Violet Barnett Excels in WIHS West Coast Equitation Standings


Many Firsts for Violet Barnett

By Carley Gray, Intern, June 23, 2018

As the current top qualifier for the Washington International Horse Show Equitation West Coast, Violet Barnett will be traveling just about 2,500 miles from San Francisco, Calif., to Washington, D.C., for the Lindsey Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. She is thrilled to be on top of the leader board and excited to show at WIHS. Barnett is making quite the statement by being the leading WIHS West Coast Equitation rider for not only her first time at WIHS, but also her first time ever showing indoors.

Barnett recently competed for the first time in the East Coast at the Devon Horse Show to compete in the Equitation classes and Junior Hunters.

“It was such an honor to be able to show there”, Barnett said. She typically shows at HITS Thermal where she earned most of her Washington points and Circuit Champion in the Junior Hunters. Barnett recently moved up to the 1.30 Low Junior Jumpers.

Violet Barnett and Venice competing in equitation at the Devon Horse Show. Photo by Taylor Renner/ Phelps Media Group. 

This 15 year old, soon to be a junior in high school, has had a love for horses since an early age. She grew up watching her mom ride and began riding herself at the age of nine. Barnett is qualifying for Washington on her first horse, Venice, a 13 year-old Warmblood. The two have been a pair since the beginning.

“We have an amazing bond,” Barnett said. She looks forward to bringing Venice to the Nation’s Capital.  “Venice has been to indoors many times before, and I am hoping he will show me how to do it,” said Barnett. 

To prepare for the Finals, Barnett will “stick to the plan” that has proven successful and continue to work hard in her riding lessons at home with her trainer, Nicole Simpson.

“I started working with Violet approximately nine months ago,” said Nicole Simpson. “Violet has been wonderful to work with, she had a great foundation when I started with her. Violet is extremely enthusiastic about the sport and not only absorbs all the information like a sponge, but also she is very intuitive with her horses. Violet has a great sense of feel for her horses’ characters individually and communicates well with me to achieve the best result. We are ahead of where we thought we would be in short time and I’m very much looking forward to the next two years of her Junior Career,” said Nicole Simpson.

Violet Barnett with Venice is all smiles after laying down a great round at the Devon Horse Show in May. Photo by Taylor Renner/ Phelps Media Group.

Barnett also hopes to do well in horse shows such as Spruce Meadows. Some of her riding goals are to move up in the Jumpers and then one day to represent Zone 10 at the FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships. And of course, do well in the WIHS Equitation Finals. She is excited to see what the horse show is all about in person and to spectate fellow talented exhibitors. 

Check out more stories on some of our top qualifiers!
Top Children’s Jumper Qualifier
Top Children’s Hunter Qualifier
Top WIHS Pony Equitation Qualifier
Top Adult Hunter Qualifier

We wish Violet Barnett the best of luck in the Lindsey Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals!

Find out who else is leading the WIHS Equitation and Championship rankings!


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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.