WIHS Barn Night is Back


WASHINGTON—Sept. 4, 2013—The Washington International Horse Show is pleased to welcome back the local favorite, Barn Night, presented again this year by Dover Saddlery.  The festive and fun-filled Barn Night will take place Thursday, Oct. 24, during the 55th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) Oct. 22-27 at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC.

New for 2013 Barn Night is the WIHS Shetland Pony International Steeplechase, presented by Charles Owen. U.S. Pony Racing’s young jockeys will suit up in colorful silks and gallop their Shetland ponies over hurdles in two steeplechase races.  A popular tradition in Europe, this will be the first time Shetland ponies will race over jumps indoors in the U.S. 

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography

WIHS Barn Night is favored by young riders and horse enthusiasts who attend with their local barns and have a chance to enter contests such as Largest Group, Best Banner, Best Spirit and Best Video. Barns from Virginia, Maryland, the District and beyond will vie for sensational prizes including a custom golf cart from United Metro Golf Carts, gear from C&A Sportswear, a clinic with three-day eventing Olympian Will Coleman courtesy of Cavalor, and $5,000 worth of gift certificates from Dover Saddlery.

Returning sponsor Dover Saddlery is excited to be a part of this year’s Barn Night event. “We love being a part of Barn Night at the Washington International Horse Show because it’s important to us to support young riders getting involved in the sport,” said Dover’s Janet Nittmann. “It is such a fun event, and we look forward to seeing the creativity and enthusiasm from all the barns that come out each year.”

Thanks to support from committed sponsors like the Peterson Family Foundation, and official media partner, The Equiery, WIHS is able to offer an entertaining evening for exhibitors and attendees alike. Activities begin at 6:00 p.m. on the concourse at Verizon Center with a Stablemates painting activity hosted by Breyer Animal Creations. The first 100 kids to arrive will receive a special prize, also courtesy of Breyer. Throughout the night, groups will have a chance to pose at the famous WIHS Puissance wall, which will be set up on the concourse. There will also be a scavenger hunt, and the first 25 people to submit sheets with accurate answers will receive an Essex Classics show shirt. An autograph session with top riders will conclude the evening.

The evening’s feature equestrian competition is the Halloween-themed Gambler’s Choice Costume class, during which top riders and their horses will tackle a course of jumps set at 1.45m, dressed in creative outfits of their choosing.

“Barn Night is always fun because the atmosphere is so great,” said Reed Kessler, who won last year’s $20,000 International Open Jumper Gambler’s Choice class, dressed as Catwoman. “The best part of this sport is when the crowd is really passionate and excited about watching you ride and Barn Night always delivers in terms of enthusiasm!”

Reed Kessler in Gambler's Choice Costume Class on Barn Night

Before the start of the Gambler’s Choice, WIHS President Victoria Lowell will present the second annual Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship. Awarded in memory of Laura Pickett, the trophy will be presented to the adult or child rider and their trainer who best exhibit enthusiasm, dedication, style and commitment to excellent horsemanship at the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals, Oct. 18-20 at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md. 

Barn Night is a terrific opportunity for the DC region’s horse lovers to come together and enjoy a night of entertainment and camaraderie. Last year’s winners:

  • Largest Group Overall:  Meadowbrook Stables, Chevy Chase, MD
  • Largest Group (Maryland): Wheaton Park Stables, Wheaton, MD
  • Largest Group (Virginia): Tamarack Stables, Lofton, VA
  • Largest Group (DC/Other): Rock Creek Horse Center, Washington, DC
  • Best Group Video: Rock Creek Horse Center, Washington, DC
  • Best Group Banner: Harmony Ridge, Deale, MD
  • Best Group Spirit: Serene Acres Riding Center, Round Hill, VA

Sign Up Today!

Visit www.wihs.org/tickets/ for more information on purchasing tickets to this year’s event. Download the 2013 Official WIHS Prize List at www.wihs.org/prize-list/.

Register your barn now to be eligible to participate in the group contests and for the chance to win great prizes! Join WIHS on Facebook and sign up on the Barn Night Facebook Event Page to enter contests, see who will be attending, and connect with other Barn Night participants!

Go to www.wihs.org/Barn-Night now to sign up to be eligible for this year’s contests and prizes. Discounted tickets for Barn Night are available at Verizon Center Group Sales Office. Call (202) 661-5061 now to reserve your seats! The minimum group size is 10 people.

Learn more about the Washington International and the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals at www.wihs.org, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the Washington International Horse Show (www.wihs.org)
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 20,000 spectators to 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 nearly half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday), the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, a World Cup qualifier (Saturday night) 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.


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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.