WIHS Partners with Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to Celebrate Horses


fine art photography of American Indian horse
The Washington International is delighted to announce a new partnership with Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to celebrate horses in Native American culture and equestrian sport throughout history.

The museum will open a major exhibition, “A Song for the Horse Nation,” on Saturday, Oct. 29, at its flagship museum on the National Mall, just a short walk from the horse show. The exhibition explores the role horses have played in Native culture from the 1500s to the present.   

The Washington International celebrates its 53rd year Oct. 25-30 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Together, the two organizations will mark these occasions with free family programs on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at Verizon Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and all day Sunday, Oct. 30, at the museum.  

A free shuttle service between the museum and Verizon Center will be provided by Reston Limousine on Saturday.

Activities include free pony rides at Verizon Center on Oct. 29 for WIHS Kids’ Day, war-pony painting demonstrations by Crow equestrian and tribal general council member Kennard Real Bird, storytelling by award-winning children’s book author and illustrator S.D. Nelson (Standing Rock Sioux), hands-on ledger-art lessons and much more at both locations.

“What better way for us to come together to illuminate our shared history and distinct cultures than through our mutual admiration for horses,” said museum director Kevin Gover (Pawnee). “This unique collaboration celebrates the indomitable spirit not just of the Horse Nation, but of the whole nation. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Washington International Horse Show and know that the spectators at Verizon Center and the visitors to the museum will be, too.”

“The Washington International Horse Show is honored to partner with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, two great Washington institutions coming together to celebrate horses and equestrian sport,” said Bridget Love Meehan, executive director, Washington International Horse Show. “Aligning our organization with one of the world’s most recognized cultural institutions allows the Washington International Horse Show to share the drama, beauty and athleticism of world-class equestrian sport with millions of people worldwide and honor the significance of the horse throughout our nation’s history.”

The D.C. Mounted Police and Real Bird will present the U.S. and Crow Nation colors on horseback Saturday at 3 p.m. on the museum’s Outdoor Welcome Plaza, while singer KJ Jacks (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) performs the U.S. national anthem. Real Bird will also participate in the opening procession at the Washington International Horse Show Friday evening, Oct. 28, at Verizon Center. (A surprise, kid-friendly character will also provide lively updates via Twitter during the exhibition’s run.)

The exhibition runs through Jan. 7, 2013.   Link to the exhibition > A Song for a Horse Nation

Crow War Pony – 1, Fine Art Photography by Brady Willette; Pony painting by Kennard Real Bird (Crow). Collection of the National Museum of the American Indian.

About the National Museum of the American Indian:   www.AmericanIndian.si.edu  
The National Museum of the American Indian is the 18th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the first national museum dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of Native Americans. Established by an act of Congress in 1989 (amendment in 1996), the museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and others to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression and empowering the Indian voice.

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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.