s toil
    Turning the deep sod under
    Flint at the fetlock, chasing the bone
    Flies at the nostrils plunder.

    The Suffolk, the Clydesdale, the Percheron vie
    with the Shire on his feathers floating
    Hauling soft timber into the dusk
    to bed on a warm straw coating.”

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    • joannesisco says:

      I’m not familiar with Jethro Tull’s work, but he has conjured up the image of the working horse. I particularly like the “iron-clad feather-feet”. I assume that’s in reference to the long hair on their ankles.

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  12. I love the Royal – especially the horse jumping. I haven’t been in years and must go again. That’s quite the stall/dressing room Wind Dancer Farms has!

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    • joannesisco says:

      I am, admittedly, very ignorant about anything farm related, so I too was really impressed with some of the setups a few of the stables had around their stalls.

      I had a coworker many years ago who showed horses at the Royal. She said the horse was not left alone and they would take turns sleeping in the stall at night with him during the show.

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  13. hilarymb says:

    Hi Joanne – wonderful photos … I went to a Rare Breeds Show in the summer … but your photos are way better! Those working horses are huge and strong aren’t they … they’re starting to use them again on the land here, rather than tractors … cheers Hilary

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    • joannesisco says:

      Watching the horses in the arena wasn’t nearly as impressive as being in the stable up close and personal with the them.
      … and of course because they were on show, they were all impecably groomed!

      Like

  14. Su Leslie says:

    Love this! Your photos really tell a great story. Agricultural shows are really common in NZ ( guess not surprisingly) and I love them! I’m particularly fond of wood-chopping and the food competitions. Yar; I’m such a country girl at heart. Thanks for sharing this Joanne. You’ve reminded me of something I love and the ag show season is on here now so I can indulge.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Even when I was growing up in a small town surrounded by farm country, I was a city girl at heart. This was my first real taste of the agricultural community and I had a blast.
      The evidence of how hard these people work was apparent even at a show like this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Su Leslie says:

        Yes, I think you’ve got it. The Ag shows are a happy testament to hard work and understanding of the land. I’m an urban kid by upbringing (with a short stint in a small town), but as I get older I find that all I want is a little bit of land somewhere (not too far from town), a garden and orchard and maybe a couple of pigs and some chickens. And fast internet — of course :-). Thanks again for letting me enjoy the countryside vicariously.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Paula says:

    We all need a Helen! And wait – is that a blow dryer? Is she drying her cow? And I imagine the horse asking “Does this ribbon make my butt look big?” Love this post.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Yes! It was a blow dryer! The owner had a round styling brush and was grooming her hair 🙂
      I was laughing out loud … maybe that’s why she gave me such a jaundiced look.

      … and the potential for taglines on the horses with the scrunchies in their tails!!!
      This was all new stuff for me and I was having a giggle-fest 🙂

      … and yes, we all need a Helen in our lives. Their friendship and willingness for adventure is PRICELESS!!
      Not to mention the fact she gives me a good poke with I get lazy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I have often said to my wife that we should go to places and events we would normally not, just for the experience. Seems you proved my point! Good for you!

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    • joannesisco says:

      As I try to develop the spirit of a photographer, I’m always on the lookout for something interesting.
      It’s amazing to discover that with that simple attitude, we are surrounded by interesting stuff 🙂
      I could never have predicted I would have so much fun with cows, goats and chickens!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. That looks like so much fun. I love the animals, but I LOVE the vegetable creatures. How funny is that?! I can see why you want to return next year 🙂

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  18. jannatwrites says:

    I’m a little too city…. my first thought was what the smell would be like inside 🙂 looks like you had a fun day.

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    • joannesisco says:

      I can’t deny that crossed my mind as well.
      Considering the size and scale of this fair and the number of animals involved, the place was remarkably clean. This city girl was really impressed.

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  19. I’m glad you had fun. I love how they turned the bags of veggies into faces!

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  20. C.E.Robinson says:

    Joanne, what fun! I had to look twice at the vegetable heads to recognize them as such. Of course I love the Zombie guy! Yep, I’ve seen Clydesdales and they are huge and beautiful. Chryssa

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  21. Lynn says:

    The Royal is such fun! It has been a tradition for a number of years for my daughter & I to attend. Usually we get tickets to the Big Ben Challenge because of course, she is a horse gal! Did you get to see the super dogs?

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    • joannesisco says:

      Unfortunately we didn’t see the Super Dogs 😦 We saw one dog – a dalmation – doing tricks and playing with his trainer, but that was all.
      Oh well, there was plenty more fun 🙂

      Like

  22. bikerchick57 says:

    I saw my first Clydesdale a few years back in Florida and I agree…they are huge, and powerfully majestic. I wouldn’t want to mess with one of them.

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  23. Sue Slaght says:

    Oh my goodness i would have been chatting it up with the animals, even the vegetables! So adorable. Was it a competition to turn the vegetables into ‘beings’?

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  24. Great pictures, you captured the atmosphere. The vegetable heads are great, what an idea for Halloween. I am so glad you went and shared your experience and the pictures with us…now I want to go.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Bridget. I haven’t been to a Fall Fair since I was a young kid and certainly nothing that rivalled this affair 🙂
      At first we were somewhat apprehensive when we saw all the school buses lined up outside, but it was sooo big, crowds weren’t an issue.

      I thought it was really cool that many of the older students appeared to be doing projects for art classes. They could be found in clusters at various displays sketching the cows or chickens. They were really quite talented.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Now that does look amazing, Joanne. I can’t believe you haven’t been before! Love those vegetables!

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