When most people think of some of the nation’s most iconic horse shows they imagine large, sprawling farms. My mind, however, goes to the busy streets of our nation’s capital. My mind goes to the Washington International Horse Show.
What makes WIHS beautiful is that it brings horses to the ground level. Rather than expecting the people of the world to find their way to a high-end farm they have never been to before for a horse show, WIHS brings horses to the city where city-dwellers and competitive equestrians alike can enjoy the true athletes of our sport. You never know who you might scoot into on the streets of DC, but historically WIHS has a way of bringing some of our countries most notable figures together. Former presidents, actors, musicians and more have sat alongside equestrians and city residents alike to enjoy the atmosphere at WIHS.
This year, WIHS is celebrating its 60th year of competition with a bang! Held in the Capital One Arena in the heart of DC, WIHS is bringing together more than 500 talented pairs of horse and riders for a week of captivating competition. Imagine, 500 horses living it up in the city for a week! How spectacular is that?
The show runs from today, Tuesday, October the 23rd to this Sunday, October 28th and boasts a schedule packed with class after class that you won’t want to miss. Here are a few of the highlights from throughout the week that you should make a note of on your schedule:
The $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championship premieres Tuesday evening around 7:00PM. These riders are the best of the best in the country and had to fight to qualify for a chance to compete at WIHS, so we expect plenty of pretty ponies and gorgeous trips throughout the night.
Later in the day on Wednesday, you can watch the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Championship. Following the AA Final, the big-dogs of show jumping will debut in the Capital One Arena for the first time this week for a 90-second training competition.
On Thursday the competition will crank up the heat a bit with the $40,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake. In addition to the heightened competition, Thursday night is also Barn Night at WIHS. Kiddos in attendance can enjoy tons of contests and competitions to compete in throughout the night, all with excellent prizes at stake. Later in the evening is the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase, a fan-favorite each year. Another fun class you will definitely want to tune in for is the $35,000 Accumulator Top Score Costume Class where some of your favorite show jumpers will don colorful costumes while navigating their mounts around a tricky course.
Friday’s schedule is in honor of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country with the 7th annual WIHS Military Night. Notable classes are the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final and the $25,000 Land Rover International Jumper Puissance. Seriously, who DOESN’T love the Puissance? Each rider will jump the iconic WIHS wall as it grows taller and taller until only one remains. A bit of historical fact for you: the North American Puissance record to beat was set in Washington in 1983 and is a whopping 7′ 7-1/2″. Woah.
We kick off the weekend with the pony classes throughout the day on Saturday, leading up to the action-packed evening schedule. First up is the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals, where we will see some of the countries most talented young riders gather for a shot at the top prize. Another Shetland Pony Steeplechase will wow the fans, followed by the class with the show’s biggest purse attached to it: the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington for the President’s Cup. You will find several Olympic and WEG medalists on this year’s list for competition, in addition to some up and coming names as well. You can see the list HERE.
Sunday wraps up a whirlwind of a week with more pony hunter and equitation classes as well as the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals.
And we are proud to say that for the second year in a row, Jumper Nation is serving as an official media partner for WIHS! Be sure to check back in for frequent updates, late-breaking news and more from our nation’s capital. If you haven’t already, you can still snag your tickets for this exceptional event. If you are unable to travel, be sure to catch the live stream HERE.
Go WIHS and Go Jumping!