WASHINGTON, May 3, 2022 – Catie Ries of Reston, Va., has been selected as the 2022 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Youth Ambassador, and 46 local teens attending schools in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., will join the 2022 WIHS Junior Committee presented by Signature Academics.
Members of the Junior Committee are an integral part of WIHS, working alongside staff during show week and serving as WIHS representatives within the local equestrian community. Junior Committee members participate in monthly show planning and brainstorming meetings as well as participate in volunteer opportunities with local charitable organizations throughout the year.
The WIHS Youth Ambassador holds a leadership role as chair of the Junior Committee and represents the show’s youth perspective to the media. With 46 members, Ries will oversee one of the largest WIHS Junior Committees since it was established in 2009.
2022 Youth Ambassador Catie Ries, 17, of Reston, V.A., and her horse, Tony. Catherine Michele Photography
Ries, who served on the Junior Committee for two years before being named Youth Ambassador, said, “I am ecstatic to have been chosen as Youth Ambassador this year. I have been on the Junior Committee throughout my entire high school career and am excited to finish out my last year of both high school and Junior Committee with such an amazing opportunity!”
Ries has a history with WIHS not only as a Junior Committee member but also as a long-time spectator. “My dad and I have attended the Washington International Horse Show almost every year since elementary school. We always looked forward to going to watch, whether we would see the Puissance or the Shetland races or get to see all of show jumping’s greatest competitors. To me, WIHS has always meant glamour and honor, not just for the riders, but also for the spectators of this prominent equestrian event.”
As Youth Ambassador, Ries plans on expanding the Washington International Horse Show’s audience and community involvement by marketing to reach non-equestrians, with the help of her peers.
“I am looking forward to working with likeminded individuals to meet the committee’s goals for 2022.” remarked Ries. “I am excited for everyone to come see the Washington International Horse Shows return to the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area! ”
Junior Committee members at the 2022 Kick Off Meeting!
Two additional leadership positions have been added to the Junior Committee: Isabella Bertozzi, 17, of Leesburg, V.A., will serve as Social Media Ambassador, and Barbara Closter, 15, of Fairfax, V.A., will be the Regional Show Ambassador. These two positions will help support the Youth Ambassador and provide more guidance for Junior Committee members.
As Social Media Ambassador, Bertozzi will focus on enhancing the unique elements of WIHS in a virtual environment and strengthening WIHS’ connection with the equestrian and non-equestrian worlds, while building relationships within the Junior Committee.
Closter will focus on the WIHS Regional Horse Show and USHJA Zone 3 Championship held at Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, Va., the week before WIHS at the Show Place Arena. She will guide committee members and manage participation in activities at the Regional Show.
Junior Committee having fun volunteering at Sprout Therapeutic Riding Center in 2021
Supporting the Youth Ambassador and Junior Committee in their academic pursuits is Signature Academics. “We are delighted to return for the fifth year as sponsor of the WIHS Junior Committee,” said Wendy Salomon, Executive Director of Signature Academics, a leading provider of educational services for student athletes, including a one-to-one fully accredited school in Wellington, Fla.
Since 2014, Salomon, an avid equestrian herself, and her Signature team have been tutoring equestrian student-athletes year-round, with a permanent location in Wellington, seasonally in Ocala, Fla., and at major national horse shows, including WIHS. “We specialize in supporting equestrian student-athletes who value education,” said Salomon. “Our goal is to provide peace of mind to students and families that academic achievement is always a top priority, even in the face of non-stop training, traveling, and competition.”
Keep and eye out on the WIHS website and WIHS JC Instagram to view member profiles and learn more about the 2022 Junior Committee!
WIHS Junior Committee Class of 2022
With 46 members, the class of 2022 is the largest Junior Committee since the program began in 2009.
- Kate Barnett | Ashburn, VA | Broad Run High School
- Isabella Bertozzi | Leesburg, VA | Independence High School
- Samantha Bourque | Glenwood, MD | Glenelg High School
- Dylan Buckley | Brambelton, VA | St. Paul VI Catholic High School
- Leah Burton | Seat Pleasant, MD | Elizabeth Seton High School
- Olivia Burton | Seat Pleasant, MD | Elizabeth Seton High School
- Molly Butenhuys | Sterling, VA | St. Paul VI Catholic High School
- Anna Carver | Ashburn, VA | Independence High School
- Lizzie Chalkley | Davidsonville, MD | Indian Creek School
- Barbara Colster | Fairfax, VA | Oakton High School
- Abby Cole | Ashburn, VA | Riverside High School
- Abby Dix | Raleigh, NC | Ravenscroft School
- Olivia Dougherty | Arlington, VA | St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School
- Elsa Eastment | Chevy Chase, MD | The Holton-Arms School
- Chloe Fagan | Bethesda, MD | Walter Johnson High School
- Isabel Flynn | Chevy Chase, MD | National Cathedral School
- Nora Fotuhi | McLean, VA | Langley High School
- Josie Galvin | Free Union, VA | Miller School of Albemarle
- Abby Griffith | Vienna, VA | Dominion Christian School
- Cameron Hester | Odenton, MD | Annapolis High School
- Elle Grace Hogan | Chevy Chase, MD | Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
- Caroling Hoover | Bethesda, MD | Walt Whitman High School
- Julianne Karol | Alexandria | VA, St. Stephens and St. Agnes School
- Eva Knight | McLean, VA | Oakcrest School
- Kelsey Lambert | Chevy Chase, MD | St. John’s College High School
- Grace Lowe | Arlington, VA | The Langley School
- Joy Moment | Fort Washington, MD | Academy of Health Science at PGCC
- Leah Mongridas | Sterling, VA | Potomac Falls High School
- Gabrielle Morin | McLean, VA | Holton-Arms School
- Summer Mrotek | Bowie, MD | Bridge Tutorial Ministries Homeschool
- Jada Newell | Brandywine, MD | Crofton High School
- James Newell | Brandywine, MD | Crofton High School
- Natalie Paley | Germantown, MD | Northwest High School
- James Power | Mount Airy, MD | Mount Airy Middle School
- Natasha Randhawa | Marriottsville, MD | Marriotts Ridge High School
- Rayann Reese | Potomac, MD | Winston Churchill High School
- Catie Ries | Reston, VA | South Lakes High School
- Carly Roberts | South Riding, VA | Freedom High School
- Josephine Samuelson | Washington, DC | National Cathedral School
- Lola Schumpert | Washington, DC | Woodrow Wilson High School
- Isaiah Smith | Waldorf, MD | St. Charles High School
- Beatrice VanSant | Middleburg, VA | Highland School
- Hannah Weingast | Vienna, VA | Langley High School
- Isabelle Welch | Gainesville, VA | Homeschool
- Jordan West | Great Falls, VA | Langley High School
- Ava Wolfe | Burke, VA | Bishop Ireton
About Signature Academics
Signature Academics offers a full range of educational services to support today’s student-athletes. From Wellington and Ocala, Fla., through Devon and the indoor horse shows, Signature Academics provides year-round subject tutoring; standardized test preparation; custom, seasonal and year-round accredited one-to-one school; and college counseling to students in middle school through college. By combining academic excellence and a full understanding of the equestrian world and its challenges, the team at Signature Academics is uniquely qualified to help equestrian student-athletes excel in everything they do. Learn more at SignatureAcademics.com.
About Washington International Horse Show
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of North America’s most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events with highlights including the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington for the President’s Cup and the WIHS Equitation Finals. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. For more information, visit wihs.org.