COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Young spectators shout their encouragements during the SuperDogs show on Monday.
Don’t be fooled, there is more to the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair than horses.
Shea Buckland competes in the Gamblers’ Choice jumping event in Westman Place on Monday evening. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Military cadets, led by the 26th Field Regiment Band and preceded by the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Drum Line band, gather in the main arena during the opening ceremonies of the 107th annual Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Westman Place on Monday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Jen Miller, from Nanaimo, B.C., tips her hat before taking to the main arena for the first SuperDogs show at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair on Monday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
Norma Lennon hugs her granddaughter Ivy as the pair watch the SuperDogs show at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair on Monday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
While horse jumping, barrel racing, heavy horses and Hackney harness have been staples for decades, the fair boasts a number of shows that don’t require cowboy boots and a hat.
"The most frequent question we get asked is, ‘When are the SuperDogs on?’" said a Rotary Club member, the organization that volunteers to run the information desks.
"In fact, it’s probably the first three questions people asked," he joked.
Beginning at 9 a.m. today, Westman Place will feature everything from mini chuckwagon races to a calf scramble; and roadster ponies to heavy horses.
All of that with a sprinkling of SuperDogs, a children’s costume class and barrel racing mixed in.
Away from the main arena, the sights, sounds and smells of the fair fill up the Keystone Centre.
Patrons taking a stroll down food lover’s lane will find a little bit of everything, including gyros, cotton candy and doughnuts.
Down the hall, a young woman gallops around a ring while simultaneously explaining the nuance of riding a horse as part of the "Thru the Farm Gate" program. The crowd is captivated, some of them having never ridden a horse.
"Watch as we ride in circles how his ears change with each corner," she said. "He (the horse) always has one ear pointed back toward me to hear my instruction."
The 15-minute show garners a loud round of applause when it finishes. And all the while folks take part in one giant and diverse petting zoo.
Miniature ponies, sheep, roosters and cattle dot the room as children stroll around with jaws dropped that quickly are replaced with smiles.
Every day, starting at 1 p.m., Doodles the Clown, Razzmatazz, Ted Outerbridge: Pure Illusion and Amanda Stott share the entertainment stage, wrapping up at 9 p.m.
The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair continues today, with jumping beginning at 9 a.m.
For a comprehensive map of the fair site and a full events list, visit BrandonSun.com and scroll down to "See What’s Happening At The Winter Fair."
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 1, 2014