WIHS Regional Horse Show and USHJA Zone 3 Finals Crown Champions


Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2012 – The 2012 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted its Regional Horse Show in conjunction with the USHJA Zone 3 Finals this weekend on October 19-21, 2012, at Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD. The competition is a precursor to the 54th annual Washington International Horse Show, which will run this week, October 23-28, at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC.

The regional competition gives local riders a chance to qualify to compete in the WIHS Championship Finals in the children’s and adult hunter and jumper divisions. The WIHS Championship Finals will feature the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Hunter Championship on Tuesday, October 23. The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship will both be held on Wednesday, October 24. Exhibitors also qualified by their top four finishes at the WIHS Regional Horse Show for the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals for Horses and WIHS Regional Hunter Finals for Ponies, which will be held on Sunday, October 28, at Verizon Center.

WIHS Regional Horse Show manager Tom Blankenship, of Westfield, IN, was thrilled with this weekend’s regional event and said that this was one of the best competitions that they have had. “It was a beautiful autumn weekend and entries for the competition were bigger than ever,” he said. “Many of the region’s best horses, riders and trainers were in attendance for the fantastic competition.”

The big equitation win of the weekend went to Abigail Johnston and her horse Caden in the Gittings Horsemanship Finals. Sierra Lesny rode Nancy M. Mullady’s Charleston to the second place honors and Amelia Lucas and Valentina placed third.
abigail johnstonAbigail Johnston and Caden won the Gittings Horsemanship Finals
at the WIHS Regional Horse Show. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Class winner Abigail Johnston is a 17-year-old rider from York, PA. Johnston has been trying to win the Gittings Horsemanship Finals for four years now, and with one more year left as a junior, she finally made that dream come true. Johnston trains with Erin Knepper and Chris Gimmel at Woodberry Farm. Her horse, Caden, is a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding.??

“I have had Caden for two years, but he was hurt last year,” Johnston explained. “I know him really, really well and he just really came into himself this year; he has been great.”

Johnston and Caden show in the 3’6” equitation as well, so they have had a lot of experience in the show ring. The pair recently showed in the MHSA Medal Finals and also did the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal Finals in Harrisburg. They are also qualified for the ASCPA National Maclay Finals to be held in Kentucky this year.?

Commenting on her winning round this weekend, Johnston stated, “When I walked the course, I was actually really surprised because it was a lot harder than it usually is, but I do the 3’6” equitation, so I knew that he could do it and everything just came up really well and he was perfect.”

Johnston also won the VHSA Children’s Medal class with Caden. Alyssa Rhee and Futuro finished second and Mary Elizabeth Cordia placed third riding Welcome.

Other equitation divisions included the MHSA Adult Hunt Seat class, which saw a win for Katie Stewart aboard Betsy Gallagher’s Santiago Pro. Carly A. Ziegler rode London to the second place finish and Juliana Jacquemin and her horse Memorial Day placed third.

Stewart and Santiago Pro also won the VHSA Adult Amateur Medal, with Ziegler and London in second and Carolyn Pace taking third place honors aboard Gallatin.

The MHSA Hunt Seat on Ponies was won by Brooke Van Nortiwck aboard Pret-A-Porter with Riley Moore and Talari’s Junior Mcvai in second and Madison Ladi L. Warner riding Madam Alexander in third.

In the VHSA Pony Medal, Christa Strasel and Teddy Graham earned top honors. Second place went to Brooke Van Nortwick and Pret-A-Porter, and Gillian Aiken rode Highland’s Paris, owned by Rachel Okun, to third place.

USHJA Zone 3 Finals Results

In the hunter divisions, Brooke Cole earned the championship tricolor in the Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Zone Finals aboard her horse Markelo. Cole and Markelo finished second and third over fences and won the under saddle. Sari G. Deslauriers rode Promenade, owned by Twin Oaks Farm LLC to the reserve championship. Deslauriers and Promenade won a class over fences and placed third under saddle.

In the Adult Amateur Hunter Over 35 Zone Finals, Margaret Taylor guided Quality Control to the championship with a clean sweep of all three classes in the division. Dorothy B. Eisenberg and Silver Belle finished in reserve, placing second and sixth over fences.??

The Children’s Hunter Horse 14 and Under also hosted their Zone Finals over the weekend with a championship win for Morgan Bland and her horse, A Girl’s Best Friend. The pair won a class over fences and finished third under saddle. Alexandra McReady and Springsteen finished in reserve, also winning a class over fences and taking home the sixth place ribbon under saddle.

In the Children’s Hunter Horse 15-17 Zone Finals, Dana Watkiss and Dalamar earned the championship over Kathryn Maginnis and Fargo. Each rider won a class over fences.??

The Small/Medium Children’s Hunter Pony Final saw the championship to go Sophie Hecker rode Meadowbrook Stables’ Indigo to a win in one class over fences and they won the hack-off. Emma Hess and Linda Smith Foster’s Swizzlestick won the other jumping class and were reserve champions.

The Large Children’s Hunter Pony Zone Final was won by Mary McDaniel riding Kristy Willwerth’s Fan Z This. The duo earned two second place ribbons over fences and placed fifth under saddle. Alexandria Weaver and Square Deal finished in reserve after placing first and fourth over fences.

In the jumper divisions, Alexandra Tippett rode Ainsley Treptow’s El Cano to victory in the Children’s Jumper Zone Finals. Anni Friedman and Nerazzurro placed second and Nikki Prokopchak and Response finished in third.

In the Pony Jumper Zone Finals, Elizabeth Monaco and Green Star Equestrian LLC’s EZ to Spot took the top prize. Kathleen E. Fritz rode Chantilly to second place, and Micaela Smith jumped Avery Morgan’s Blue Me Away into the third position.??Wendy Libert and John Bartko’s Papillion Peanut won the Adult Jumper Zone Finals. Robert Stucky finished second aboard Chasm Z, and Alexandra Volta rode Lover Boy, owned by Emily Williams, to finish third.

The Low Children’s Jumper Zone Final was won by Sandra Zimmerli and her horse Noble Irish. Gabriella Sorrentino and Easy, Breezy, Beautiful placed second, and Nicole Hylton rode Midnight Moon, owned by Elizabeth Hylton, to the third place prize.

The Low Adult Jumper Zone Final victory went to Street Fighter and Megan Manubay. Ashley N. Helms rode Fred A Stare to second place honors and Lizanne D. Jeveret and Glendevon placed third.

All of the fantastic regional competition in Upper Marlboro, MD, leads up to this week’s 54th annual Washington International Horse Show, featuring many of the nation’s top horses and riders and several of the world’s best competitors.

The 54th Annual Washington International


WIHS will offer a free live stream of the event in its entirety at www.wihs.org. USEF Network (usefnetwork.com) will simulcast Saturday evening’s program featuring the WIHS Equitation Finals and the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix. WIHS debuted its free live stream in 2011 so horse lovers worldwide could watch the competition and special events online.

New! WIHS is pleased to announce the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W will be aired on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, October 28, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. EST.

Meet the WIHS Mounted Police Color Guard

A longstanding tradition at the show is the Mounted Police Color Guard, which carries the flag for the national anthem. They also join us each year for  “Breakfast with the Mounted Police Horses,” a community event where neighbors can meet these wonderful horses and their riders. This year’s breakfast will be held Thursday, October 25, at 8:00 am with hay and apples for the horses and breakfast for the officers hosted by the Hotel Monaco at 8th and F.

Our sincere thanks to Rick Pelicano for coordinating this multi-agency endeavor including US Park Police, Maryland National Capital Park Police (Montgomery and Prince George’s County Divisions), and Washington Metropolitan Police Department. 

WIHS tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. General admission is $15 Tuesday through Sunday with children 12 and under admitted free for daytime performances before 5 p.m., courtesy of Washington Area Chevrolet Dealers.

Reserved and VIP tickets are available for evening performances. For discounted group sales, call 202-661-5061.

Tickets also may be purchased in person at the Verizon Center Box Office. Call Verizon Center about its accessible seating and services at 202-661-5065 (TTY).

Additional ticket information is available at wihs.org/tickets/.

About the Washington International Horse Show (www.wihs.org)

An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with top riders, including Olympic medalists and their world-class horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show, with many competing all year just to qualify. Highlights include the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (a World Cup qualifier), the Puissance (high jump) and WIHS Equitation Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Exciting equestrian exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities, such as Kids’ Day and Breakfast with the Mounted Police, round out this family-friendly event.

Since its debut, the WIHS has been a Washington, DC institution attended by celebrities, business, military, and diplomatic leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, DC.

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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.