WASHINGTON (April 17, 2013) – The Washington International Horse Show, one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events, has reached an agreement with Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) to extend its run at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. through 2016.
“The Washington International Horse Show has become an annual highlight for the arena and the D.C. community,” said David Touhey, senior vice president of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and general manager of Verizon Center. “Extending our relationship ensures a world class equestrian event continues to live in the heart of a major metropolitan city.”
The Washington International, now in its 55th year, 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 $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (Saturday night) and Kids’ Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event.
“Hosting an international level equestrian competition in the center of our capital city is a complicated endeavor, but we are dedicated to the effort and could not do it without partners like Verizon Center,” said two-term WIHS President and newly elected Chairman, Juliet W. Reid, of Washington, D.C., who has been the driving force behind the recent growth in popularity of the event. “This terrific location helps us raise the profile of our sport and make it more accessible to new audiences. Our sponsors benefit from participating in a fantastic sporting and social event, riders get to compete in front of big crowds, and our city plays host to an annual event unlike anything else inside the beltway.”
“We’re thrilled to remain at Verizon Center and continue a very special Washington tradition that competitors and spectators alike look forward to each October,” said WIHS President, Victoria Lowell, of Brookeville, MD. “Athletes and fans both can enjoy all that D.C. has to offer—from great restaurants to museums while experiencing firsthand the beauty, power and excitement of horses in the heart of the city.”
“We’ve taken full advantage of Verizon Center’s facilities and production capabilities to enhance the show at every level,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director, of Washington, D.C. “We created two fabulous hospitality platforms for VIP ringside dining and sponsor entertainment. We also added a television broadcast of the President’s Cup Grand Prix on NBC Sports Network and the whole event is now streamed live around the world.”
In 2012 WIHS had a positive economic impact of $8.9 million on the District of Columbia according to a report compiled by Stephen S. Fuller, Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. “Despite challenging economic conditions, the Washington International Horse Show has been able to show a steady increase in contributions to the city since 2008,” said Fuller.
The 55th Annual Washington International Horse Show will take place October 22-27, 2013 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
About the Washington International Horse Show, wihs.org
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show. Top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic champions, compete for almost half a million in prize money and championship titles. About 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show. Special exhibitions, boutique shopping, Kids’ Day and educational and community events round out this family-friendly show. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
About Verizon Center
Verizon Center is a 20,000-seat multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue, owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), in downtown Washington, D.C. The arena is home to three professional sports teams, also owned by MSE, which include the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals and WNBA’s Washington Mystics. MSE also oversees management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University’s Patriot Center. Hosting an average of 220 events per year, inclusive of games, concerts, family shows and world-class sporting events, as well as home games for the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team, Verizon Center sits at the heart of a $7 billion redevelopment of downtown Washington, D.C., that began 15 years ago when the arena opened.