As I am planning out my winter show schedule, I am making sure to mark my calendar for the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio for as many weeks as possible. The World Equestrian Center really is the Taj Mahal of the hunter jumper world. Not only does it boast amazing facilities that no other horse show venue in the US can compare to, but the smiling faces and affordable show fees are keeping the stalls sold out for weeks ahead of time. What makes this Midwest location a must-see destination? Here are just a few of the perks that I love.
Feels Like Home
The hospitality at WEC is like no other. From the office staff to the gate organizers to the night security, every employee at WEC is professional, kind and caring. Having to go to the show office to ask a question or pay a bill can typically give any horse show professional high anxiety, but working with Julie Agar and staff is a refreshing change from the usual stressful horse show office experience. They are always willing to work with you and greet you with a smile.
I think it also doesn’t go unnoticed that you see the same faces year after year. You get to know the gate workers and always appreciate how organized and friendly they are. It is never chaotic or unorganized, and as a trainer that is hopping to and from different rings, this is greatly appreciated.
From the one end of the facility to the other, everyone at WEC is polite and courteous and leaves you feeling like you are at home. I have never been more impressed with a group of people at a horse show venue.
I’m not sure there has to be much said about the facilities at WEC. The rings are giant and well-lit with amazing footing, the schooling areas are large and inviting and they allow all night schooling in case you are running late or need extra schooling time. There really is no other facility like it, and it makes bringing young and green horses easy and inviting. The stalls and hallways to and from the arenas are all heated and well ventilated, making it a great retreat from the weather outside! Plus there is always a WEC team member sweeping the halls, cleaning areas and picking the arenas making sure everything is clean and well kept.
On top of the amazing riding arenas, the new vendor village at WEC provides tons of shopping, a new veterinary clinic, a spa and even a small church. There are plenty of places to eat inside WEC, and I think the café has great food and is well-priced. Everywhere you turn WEC has provided extra touches such as Santa pictures and a holiday-themed horse braiding contest at the last show before Christmas.
Outside all the arenas you can find free coffee, in addition to snack areas for the riders and fresh apples and carrots for the horses. And of course, all restaurants, cabins and show areas are dog-friendly. There is something for everyone at WEC!
An elite show facility like WEC probably sounds like it would be expensive regarding show fees, but I disagree. If stalls are prepaid two weeks ahead of time, they cost only $75. In comparison, most other AA show stalls cost anywhere around $250. They also always have specials on tack stalls (for example buy five stalls get a free tack stall) making show fees much more affordable for the average person. I have found that this show is very inviting for newcomers to the sport, keeping it affordable for people just starting out. My show bill is typically about half of that for other AA shows of similar size.
WEC is slowly taking over the indoor show season in the Midwest and there’s no question in my mind as to why. People travel from all over and stay for weeks on end, stalls are sold out months ahead of time and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon! The outdoor facilities are just as nice and they are adding more summer shows each year. With the opening of WEC Ocala, the Roberts family is changing how horse shows are managed in the US for the better! If you can get to a WEC show in Wilmington this winter, I strongly suggest you see what all the hype is about… but hurry and book your stalls early, they are selling out quick!