WIHS to feature show jumping’s best



Kenneth Kraus for Phelps Media Group, Inc.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561) 753-3389 or at info@phelpsmediagroup.com


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PHOTO CREDIT: Kent Farrington and Madison, winners of the 2005 President’s Cup at the Washington International Horse Show. Photo by Diana DeRosa. Photo may only be used in relation to this press release.


Washington International Horse Show Features Show Jumping’s Best Going Head to Head at Verizon Center in Nation’s Capital


Washington, DC – October 19, 2006 – This year’s edition of the Washington International Horse Show, scheduled for the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on October 24-29, 2006, promises to unite a stellar field of the world’s best show jumping riders. Eight United States Olympians, including 2004 Athens Team Gold medalists, McLain Ward and Beezie Madden, highlight this year’s roster of equestrian superstars. Madden, in addition to her Olympic Gold, most recently won both the Individual and Team Silver Medal at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Ward was also part of the Silver Medal team effort at WEG, and they will be joined by two of their teammates, Laura Kraut and Margie Engle.


In addition, the show, which is one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive indoor equestrian events, will feature some of Europe’s legendary and most successful equestrian stars. Nick Skelton and Michael Whitaker, both four time Olympians for their home country of Great Britain, have confirmed that they will attend this year’s show for the second year in a row.  Skelton is the 1995 World Cup Champion while Whitaker, who was second at the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas earlier this year, won the European Championship in 1995. Whitaker broke the one thousand point barrier and edged fellow Brit Skelton by seventy points for the victory in last year’s Gambler’s Choice at Washington.


Harrie Smolders, from the Netherlands, rounds out the contingent from Europe. Smolders hit the big time twice on his first trip to the Washington International Horse Show last year, taking both the $25,000 Accumulator class on Friday afternoon and then topping the huge wall at 7’4” to win the $25,000 Puissance class on Friday night.


The Verizon Center will showcase a battle of the best riders the United States has to offer, including sixteen of the top twenty-five riders on the United States Equestrian Federation Show Jumping Computer Rankings.


The star studded field of American riders is headlined by 2006 World Equestrian Games double Silver Medalist Beezie Madden. Currently ranked number one on the United States computer rankings, Madden is also the highest ranked American rider in the world.  


Kent Farrington and Madison return to defend their President’s Cup title in 2006. Since Farrington’s exciting win at the Verizon Center last year, he’s gone on to post six major wins, including the World Cup Finals Grand Prix in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Farrington was one of the most dominant riders at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida this season with victories in the $150,000 U.S. Open Jumper Championship and the $60,000 Internationale Cup Grand Prix. Most recently, Farrington raced to victory in the $75,000 Fidelity Jumper Classic in Massachusetts and the $50,000 Ariat Congressional Cup Grand Prix in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.   Madison is on track to win her second AGA Horse of the Year title in as many years, and Farrington is near the top of the charts for a spot in the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in 2007.


In 1999, as a junior rider home based in Chicago, Illinois, Farrington topped a field of the best young riders in the country to notch the win in the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic. The Washington win came just a year after winning the USEF Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.


Speaking of his 2005 President’s Cup victory, Farrington said, “That was a very special win for me. It was my first big international grand prix victory, riding against many of the riders I grew up watching on videos as a kid.  It was my first time riding at Washington as a professional and to win that class and take the Leading Rider award, well, that was pretty cool,” he smiled. “The Washington International Horse Show is very special to me and has been over the years. My most memorable wins as a junior were the Washington Equitation Finals and the USEF Medal Finals.”


Farrington noted that he especially enjoys the confines of venues like the Verizon Center.  “I like riding indoors. The jumps come up really fast. There are usually big crowds, the crowd is closer to the action, and there’s a great atmosphere when you ride indoors. And, I like riding at night. That’s always more fun for me. All of those elements are present at Washington,” he said. “I like riding in front of the big crowds because it makes it feel like more of a sport. I think it’s a lot easier to gear yourself up and focus on an event when you feel it’s really going to count for something. Your normal day in, day out showing can really become repetitive, so it’s fun to get under the spotlight,” asserted Farrington.


Joining Madden and Farrington at the top of this year’s line-up is 2004 Olympic Team Gold Medalist McLain Ward. The 2004 President’s Cup Champion and Washington International’s Leading Jumper Rider, Ward won the President’s Cup qualifier at last year’s show.


In addition to Ward, other United States Olympic veterans competing at this year’s Washington International Horse Show include two-time Olympian Leslie Howard, with Gold and Silver Team Medals from Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and in Atlanta in 1996. Also returning to the Verizon Center is Norman Dello Joio, the Individual Olympic Bronze Medalist from Barcelona in 1992. Dello Joio won the President’s Cup at Washington in 2000. Other Olympic veterans include Margie Goldstein Engle (Sydney 2000), Lauren Hough (Sydney 2000), Laura Kraut (Sydney 2000), and Todd Minikus (Sydney 2000). Minikus captured the President’s Cup at Washington in 1990. Two-time President’s Cup winner Aaron Vale (2001-2003) will try to make it three in 2006.


Besides these seasoned show jumping veteran superstars, this year’s Washington International jumper division will be bolstered by two exciting and rising young stars, Brianne Goutal and Addison Phillips. Last year, Goutal made history in equestrian sports, becoming the first junior rider to complete a career sweep of every national equitation title. Goutal was the winner of the Washington Equitation Finals, the USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. Since then, aboard Onira, Goutal has ridden to victory in the $50,000 Garden State Grand Prix and the $20,000 Tampa 1.50m Classic. She’s had top three finishes on three different occasions at HITS Saugerties and at Lake Placid, New York. Just recently she was named to the United States Equestrian Team that will compete in South America later this year.


Phillips, still competing as a junior, has advanced to the big time with wins at the $75,000 HITS Saugerties Grand Prix and the Turtle Lane Grand Prix at Lake Placid, New York. She’s also had top placings at the Empire State Grand Prix and at the Winter Equestrian Festival. 


“It’s an absolutely fantastic field of world class competitors,” said WIHS Manager Hugh Kincannon. “Show jumping fans attending this year’s Washington show should be rewarded with some of the best show jumping ever.”


The $100,000 President’s Cup sponsored by Salamander Hospitality, LLC highlights this year’s jumper division and will take place on Saturday night, October 28, 2006.


Other exciting jumper action includes two President’s Cup Qualifiers, the $25,000 International-Open Jumper Time First Jump-off, on Friday, October 27th and the $20,000 International-Open Jumper Time First Round, on Thursday afternoon, October 26th, both sponsored by Monarch International/Show Circuit Magazine.


Also on the agenda for 2006 is the $20,000 International-Open Gambler’s Choice on Thursday evening; the class is sponsored by Berkeley Underwriting Partners, LLC and StarNet Insurance.


Friday night features two exciting show jumping events, the $20,000 International-Open Jumper Accumulator and the $25,000 International Open Puissance classes.


Tickets for the 2006 Washington International Horse Show are still available at www.ticketmaster.com or call 202-397-SEAT.  Barn Night Groups (10 or more) receive $5 off each ticket.

WashingtonInternational Horse Show Fast Facts


What: Now in its 48th year, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the world’s leading equestrian events.  It features top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad competing for more than $400,000 in prize money and championship titles. Approximately 600 horses will be on hand for the six-day event. Riders from Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Brazil and Ireland are expected to participate at the show in the Olympic sport of show jumping.


When: October 24 – 29, 2006  


Where: Verizon Center at 601 F Street NW (7th and F Streets NW), Washington, D.C., home of the Washington International Horse Show since 2000, as well as professional and college sports teams including the NBA Wizards, the NHL Capitals, the WNBA Mystics and the Georgetown Hoyas, concerts, family shows and sporting events. ***Take Metrorail or Metrobus to Gallery Place-Chinatown for an easy trip to the show.



— $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (Sat., Oct. 28-evening)

— $25,000 Puissance (Fri., Oct. 27-evening)

— Invitational Dressage Championship Grand Prix (Thurs., Oct. 26-evening) and Musical Freestyle (Fri., Oct. 27-evening)

— Washington International Equitation Classic Finals (Sat., Oct. 28-evening)

— $15,000 AHJF Nations Cup Hunter Challenge (Sat., Oct. 28-day)


Website: www.WIHS.org


General Information:

The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the nation’s leading championship horse shows since 1958, hosts some of the finest horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic and World Cup medalists. Unique among horse shows, the WIHS takes place in the middle of a city, and not just any city–the nation’s capital!  For six days, the WIHS transforms local city streets around the Verizon Center into stabling and exercise areas for hundreds of horses. Show jumping, hunter, equitation and dressage competition is the mainstay of the show, with entertaining exhibitions of racing terriers, a celebrity sports challenge and barrel racing rounding out a very full program. Riders of all ages – from children as young as seven riding ponies to experienced riders well into their 50’s on powerful jumpers and dressage horses – compete throughout the year and throughout the country to qualify to ride at Washington. 


New this year is side saddle, with riders evoking the elegance and style of past eras, the AHJF Nations Cup Hunter Challenge, an innovative hunter competition pairing WIHS equitation (junior) riders with international show jumping riders, and a polo exhibition.

Barn/Group Night, Thurs, Oct. 26, is a favorite with local young riders who attend in groups and vie for prizes based on best group spirit, best essay, largest group, etc. All participants get a free tee-shirt and have the unique opportunity to walk the show jumping course with grand prix riders (and get autographs) following the $20,000 Gamblers Choice class. On Saturday afternoon, younger children will enjoy pony rides, face painting and horse-based learning activities at the Pony Pavilion located just outside the Verizon Center.  

More than 60 vendors offering equestrian gear, apparel, jewelry and other unique items are conveniently located on the concourse around the competition arena.  Spectators also may bid on more than 60 unique and one-of-a-kind items in the Silent Auction.

WIHS Local Weekend offers local amateur riders, who otherwise may not qualify, a chance to ride at the Washington International. Local children and adult amateur hunter riders based within 100 miles of Washington, D.C. may compete in a qualifying event Oct. 20-22 at Prince George‘s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., with the top finishers eligible to ride in the WIHS Local Hunter Finals at the Verizon Center on Sunday, October 29th.   

The WIHS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization benefiting local and national charities. Current and past donation recipients include the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, NBC4’s Camp 4 Kids, ASPCA, Childrens’ Inn at the National Institutes of Health, Community Services for Autistic Adults & Children, National Center for Therapeutic Riding, Newspapers in Education, Starlight Starbright Foundation-Midatlantic, and many more. 

Horse Show Office: 16063 Comprint Circle, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, (301) 987-9400, Fax: (301) 987-9461, website: www.wihs.org, Executive Director: Susie Webb, Susie@wihs.org


Management: Austin Kiplinger, Honorary Chairman of the Board; Jorge J. Carnicero, Chairman; Dr. Sheila C. Johnson, President; Susie Webb, Executive Director; Hugh Kincannon, Show Manager

Public Relations: Diana De Rosa, Press Link: (631) 773-6155, Cell: (516) 848-4867, dderosa1@optonline.net, website: www.presslinkpr.com


Media: Phelps Media Group/Mason Phelps, Jr. (561) 753-3389, mpjr@phelpsmediagroup.com.  Press releases and photos are available at https://www.phelpsmediagroup.com.  For accreditation, visit https://www.wihs.org/news/media.cfm and complete a media accreditation form.


2006 Washington International Horse Show

Tickets and Schedule ***Program subject to change***


Hours: Two performances daily except Sunday: Day (Tues-Sun): 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Evening: (Tues-Sat): 7:00-10:30 p.m (ending times approx.) 

Tickets – www.ticketmaster.com or call 202-397-SEAT


Performance                 Day                  Evening            Evening VIP**

Tuesday                       $15                  $20                  $40

Wednesday                  $15                  $20                  $40

Thursday                      $15                  $30*                $45*

Friday                          $15                  $35                  $60

Saturday                       $20                  $35                  $60

Sunday             $15                                    


Anytime Package: $85 (a $235 value); good for all 11 performances.

Pony Pavilion: Tickets for the Pony Pavilion available only at the Pony Pavilion on Sat., Oct. 28, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Entry by donation. Donations of $5 or $10 are readily accepted at the Pony Pavilion with net proceeds going to the Meadowbrook Foundation.


*Barn Night/Groups (10 or more) receive $5 off each ticket on Thursday night only.

**VIP seats include premium arena-level seating and a complimentary WIHS program book ($10 value).


Students, Seniors, and Military save $5 off tickets for Sat., Oct. 28 daytime performance, with proper ID. (Excludes VIP tickets.)

Metro Special: Save $5 off tickets for any performance with presentation of bus or rail Metro card.  (Excludes VIP tickets.)

***Discount offers cannot be combined.      


Tentative Schedule:

Tuesday, Oct. 24: Daytime performance: Regular and Green Conformation Hunters; First/Second Year Green Hunters; Regular Working Hunters; Amateur/Owner Hunters (Riders 35 & Under and Over 35); Evening performance: WIHS Children’s Hunter and Adult Hunter Championships


Wednesday, Oct. 25: Daytime performance: Regular Working and Regular Conformation Hunters; Second Year Green and Green Conformation Hunters; A/O Hunter (35 & Under and Over 35); Amateur/Owner Jumpers; Evening performance: WIHS Children’s Jumper Championships and Adult Jumper Championships


Thursday, Oct. 26 (BARN/GROUP NIGHT): Daytime performance: Small Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Large Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Small Junior Hunters (16-17), Large Junior Hunters (16-17); Side Saddle; $25,000 President’s Cup Qualifier; Amateur/Owner Jumpers, Junior Jumpers; Evening performance: WIHS Invitational Dressage Championship Grand Prix; $20,000 Gambler’s Choice, Side Saddle, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races


Friday, Oct. 27: Daytime performance: Small Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Large Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Small Junior Hunters (16-17), Large Junior Hunters (16-17); WIHS Equitation; Amateur/Owner Jumpers; Junior. Jumpers TFR (time first round); $25,000 Open Jumpers; Evening performance: Polo, WIHS Invitational Dressage Championship Freestyle; $20,000 Accumulator Class, $25,000 Puissance, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races


Saturday, Oct. 28: Daytime performance: Small, Medium and Large Pony Hunters;  $20,000 Hit & Hurry Class;Media Sports Celebrity Challenge; $15,000 AHJF Nations Cup Hunter Challenge;  Junior Jumpers; Pony Pavilion; Evening performance: WIHS Equitation Classic (Jumper Phase & Final work-off); $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, Terrier Races


Sunday, Oct. 29: Small, Medium and Large Pony Hunters; WIHS Pony Equitation Classic; Local Hunter Finals (Horses); Local Hunter Finals (Ponies)


PHOTO CREDIT: Kent Farrington and Madison, winners of the 2005 President’s Cup at the Washington International Horse Show. Photo by Diana DeRosa. Photo may only be used in relation to this press release.






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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.