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Opening Night At The 91st Royal Horse Show Puts The Flying Frenchman On Track For A Record Fourth Greenhawk Canadian Cup

Yann Candele takes the lead in the Greenhawk Canadian Cup while Kendal Lehari claims victory in Horseware Indoor Eventing.

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The 91 st Royal Horse Show officially opened tonight at the Ricoh Coliseum amid fanfare and ceremony, mixing tradition with innovation and excitement.

Caledon, Ontario's Yann Candele is the three-time defending Canadian Champion. He had the luxury of riding second to last in tonight's opening round of the Greenhawk Canadian Cup, and he took full advantage of his position in the order to produce a clean, fast round on a horse he has ridden just three times before.

"I was not actually planning on going fast at all, because she is a horse I really don't know," explained Candele following the win. "We purchased Showgirl about two weeks ago and she just arrived from Europe. So I was not pushing, but things went well and now we get to go last tomorrow night, which was really the plan."

Runner-up Angela Covert, of St. Lazare, Quebec, knew she had to step-up to secure herself a premium spot in the order for tomorrow night's second round.

"I could feel right from the beginning that my horse was jumping well," said Covert of her long-time partner Utan. "I've never really used him as a speed horse and this is an interesting format with this being a championship. You really need to step on it a little bit tonight to determine your order for round two tomorrow. I'd say I was a little conservative, knowing who was behind me, you know Yann is always SO fast. Tonight you really had to jump a clean round."

With the top five placings having just a four-point spread between them, tomorrow night's strategy will be vitally important for anyone planning on taking home the Greenhawk Canadian Cup.

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