The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) started as an agricultural fair in the late 1800s. Rides and games were introduced in 1937, but the agricultural shows and competitions remained a major attraction when I last attended in 2000. On Wednesday I was surprised and disappointed to find that agricultural showcasing has been practically eliminated from the CNE. A small fraction of the hundreds of stalls in the horse pavilion were filled, and the larger farm area had been usurped by merchants who were selling cheap stuff at warehouse prices.
Across the grounds a much smaller building has been dedicated to farm-related displays for children. The sorry creature shown above was, apparently, the best horse specimen they could find. I can only hope that the general public doesn't leave the CNE thinking that horses should look this way -- that fatty crest suggests she could founder at any moment. Please tell me that the Royal Winter Fair has stayed true to its roots?