Top Show Managers Robert Ridland and David Distler Join
Gaithersburg, MD – June 25, 2008 – Two internationally respected horse show organizers, Robert Ridland, of Irvine, CA, and David Distler, of Norwalk, CT, have been named managers of the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), it was announced today by Jorge Carnicero, WIHS president. WIHS, one of the world’s leading equestrian events, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on October 21-26 at
“Robert and David bring unparalleled experience and professionalism to the Washington International both in organizing and running events of the highest caliber as well as specialized knowledge of course design, operations and sport governance. What makes this doubly meaningful is their past personal connection to the show: Robert as a rider and course designer and David as a judge and starter,” said Carnicero. “We are delighted to welcome this dream team to the management of our landmark anniversary event and to bring a fresh outlook and new ideas to the show as it moves into a new era.”
Ridland, 58, has broad experience in equestrian sport, from riding to management to sports governance. He currently serves as a member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) board of directors and sits on the jumping committee of the Federation Equestre International (FEI), the world governing body for horse sports. He was an FEI technical delegate at the World Cup Finals in Gothenburg,
Ridland is president and partner in Blenheim EquiSports, a sporting event management company, which currently produces more than 40 horse shows a year in
Distler, 54, has organized national and international equestrian competitions since 1985 and has served as an official at events throughout the world, including Olympic and Pan American Games. He has been an FEI jumper judge since 1989, attaining an “O” rating in 2004. He also is co-chairman of the USEF Jumper Committee.
Distler’s many management credits include the upcoming 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, where he will serve as assistant director of competition and co-manager for show jumping, the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden (NY), the Devon Horse Show, Lake Placid Horse Shows, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships and the Winter Equestrian Festival, Wellington, FL.
Distler, who will be officiating at the upcoming Olympic Games in
The 50th anniversary Washington International Horse Show will be held on October 21-26, 2008, at
About The Washington International Horse Show (www.wihs.org):
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show features top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic champions, who compete for more than $415,000 in prize money and championship titles. About 600 horses participate in show jumping, hunters, equitation and dressage events during the six-day show. Special exhibitions, unique shopping in 65 boutiques and a Pony Pavilion with free pony rides (Sat.) round out this family-friendly show. WIHS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, partners with Autism Speaks to raise awareness and funds for autism, a devastating disorder that affects one in 150 children.
Historical: Since its debut, the Washington International has been a popular