Olympic Athletes, Racing Ponies, and Charity Events Highlight the 2017 Washington International Horse Show


World’s #1 and #2 Riders to Compete!

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2017–There will be something for everyone at the 2017 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). The world’s number one and number two show jumpers, Americans Kent Farrington and McLain Ward, lead a strong field in competition. Adorable Shetland ponies will race for top billing, and charity events each night make WIHS North America’s most exciting and entertaining equestrian event. The 59th annual WIHS will be held on October 24-29, 2017, at Capital One Arena in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Farrington and Ward are two of the most well-known names in equestrian sport. Ward won the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Finals and is a two-time Olympic team gold medalist. Ward was also on the team with Farrington at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where they helped the United States win the team silver medal. Farrington has been successful in the sport for a decade and has enjoyed a remarkable run of six months at the top of the Longines FEI world ranking list.

Joining Ward and Farrington at WIHS are Olympic gold medalists Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut, who also helped the United States win the silver medal at the 2017 Longines FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona just last month. More than 30 other top-ranked international show jumpers will compete in the CSI4*-W competition over challenging courses designed by World Cup Finals designer Alan Wade of Ireland. This is competition you won’t want to miss!

Starting at just $20, WIHS tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Capital One Arena Box Office. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more through Capital One Arena Group Sales. Call 202-661-5061 for details.

Preparing to compete at WIHS? Do you have a Barn Night group together? Are you excited for Kids Day? Are you attending as a vendor? Join the conversation and be sure to tag WIHS on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat posts and use our hashtags! #HorsesInTheCity #WIHS2017

See Show Jumping’s Superstars

On Thursday evening, Barn Night reigns as groups of horse-crazy enthusiasts come to Capital One Arena to cheer on their favorite riders. Competition includes the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class, presented by Kadley Farm, and the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class and Best Costume Bonus, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions.

Riders can go all out for their costumes: painting their horse, wearing masks, and donning laugh-out-loud attire. What will your favorite Olympian wear on Thursday night?

Friday night is all about power and speed. The night opens up with the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, where the fastest one through the timers wins. As part of Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company, the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance High Jump, presented by The Boeing Company, will feature an imposing wall and those brave enough to jump it. Will the record of 7 feet, 7 ½ inches be broken in 2017?

Saturday night hosts the best of the best. Riders under 18 years of age will contest their final round in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. They will have to switch horses and ride an unfamiliar mount over a course of jumps to determine who will be crowned the equitation champion.

Former WIHS Equitation Finals champions include Kent Farrington (1999), currently the #1 rider in the world and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (1993), currently #2 in the world. Other WIHS Equitation Finals alums active in grand prix ranks include Brianne Goutal (2004), a judge in this year’s Finals, Jack Hardin Towell Jr. (2006), Lillie Keenan (2010), Victoria Colvin (2015), and Hunter Holloway (2016). 

The $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup, is the pinnacle of show jumping sport. Riders will be vying for valuable points to qualify for the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals, held in April in Paris, France. Cheer on your favorite rider and see who will add their name to the winner’s trophy this year.

Attending the Washington International Horse Show

The Washington International Horse Show is more than just a competition; it’s an event. A ticket to watch the competition brings with it the opportunity to see entertaining exhibitions and special presentations that accompany the evenings’ schedules. Everyone is also invited to participate in various community events taking place during WIHS.

Now in its second year, the WIHS First Responders Ticket Program, presented by AT&T, with support from Keshishian & Sons, will honor local Fire, EMS, Police and other First Responders, offers complimentary tickets to First Responders and their families.

The popular WIHS Military Ticket Program, presented by Fidelity Investments, with support from Cherry Knoll Farm and Keshishian & Sons, has provided more than 21,500 tickets to military families since its inception, and culminates with WIHS Military Night on Friday, October 27.

Stop by Breakfast with the Mounted Police (8-10 a.m. in front of Hotel Monaco at 700 F Street NW) to meet the officers and their mounts.

Kids’ Day

WIHS Kids’ Day, presented by Discovery Communications and EQUUS Foundation, is a free, fun, family-friendly event on Saturday, October 28 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), that was created to share the joy of horses with the local D.C. community and teach kids and their families about horses and equestrian sport. Children participate in more than a dozen hands-on educational and fun activities, including pony rides, the Discovery Communications Stick Horse Show, the Horse Stars Hall of Fame interactive exhibit, coloring station, face painting, pony brushing lessons from Clay Hill Stables, plus giveaways from Georgetown Cupcake. Klinger, the famous horse from the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon, often attends as a special guest to greet the children. There’s even a pony kissing booth with Mini Cooper, the mini pony! Rain or shine, outdoor activities will be held in front of the Hotel Monaco at 700 F Street NW (the street will be closed for the event) and face painting and other events will be held on the Capital One Arena concourse. 

Barn Night

Barn Night, presented by U.S. Equestrian, Enjoy Yums, The Equiery, The Clothes Horse, and United Metro Golf Cart, will be on Thursday, October 26. It is a favorite with young riders, barn mates and horse lovers who attend in groups and have a chance to enter contests, win great prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening of exciting jumping competition.

The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Races presented by Charles Owen will be a highlight exhibition on Thursday, October 26, and Saturday, October 28, evening sessions. Introduced in 2013, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races, dubbed “D.C.’s newest–and cutest–sport” by the Washington Post, are run like professional racing events with a bugler, race caller and photo finish, but in miniature. The jockeys are youngsters from ages eight to 13 mounted on traditional Shetland Ponies racing over a course of mini-hurdles.

The Mounted Park Police Color Guard will make special appearances on Thursday evening and on Saturday evening, presented by Salamander Resort & Spa.

Awards and honoring those who have made WIHS so special throughout the years is an important part of WIHS. This year, some of those awards include:

Friday, October 27
Klinger Award Presentation: Admiral, the mainstay of the equine-assisted activities and therapies programs at Bridle Paths in Leesburg, Va., will be presented as the winner of the Fifth Annual WIHS Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor & Service, presented by EQUUS Foundation, The Stephens Family and the American Horse Council.

Saturday, October 28
George Morris Style Award, presented by Shalanno Farms
Doc Steele Spirit Award, presented by Michael Meller

Support the WIHS Partner Charities and Enjoy the Show in Style

WIHS is proud to host nightly parties with skybox level views of thrilling equestrian competition while offering the chance to mingle with friends and family, all while supporting WIHS partner charities.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and WIHS invites you to “think pink and dine” while celebrating the lives of survivors, friends, and family on Thursday evening, Oct. 26, at the WIHS Buck Breast Cancer Benefit. Attendees will have a chance to pledge money to support the Clear for the Cure “pink ribbon” fence in the International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions. A portion of each ticket will benefit the Capital Breast Care Center.

Friday evening’s Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company, is the setting for the WIHS Armed Forces Reception presented by Caterpillar Inc. and RBC Wealth Management. WIHS welcomes the military, supporters, and their families to celebrate an evening honoring our servicemen and servicewomen. Proceeds from the Armed Forces Reception benefit TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), the WIHS Official Military Charity since 2010.

Saturday night’s President’s Cup Party celebrates Olympic athletes, past and present, many of whom will be competing in the arena that evening. Committed to assisting our equestrian athletes in accomplishing their goals, the USET Foundation is the beneficiary of the President’s Cup Party. Wear your best equestrian chic and join D.C.’s business, diplomatic, and community leaders.

Join in the celebration of sport and philanthropy and purchase a ticket to one of the parties today. Tickets are $150 and include full buffet dinner and open bar. Visit www.wihs.org/social-events/ to purchase tickets, or email hospitality@wihs.org for more information.

For information on additional hospitality options, including VIP tables, 
please contact Lindsay Pologe, Sponsorship & Hospitality Director at 202-525-3679 or lindsay@wihs.org.

The 59th annual Washington International Horse Show will take place Oct. 24-29 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.com and at Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center) Box Office. 

For more information, please visit www.wihs.org, join us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Tag us using #WIHS2017, #HorsesInTheCity, #FEIWorldCup, #RidetoParis, and #Longines.

About Washington International Horse Show, wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of North America’s most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events attracting more than 26,000 spectators annually to Washington, D.C., for Olympic-level competition plus community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders arrive from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington for the President’s Cup, presented by Events DC, the $25,000 Puissance high jump and $50,000 Speed Final on Military Night and Kids’ Day, a free, fun and educational community event. WIHS, an official USEF Heritage Competition, is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization based in Washington, D.C.







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WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition, and holds the highest rating,  CSI5*-W, awarded by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, as well as a US Equestrian 6* Jumpers and  Premier Hunters. It is recognized by the US Hunter Jumper Association, Maryland Horse Show Association, and Virginia Horse Show Association. WIHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.