Washington International Horse Show Shines in the City! Watch Sunday on NBC Sports


Watch the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington this Sunday, Nov. 6, at 1:30 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2016–For one week each October, the Penn Quarter neighborhood around Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., transforms into a festival of horses. Streets close for stabling and community events, and pedestrians and vehicles make way for hundreds of horses to compete at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the most prestigious and engaging equestrian events in the country, and a D.C. tradition since 1958.

Watch the highlights of WIHS 2016! 

WIHS wrapped its 58th year with one of the most successful events in its history, welcoming business, military, and diplomatic leaders, local and military charities, community events, and more than 26,000 fans of all ages, making it one of the largest indoor equestrian events in the United States.

The excitement will continue this Sunday, Nov. 6, at 1:30 p.m. EST when NBC Sports Network will broadcast the highlight class of the show, the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup. See the NBC Sports Network Channel Guide at for local listings. 

NBC Sports Network Channel Guide

“This is top sport, and to bring this top sport to the nation’s capital is a really special opportunity that we all have,” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “I can’t thank the riders and the competitors enough. They put it all out there to put on a great show. They stay late; they sign autographs. I thank them for coming and being here for us and for the fans. The fans love it.”

President’s Cup Night: Celebrating Equestrian Stars

On Saturday night, WIHS celebrated the best horses and riders in the world, the champions we have admired for decades who continue to produce winners, champions of today, and champions of the future.

Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, brought out a star-studded line-up of top international show jumpers to take on the biggest jumps and most challenging course of the week for the largest purse of the show and to have their names go down in history engraved on the famed President of the United States Perpetual Cup, donated to the show by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961.

U.S. show jumpers Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut and Kent Farrington finished in the top three following a thrilling jump-off, with Hough and Ohlala taking the victory, Kraut and Confu, second, and Farrington aboard Creedance, third.

Laura Kraut and Ohlala, winners of Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington presented by Events DC. © Shawn McMillen Photography


Click to watch Laura Kraut and Ohlala’s winning round!

Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) saw 28 starters over his first-round course, with seven advancing to the jump-off and two double clear rounds in the race against the clock. Carrying on their winning momentum from Thursday’s $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by CMJ SportHorse, Hough and Ohlala earned another exciting victory.

“She was incredible the whole week,” said Hough of the 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Orlando x Cardento) owned by The Ohlala Group. “Thursday was a really nice warm-up for her. All the stars were lined up for me this week, so I’m thrilled.”

Ohlala inspects the famed President’s Cup trophy held by Pete Kirschner, Director of Communications and Marketing for Events DC, after winning the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington presented by Events DC. © Alden Corrigan Medi

Hough is based part of the year in the U.S. and part of the year in Europe. Returning to WIHS after several years, she enjoyed the great competition.

“I love America, and I love riding here. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to compete all over the world and be based in both places, but it is always really special to be back in America in front of a home crowd,” said Hough. “This is a great horse show. In the nighttime they get great crowds, and to be in the middle of D.C. is something special. I know they try really hard, and I like to support good American shows.”

Finishing second by less than a second, Kraut, an Olympic gold and silver medalist, makes the trip to WIHS on a regular basis.

“We have been coming here for so long, I think sometimes people make a little more out of how difficult it is than it really is. People always say it is so difficult for the horses here, but I don’t really think it is at all,” said Kraut. “They are happy; they have big stalls out on the street. The warm-up area is small, but we jump in small warm-up areas all the time in Europe, so it is really no different from there. I think for us the crowd is great and it is great experience for the horses to have a big crowd.”

Following the trophy presentation, additional awards were presented to international exhibitors. Hough received the $10,000 Leading International Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Robin Parsky, along with the Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy. She also earned the Leading Lady Rider Award, presented by Longines. Ohlala was named International Jumper Champion, and The Ohlala Group accepted the Leading Jumper Owner Award, sponsored by The Reid Family. Catherine Tyree (USA) earned the $10,000 Leading Under 25 Rider Bonus, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, and The Juliet Weber Reid Award. Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) earned the Leading Foreign Rider Award.

In its inaugural year, The George H. Morris Style of Riding Award was presented to two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward. Created in honor of legendary horseman George H. Morris, the award goes to the International Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation and jumping and the respectful, dignified, and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.

George Morris and WIHS President Vicki Lowell present the George H. Morris Style of Riding Award to McLain Ward, with Andrew Ramsay and Ringmaster John Franzreb. ©Shawn McMillen Photography

Junior Riders Shine in WIHS Equitation Finals

Champions of tomorrow are often found in the ranks of the WIHS Equitation Finals. This prestigious year-end championship for junior riders is a touchstone for future international equestrian stars, as evidenced by many of today’s top American riders including Ward, who won the finals in 1993, and Olympic silver medalist Kent Farrington, who won in 1999.

Forty of the nation’s top junior riders qualified to compete in this year’s championship, which is held over three phases of competition. Riders jumped a hunter course on Friday, a jumper course on Saturday afternoon, with the top 10 returning Saturday night for a final work-off where they switched horses and jumped the same course one more time.

It was Hunter Holloway, 18, of Topeka, Kan., who led through the three phases to win this year’s WIHS Equitation Finals with a score of 289.750. Madison Goetzmann finished second (283.000) and Lucy Deslauriers, third (279.250).

George Morris, one of four judges with Rob Bielefeld, Kitty Barker and Danny Robertshaw, remarked on the class and Holloway’s winning characteristics.

“It was excellent. I was very honored to be asked to judge,” said Morris. “At the top of these finals, it is always incredible (to see the rider) position, the use of aids, and the execution. It is very important when you are judging to judge what you see and be as objective as possible.

“Hunter’s basics are so correct,” he continued. “Her angles; then you look for execution, accuracy. What separates the top ones, you can’t see it. It’s what is a dying art called invisible aids. The top ten were wonderful, but she won the class.”

Hunter Holloway is named 2016 WIHS Equitation Champion. ©Shawn McMillen Photography

 Special Team USA Recognition

WIHS saluted Team USA for its outstanding performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, winning medals in all three equestrian disciplines—individual bronze in Eventing, individual bronze and team bronze in Dressage and team silver in jumping. A center-ring tribute honored the U.S. Olympic Jumping silver medalists McLain Ward, Beezie Madden and Kent Farrington, as well as traveling alternate Laura Kraut and chef d’equipe Robert Ridland, competing at the show, as well as Lucy Davis, who could not attend.

A special ceremony was held to induct equestrian legend Frank Chapot into the WIHS Hall of Fame. Chapot, who passed away in June at age 84, leaves an enduring legacy of horsemanship and patriotism in the sport of show jumping. His relationship with WIHS spanned its 58-year history, as he was the first rider to win the grand prix (prior to it becoming the President’s Cup in 1961) in 1958, then went on to win it again in 1965. The Olympic medalist, rider, chef d’equipe, trainer and breeder of champions became the 12th inductee into the WIHS Hall of Fame. Accepting the award were his daughters, Wendy and Laura Chapot, joined by Olympians who competed with or under his leadership: Joe Fargis, George Morris, Anne Kursinski, Todd Minikus and WIHS show manager David Distler, who worked very closely with Frank throughout his career.

Watch this special tribute video honoring equestrian legend Frank Chapot  upon his induction into the WIHS Hall of Fame.

VIP Hospitality

VIP hospitality was outstanding on the elegant ringside Lugano Club and Etc… Club dining platforms, where patrons could take in the breathtaking action in the ring while enjoying fine dining and a selection of wine provided by Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Distinguished guest U.S. Senator John Warner from Virginia, who served for five terms and who also served as Secretary of the Navy, had a warm welcome for spectators. Not only is he dedicated to his country and public service, but also he is a true Virginia horseman, who has competed at WIHS. Other guests Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville, Jr., Director of the Joint Staff, and Medal of Honor recipient Florent Groberg who presented the Armed Forces Trophy on behalf of The Boeing Company, Michael Bloomberg, on-site to cheer on his daughter, top competitor Georgina Bloomberg, as well as other senior corporate, government and embassy representatives.

In the sky box-level Acela Club, WIHS hosted three parties for socializing and watching show jumping in support of WIHS charity partners. On Saturday night, the President’s Cup Party, chaired by Bonnie Jenkins and Karen O’Connor and junior chair Lucy Deslauriers, benefitted the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation, whose mission is to support equestrian teams in international competition.

Entertaining exhibitions flowed throughout the evening with Jack Russell Terrier Races presented by Nutro, a fan favorite as the irrepressible terriers raced in hot pursuit of the elusive foxtail; internet sensations, Dally and Spanky, a true dog and pony show; and the always-popular Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series presented by Charles Owen.

Military Night: Honor, Power and Speed

Friday’s Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company, is about power and speed. It’s an exciting evening of competition, military-themed exhibitions, a trophy in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces, recognition and support for the WIHS longstanding Official Military Charity Partner, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), and the Armed Forces Reception, which benefits TAPS.

The $25,000 Puissance high jump competition, presented by The Boeing Company, is a WIHS fan favorite as horses and riders take on the great wall in an extraordinary display of power and courage. The current North American indoor record of 7′ 7-1/2″ was set at WIHS in 1983 by Anthony D’Ambrosio aboard Sweet ‘N Low. Six horses and riders attempted the impressive wall this year, and USA’s McLain Ward and Aaron Vale tied for first place jumping clear for five rounds to a height of 7’.

McLain Ward and Aaron Vale tie for first place at 7’0″ in the $25,000 Puissance present by The Boeing Company.  ©Shawn McMillen Photography

Vale rode Thinks Like a Horse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and McLain Ward was aboard his own ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z. They are two veterans of Puissance competition, with Ward having won this class seven times, and Vale twice.

“Puissance at Washington on Friday night is always a big night. There are lots of people in the stands, and they always cheer a lot. It is good to have a class where two horses went pretty far. It was a good class,” remarked Vale on the excitement and great competition of the night.

Ward agreed, “This has always been a special night at Washington. Both Aaron and I have a good history in this class and we enjoy it and the crowd enjoys it. It is nice when it works out well.”

The $50,000 GE International Speed Final, a high-octane race over an exciting course, was won by Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) riding David Gochman’s Luibanta BH. The pair was first to go, and cleared Alan Wade’s (IRL) speed course in a time of 54.72 seconds that held on through 21 rounds for the win over McLain Ward (USA) and his own Malou, and Jessica Springsteen (USA) aboard the always speedy Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S.

Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) riding David Gochman’s Luibanta BH won the $50,000 GE International Speed Final. ©Shawn McMillen Photography

“This is pretty special. It has been so much fun. We haven’t had much sleep, but it has been better than I ever expected,” said Derbyshire on her first experience competing at WIHS, and one of the biggest wins of her career.

The TAPS-themed jump held center stage in the class for each horse/rider combination to clear the star-spangled jump as part of the Jump for TAPS fundraising challenge. Additional funds were raised to further the TAPS mission to benefit families of America’s fallen heroes at the Armed Forces Reception honoring the U.S. Armed Forces, sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., with support by MetLife and RBC Wealth Management. Co-chaired by Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of TAPS, and Warren Bischoff of RBC Wealth Management. In total, WIHS raised $21,000 to support TAPS mission.

(From left) Susan Wight of TAPS, Hannah and Kaylan Curtiss, the surviving spouse and daughter of Sgt. Dustin Curtiss, USMC, WIHS President Vicki Lowell, Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of TAPS and 2015 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Ringmaster John Frenzreb.

WIHS and the Military

WIHS has enjoyed a close relationship with the U.S. military since its earliest days when former U.S. Army horses and riders represented the country in national and international competition. That connection continues today with Military Night, presented by The Boeing Company, and the popular WIHS Military Ticket Program, presented by Fidelity Investments®. Thanks to program supporters Fidelity Investments®, The Boeing Company, Caterpillar, Inc, GE, MetLife, The Travelers Companies, Inc., RBC Wealth Management, Rothwell Figg and more. To date 26,500 complimentary tickets have been distributed to local military families to experience an exciting evening of international show jumping and equestrian entertainment at WIHS.

Based on the success of the Military Ticket Program, this year WIHS was proud to introduce the WIHS First Responders Ticket Program, presented by AT&T, which honors local fire, EMS and police first responders, and provides complimentary show tickets to first responders and their families through partner organizations.

Back by popular demand, the Army vs. Navy Celebrity Barrel Racing exhibition presented by Washington Area Chevy Dealers, revved up the crowd with a high-test race around a course of barrels. This year, Navy won out over Army for the win in an exciting display of determination and all-out speed urged on by cheering spectators. Teams were comprised of professional barrel racers affiliated with National Barrel Horse Association, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association or American Professional Rodeo Association, top international show jumpers Amanda Derbyshire, Catherine Tyree, Hunter Holloway and Andrew Kocher, and members of the military.

Klinger Award

The fourth annual Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service was presented to the Maryland Horse Discovery Center Network, a coalition of 35 certified stables in 15 Maryland counties that offer a safe, friendly and knowledgeable environment for newcomers to learn about horses and provide an educational component though interactive displays and curriculums for Grades 4-8. The group was nominated by the Maryland Horse Industry Board.

The Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service, presented by Ariat International and EQUUS Foundation, recognizes a horse, individual or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger, the beloved U.S. Army horse and TAPS Ambassador, who has touched the lives of many during his life of service with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon. Klinger was on hand for the ceremony.

The fourth annual Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor and Service was presented to the Maryland Horse Discovery Center Network. ©Shawn McMillen Photography

The Inter-Agency Mounted Color Guard, a special performance by the U.S. Army’s Brass Quintet, as well as exhibitions by renowned Australian horse master Guy McLean and his one-of-a-kind demonstration, and Dally and Spanky, rounded out this popular evening.

Barn Night: Costumes, Contests and Camaraderie

Held on Thursday, WIHS Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery with the generous support of The Peterson Family Foundation and National Harbor, and The Equiery and United Metro Golf Cart, is a favorite with young riders and horse lovers of all ages who attend in groups and have a chance to enter contests, win big prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening. Almost two thousand children representing 64 regional barns and groups were among the spectators watching the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume class presented by The Gochman Family, with riders and horses decked out in Halloween attire.

“Little Red Riding Hood” (Laura Kraut) wins the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume class, presented by The Gochman Family.©Shawn McMillen Photography

Laura Kraut (dressed as Little Red Riding Hood) and Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S won the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume class, presented by The Gochman Family. The pair cleared the course and the high side of the joker fence for a 65-point total in the fastest time of 44.47 seconds.

Andrew Kocher received $1,000 as winner of the Best Costume Award, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions, for their impressive clown attire. ©Shawn McMillen Photography

 Also on a perfect score of 65 riding Eagle Valley Partners LLC’s Ciana, Andrew Kocher (USA) finished fourth with a time of 51.63 seconds, but won the Best Costume Award, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions, for their impressive clown attire.

Knight’s Taffy and Mariah Smith are first across the finish line in the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen.  Photo © Alden Corrigan Media

The wildly popular WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, brought down the house again this year Races were held at the historic Devon Horse Show (Devon, Pa.), the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Championship presented by the Linden Group at Morgan Stanley in Upper Marlboro, Md., and culminated at Washington with races on Barn Night and President’s Cup Night. Well-established in England, pony racing is growing in popularity in the U.S. thanks in part to Maryland-based U.S. Pony Racing, organizer of the WIHS series, and Charles Owen.

High fives! Dally and Spanky and Francesca, best friends forever. Photo © Alden Corrigan Media

 Additional activities included autograph signings with top riders, a scavenger hunt, a tee-shirt toss plus a visit from Major, the WIHS Mascot and internet sensations Dally and Spanky.

Many of the region’s top barns participated in group contests, including Memory Hill winner of the Best Group Video award, Harmony Ridge, Best Group Banner; Meadowbrook, Overall Largest Group, and Serene Acres, Best Group Spirit. Prizes included a riding clinic with top show jumper Callan Solem, $5,000 in shopping sprees from Dover Saddlery, a custom refurbished golf cart from United Metro Golf Cart, and an Electro-Groom Horse Vacuum Cleaner.

The Best Barn Spirit winner, Serene Acres, won a riding clinic with international show jumper Callan Solem. Photo © Alden Corrigan Media

 Special Events and Awards

Also on Thursday, the fifth annual Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship was presented to Daisy Fenwick, of Glyndon, Md., by Vicki Lowell, WIHS President and sponsor of the award. The trophy honors the memory of a respected local trainer, her contributions to the sport she loved and the legacy she left behind. She inspired enthusiasm for life in addition to good horsemanship. The award is presented to an up-and-coming rider and trainer from the WIHS Regional Horse Show who best exhibits those qualities. The winner also received a pair of riding boots, courtesy of Italian boot maker Fabbri Boots. Fenwick is trained by Miranda Scott.

Hints of pink colored Thursday night’s Buck Breast Cancer Benefit, co-chaired by Kori Pickett and Robin Feldman, hosted for the fifth year by the Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) in partnership with WIHS. The reception honors the lives of women who have lost their fight against breast cancer and those who continue to fight. Funds raised through ticket sales and the Jump Clear for the Cure fundraising challenge during the Speed Final support CBCC’s mission to provide culturally sensitive breast cancer screening services and health and wellness education to women in the Washington, D.C. area, regardless of their ability to pay. WIHS raised $8,500 to support the mission of CBCC.

The WIHS Experience

The WIHS experience starts outside the arena. Approach Verizon Center in any way, exiting the Metro, walking, or driving in Penn Quarter, and it’s all about horses. Oversized jumping horses leap across Verizon Center’s outdoor video boards. Grooms brush, wrap, and bathe their charges in stabling tents on surrounding city streets. Riders dressed in boots and breeches wait in line at local eateries. Horses and pedestrians share the sidewalk. And, equine handlers pause on their way to compete so passers-by can pat their horse and take a selfie.

Onlookers also watch with interest as horses step down the ramp of tractor trailers manned by Johnson Horse Transportation, Official Carrier of WIHS, and are guided to their temporary homes, the FEI Stabling area sponsored by Horseflight, or the stabling tents set up on 6th and F streets.

D.C. passersby pause to appreciate the horses. Photo © Alden Corrigan Media

 Inside, the focus is on the jumping competition, but the thousands of spectators also enjoyed a wide array of specialty boutique shopping. More than 60 pop-up shops lined the concourse during show week with equine-related items, jewelry, fashion and the show’s famous homemade fudge. Among the favorites were Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks, Camp Friendship Equestrian Program, CWD Sellier, Der Dau Custom Boots, Etc… at the Shows, Hip Hop Tails, Hunt Ltd., JODS, Kaiser Construction, Linda Luster portraits and The Saddlery.

The WIHS Silent Auction was open for bidding online and onsite with more than 180 items on display. Items included fine wines, jewelry, sports tickets, exciting experiences, great getaways, high-end fashion items, tack and riding lessons and course walks with top pros.

Sponsors entertained clients and friends and enjoyed elegant food and drinks in the beautifully appointed Etc… Club and Lugano Club, featuring décor provided by Syzygy Events International and Bash. Table guests on Saturday received special WIHS cupcakes from local favorite shop Georgetown Cupcake. One level above, Acela Club guests arrived on the CityCenterDC red carpet and enjoyed socializing with sponsors and others while watching the action in the ring. Wolffer Estate Vineyard provided wine and Breckenridge Brewery added a craft beer touch to the VIP hospitality offerings.

WIHS exhibitors enjoyed hospitality of all kinds, including The Sterling Club Exhibitors Lounge, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling, which provided riders and trainers a place to enjoy a meal, relax and follow the show on video monitors. Breakfasts and lunches were sponsored by Merrylegs South LLC & The Hallman Family, Take The High Road LLC., Foxcroft School, Upper Echelon Academy, Dutta Corp, The Lignelli Family, Penelope Ayers, and Jimmy and Erin Walker. The annual Parents’ Breakfast in the Lugano Club was sponsored by The Gochman Family, the new Adult Amateur Hunter Finals Party in the Lugano Club was sponsored by Victoria Clarke and TuDane Farm, and the Pony Party at the In-Gate was presented by The Aycox Family. Riders, trainers and owners enjoyed the local neighborhood exhibitor parties hosted by the Irish Channel Pub and ThinkFood Group’s celebrated restaurant, Oyamel. A special treat for Regional exhibitors on Sunday was the Regional Finals Congratulatory Brunch in the Etc… Club, sponsored by The Bishop Family.

On Friday evening, WIHS’s Young Nelson Society (YNS) hosted a special event for its growing list of members with a happy hour at ThinkFood Group’s Oyamel and a party during the competition in the Owner’s Suite at Verizon Center with support from Salamander Resort and Spa. YNS is a group of locally based young professionals and equestrian enthusiasts, who come together in support of WIHS and its charity partners.

In-arena entertainment included Lucky Program Prizes sponsored by Fleeceworks, Parachute Drops sponsored by Travelers, Best Turned-Out Horse sponsored by The Clothes Horse and T-shirt Tosses courtesy of C&A Sportswear.

WIHS in the Neighborhood

As a non-profit charitable organization, WIHS believes sharing the support it receives from the community and its dedicated supporters by giving back in meaningful ways. Each year WIHS partners with several worthy charities and stages a number of popular community-focused events.

Wednesday morning began bright and early with the annual Breakfast with the Mounted Police and their horses hosted in partnership with Hotel Monaco. Representatives of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, the U.S. Park Police and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police, were on hand to visit with commuters and passersby, who stopped on their way to work or school surprised to see so many of these gentle giants close up. WIHS is proud to recognize these first responders and their equine partners. The festivities attract local media attention and everyone enjoys delicious breakfast treats, both human and equine.

WIHS Kids’ Day shares the love of horses with the local D.C. community.  Photo © Alden Corrigan Media  

On Saturday, almost 1,500 children and their families came out for WIHS Kids’ Day, created in 2010 to share the joy of horses with the local community. Sponsored in part by Animal Planet and EQUUS Foundation, the free festival is held both inside Verizon Center and on F Street in front of Hotel Monaco. Organized with the help of WIHS’s Junior Committee, Kids’ Day offered more than a dozen hands-on activities, including Animal Planet’s Horseless Horse Show, pony rides, horseshoe crafts, face painting, pony brushing lessons courtesy of Meadowbrook Stables, build your own mini-jump with Model Horse Jumps, plus giveaways from Georgetown Cupcake. Klinger, the famous U. S. Army Caisson Platoon horse, was a special guest, and the adorable, Teddy, the mini pony from Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, was receiving kisses in the Pony Kissing Booth.

The WIHS Charity Alliance Program champions the community by helping our sponsors provide promotion, branding exposure and premium hospitality to designated charities. This year WIHS welcomed Teach for America, Humane Rescue Alliance, Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program and DC Bike Ride as Charity Alliance partners, thanks to generous donations from supporters including Greg Gingery, Rita Norton, and Events DC.

Hunter Competition

For the ninth time, Scott Stewart, of Wellington, Fla., earned the WIHS Leading Hunter Rider title at this year’s WIHS after winning both the WIHS Grand Hunter Championship and WIHS Grand Green Working Hunter Championship aboard David Gochman’s Catch Me. Gochman was also presented an award as the Leading Hunter Owner.

For the ninth time, Scott Stewart earned the WIHS Leading Hunter Rider title at this year’s show.  ©Shawn McMillen Photography

Stewart guided Catch Me to the division championship in the Second Year Green Working Hunters on their way to top honors. Stewart also earned the division championship in the Green Conformation Hunters, sponsored by The Ingram Family, with David Gochman’s Fun.

Stewart then took reserve honors in both the High Performance and Regular Conformation divisions to secure the Leading Hunter Rider title. He earned a $5,000 bonus for the Leading Hunter Rider Award, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker. It was fittingly renamed this year as The Scott Stewart Leading Hunter Rider Award, for Stewart who has earned the title nine times now in his great career.

Custom Made and Shaw Johnson Price earned the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” Grand Championship, and Carma and Virginia Fout won the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” Grand Championship. Price and Fout were also named Leading Amateur-Owner Hunter Riders in their respective divisions.

In the Junior Hunters, Annabel Revers and Beechwood Stables’ MTM Hands Down earned the Grand Championship sponsored by Shamrock Ventures, and Revers was named Best Child Rider on a Horse, sponsored by Gotham North.

Annabel Revers named Best Child Rider on a Horse. ©Shawn McMillen Photography

Always a popular division at WIHS, the Pony Hunters helped wrap up the weekend with great competition, including a challenging test over fences in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals where Sophie Gochman and Storyteller came out on top. Last year it was Sophie’s sister, Mimi, who rode Storyteller to win the same class. Storyteller also won the 2016 Grand Pony Hunter Championship with Mimi this year. Emily Aitken was named 2016 Best Child Rider on a Pony.

Emily Aitken named Best Child Rider on a Pony. ©Shawn McMillen Photography


Storyteller, a pony for all seasons, carried Mimi Gochman to the 2016 Grand Pony Hunter Championship, and her sister, Sophie, to a win in the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals. © Shawn McMillen Photography


WIHS Children’s and Adult Championships

Riders earning the most points in WIHS Championship classes held throughout the country earned a place in the WIHS Finals at Verizon Center where the ultimate champions were determined. The winner of the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship was Chapman, owned and ridden by Kathryn Crenshaw. The $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championship was won by Contina, owned and ridden by Jacquelyn Maggiore.

Top honors in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship, presented by The Klein Family & Lance Williamson Stables, went to Sarah Boston riding her own Herminas. Dean Dignelli and Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Redefin won the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship, presented by The Treacy Family.

The Winner’s Circle

When all the numbers were tallied, WIHS presented 20 division championships, 75 trophies, 1,200 ribbons, 53 embroidered championship coolers from The Clothes Horse and more than half a million dollars in prize money and rider bonuses. Winners enjoyed Georgetown Cupcakes, presented by Peacock Ridge, WIHS Equitation riders received coolers sponsored by The Hilton Family, and champion grooms received Jumper Groom’s Appreciation Jackets sponsored by Jacqueline B. Mars and Regional Groom’s Appreciation Jackets sponsored by The Bishop Family. In the spotlight for award presentations was Washington Area Chevrolet Dealers, title sponsor of the WIHS Winner’s Circle.

“We thank many of the world’s best horses and riders for traveling to Washington, D.C., for the 58th annual Washington International Horse Show,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director since 2011. “WIHS is a fun and entertaining event that draws some of the best fans in show jumping to support their favorite riders, and this was one of our best years yet! The atmosphere was buzzing all week long. We’re proud of our growing list of sponsors and partnerships with local businesses and the community and we are honored to be part of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. We hope the event will continue to draw even more spectators and supporters from around the world in years to come.”

As we look back fondly and bid farewell to WIHS 2016, we thank our dedicated sponsors, supporters and fans for making our 58th year successful and special in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Join us next year for the 59th Annual Washington International Horse Show on October 24-29, 2017, at Verizon Center in Washington, DC!

About the Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events in North America. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. 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 (Saturday night), the $25,000 Puissance high jump presented by The Boeing Company and $50,000 GE Speed Final on Military Night (Friday) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is currently ranked #7 in the Top 25 Horse Shows by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.


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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.