Tag Archives: steeplechase

71st Block House Races Attracts High Praise and Strong Attendance

Balance The Budget and Mark Watts. ©ErikOlsen.

Columbus, NC – April 19, 2017 – More than 9,000 spectators turned out for the 71st annual Tryon Block House Races, the historic steeplechase of Tryon Riding & Hunt Club, at its new venue in Columbus, NC. Thanks to the partnership between Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TRHC), the 2017 event grew from four races to six and from 17 entries to 40 entries. The prize money more than doubled to $175,000.

Tryon Equestrian Partners’ Roger Smith, who had the vision for the new venue, was honored with a new perpetual trophy – the Roger Smith Cup.  Smith commented, “This was a dream come true for me to see such a great turnout from spectators, trainers, and owners for the inaugural event. The weather and the event could not have been more perfect.”

Balance The Budget, owned by Stonelea Stables and trained by Julie Gomena, rose above the field in the most anticipated race of the day, taking the $40,000 Tryon Block House Race by almost four lengths. The now eight-year-old took a major win last season at the 2016 Carolina Cup in Camden, SC before capturing victory this week at the 71st annual Tryon Block House Races in Columbus, NC. The dashing chestnut gelding was piloted by Mark Watts of Camden, SC and the pair finished the 2 ¼ mile race in 4:03.80 on the new turf course, besting six other pairs.

Off track, spectators got in on the competition with the annual hat and “Go to Heck” pants contests. Pants contest winner Beau Harling of Greenville, SC, a 17-year attendee of the Tryon Block House Races, was highly-complimentary of the event’s new venue.

“This is my 17th year at the Block House Races, although my family has been coming for 60 years, and this new venue is gorgeous,” said Harling. “With the stage and the vendors now and the kids’ area, this event is going to grow and considering this is just the first year, y’all have done a heck of a job. People better buy their tickets fast for next year because in three years; this event will be a sell-out.”

The opening ceremonies entertainment continued with a welcome by the Green Creek Hounds, a daring performance by the Shea Rose Vaulters, and Presentation of Colors by the Polk County Veterans Memorial Honor Guard. Skydivers descended with American Flag to the singing of the National Anthem before starting the first race.

For many families, like Amy Washburn Cooke of Bostic, NC, the Tryon Block House Races is a tradition generations old.

“We have been coming every year for at least 20 years and our group gets bigger every year,” said Cooke. “We have three generations here today and we hope it will be their tradition as well to come every year.”

Roy Brock of Asheville, NC enjoyed all aspects of the event, commenting, “We’ve had a great time here today. Great hospitality, terrific event site, horses beautiful, riders beautiful, hats beautiful, pants beautiful. It’s really a terrific experience. I would recommend this event to anyone who wants to enjoy a beautiful spring day in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

The president of the National Steeplechase Association (NSA), the governing body for the sport of steeplechase, was very impressed with the entire event.

“I think it was a fabulous day of racing,” said NSA President Guy Torsilieri. The horsemen loved it; the owners and trainers loved it. Very impressive.”

Rug Howard, Chief Steward, said the event was “very, very well organized.” He continued, “It’s a beautiful race course, rode well, couldn’t have been a better day – especially for the first time,” emphasized Howard. “Whether the event is here or at the equestrian center, they [Tryon International Equestrian Center] always do a first-class job.”

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Tryon Equestrian Partners that owns and operates Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), is pleased with the event and is looking forward to future growth and ongoing improvements.

“We are pleased with our inaugural steeplechase through this partnership and look forward to making the event even better for future years,” said Bellissimo. “Our goal is to continue to expand the equestrian lifestyle offerings of Tryon Resort. We are confident that the Block House Races will become one of the most enjoyable and sought-after steeplechases in the circuit. We are grateful for the positive feedback from NSA and everyone who helped make this transition smooth and successful.”

For more info on the Tryon Block House Races and Tryon International Equestrian Center, please visit www.tryon.com.

About the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club

Formed in 1925, the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club seeks to enhance and preserve the traditions of the Tryon area by conducting equestrian and philanthropic programs that benefit the entire community. Learn more at www.trhc1925.org.

Saturday Night at WIHS Will Be One to Remember

Allison Brock and Rosevelt. Photo © Shannon Brinkman.

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, WIHS Equitation Finals, Rodney Jenkins Induction Ceremony into WIHS Hall of Fame, President’s Cup Party, Dressage Freestyle, and Shetland Pony Steeplechase Racing

Washington, D.C. – October 16, 2015 – Saturday night will offer a memorable experience at the 57th annual Washington International Horse Show, with a full schedule packed with exciting competition and entertaining exhibitions. There is something for everyone on the biggest night of the show!

The $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup, is the featured event. It is preceded by the WIHS Equitation Finals, a freestyle dressage exhibition by Allison Brock and Rosevelt, and the final race in the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship. Throughout the night, festivities will be held at the President’s Cup Party, which benefits the USET Foundation’s “Ride to Rio” Olympic athlete program. The 2015 WIHS runs October 20-25, 2015, at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.

Horse Power comes to D.C. for the 2015 Washington International Horse Show! Click to Play!

One of the world’s most esteemed equestrian competitions, WIHS draws some of the most well-known names in the sport, including Olympians and rising young stars. The highlight event of WIHS, the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, is one of the most prestigious show jumping competitions on the competition calendar. It has been selected as one of seven events to comprise the East Coast division of the all-new Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. Riders will be competing for points to qualify for the 2016 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden.

This year’s Pan American Games individual gold medalist and two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward will return to defend his title as 2014 winner of the WIHS President’s Cup grand prix.

Last year's grand prix winners, McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography
Last year’s grand prix winners, McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography

“I have always enjoyed competing at Washington. I love being downtown, and it has always been a very special week,” Ward expressed. “It has always been a great audience for the grand prix. Having it in the heart of the city is what gives it the atmosphere, and it is something that you cannot recreate in other venues.”

The night will begin with the top 10 work-off for the WIHS Equitation Finals. Spectators will watch the top junior riders in the country ride for the coveted championship, one of the biggest goals of the season. SAP, the official Technology Sponsor of WIHS, created a new equitation judging app, which will allow audience members to judge the Finals live from their seats at Verizon Center or as they watch the live stream.

The 2015 WIHS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by The Boeing Company, will take place on Saturday evening as part of a special night celebrating the United States Equestrian Team and will honor Rodney Jenkins. The ceremony will be a special moment in the ring following the conclusion of the WIHS Equitation Finals and before the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington class, and will feature a special tribute video and the presentation of the WIHS Hall of Fame Trophy.

Jenkins’ professional career started in the early 1960s and includes more than 70 grand prix wins. Although some current grand prix riders have more wins, few can match the quality of classes he won, his consistency, or his longevity. Some of his biggest wins were the President’s Cup Grand Prix at WIHS, which he won four times (1970, 1971, 1976, and 1983). In 1989, Jenkins announced his decision to retire from the show ring. Since then he has focused on training racehorses. The WIHS Hall of Fame is a very prestigious honor, recognizing leaders in the world of equestrian sports. The first inductee was equestrian legend George Morris in 1997, and since then 10 individuals have been inducted.

Not to be missed are this year’s entertaining Saturday night exhibitions. Allison Brock will be riding Fritz and Claudine Kundrun’s beautiful 2002 Hanoverian stallion, Rosevelt, in an elegant WIHS dressage exhibition, presented by Deloitte. They will perform a crowd-pleasing grand prix freestyle to music (Kür), where the horse and rider performs specially choreographed patterns to music.

The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Race is one of the most popular exhibitions. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography
The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Race is one of the most popular exhibitions. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography

Following Brock’s dressage exhibition is the adorable WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship race, presented by Charles Owen. The steeplechase is modeled after professional races, with riders in colorful silks, a bugler, race caller and even a photo finish, but in miniature. Guided by their jockeys, youngsters age seven to 14, the traditional Shetland Ponies race over a course of tiny hurdles.

Overlooking the arena and adding to the illustrious night is the President’s Cup Party in the Acela Club, co-hosted by The Young Nelson Society of Washington, WIHS’s newest young philanthropic professionals group. The team spirit will be celebrated at the Acela Club, where ticket proceeds for the President’s Cup Party will be donated to support the USET Foundation’s “Ride to Rio” initiative, which supports the U.S. teams aiming for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to help them win medals and stand on the podium.

The party includes an open bar, dinner and the show. Guests, including business, government and diplomatic leaders, will be welcomed by the CityCenterDC red carpet and enjoy an evening of dinner, drinks, and socializing. Washington Life magazine will be photographing the party for their Winter issue, and there will be a beer tasting from Breckenride Brewery and a book signing with Vicki Moon, author of the new book, The Stylish Life Equestrian. Party tickets include dinner and open bar and are $150. Tables are also available. Visit www.wihs.org/social-events to purchase or call 202-525-3679.

Don’t miss the biggest and most exciting night of the week at WIHS! Tickets are available at the Verizon Center box office, online at www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. For group discounts, contact Verizon Center Group Sales at 202-661-5061. For more information on tickets and discounts for military, seniors and students, visit http://www.wihs.org/tickets/.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend 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 more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) 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. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

2015 WIHS Regional Horse Show Offers Competitors a Chance to Qualify for WIHS

The WIHS Regional Horse Show will host a qualifier for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series. Photo copyright Alden Corrigan.

Washington D.C. – October 9, 2015 – The highly anticipated 2015 WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals will be hosted at Prince George’s Equestrian Center (PGEC) in Upper Marlboro, MD from Friday, October 16, to Sunday, October 18, offering local and regional riders a final opportunity to punch their qualifying ticket to show at the world-renowned Washington International Horse Show (WIHS).

Entries for the WIHS Regional Horse Show & USHJA Zone 3 Finals close Friday, October 9. View the prize list for more information at www.wihs.org/wihs-regional/. The Washington International Horse Show begins Tuesday, October 20, and continues through Sunday, October 25, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., offering a week of elite equestrian competition showcasing the best of the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines.

Highlights of the WIHS Regional competition hosted at PGEC include the Maryland Horse Show Association Gittings Horsemanship Finals on Friday, October 16, beginning at 6 p.m. Grand championship honors will be awarded to the Children’s and Adult Hunters alongside the Children’s Hunter Pony division. The USHJA Zone 3 Finals will be held on Sunday, October 18, with special zone points being awarded to top place finishers.

Other highlights include the MHSA Children’s Pony Medal, presented by Oldfields School, Zone 3 Adult Amateur Hunter Finals 36 & Over, presented by the Linden Group at Morgan Stanley, and Zone 3 Large Children’s Pony Hunter Division, presented by The Saddlery.

New for 2015, the WIHS Regional Horse Show will host a qualifier for the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen. The Shetland ponies and their mini jockeys will compete in a race to earn their spot to compete in the feature events at Verizon Center. They will run in the indoor arena at PGEC on Friday, October 16, at 5:00 p.m. The top finishers will then compete in the finals at WIHS during its main week of competition on Thursday, October 22, and Saturday, October 24. An ice cream social will be held Friday night during the qualifying event. There will also be a pizza party on Saturday, open to all exhibitors, thanks to Buckeye Nutrition.

The fourth annual Laura Pickett Award for Excellence in Horsemanship will also be selected during the WIHS Regional competition, honoring and remembering local equestrian and trainer Laura Pickett, and will be presented to a rising adult or child rider alongside their respective trainer/s for exhibiting enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and a sense of style, bringing out the best of horse and rider combinations. The award, presented by WIHS President Vicki Lowell on Thursday night at Barn Night, will honor the many qualities for which Pickett is remembered. Nominees for the award will be asked to wear a pink armband and will be judged for their performances inside the ring and their conduct throughout the weekend. The winner will be notified by Monday, October 19, and will receive a pair of custom boots provided by Fabbri Boots.

Children’s and Adult hunters and jumpers will take center stage during the weekend, as final qualifying spots are up for grabs to compete in the WIHS Championship Finals as well as the Regional Hunter Finals at Verizon Center. 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 20. The $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship and the $10,000 WIHS Adult Jumper Championship will both be held on Wednesday, October 21. Regional hunter combinations who earn a qualifying spot in the WIHS Regional Hunter Finals will compete at Verizon Center on Sunday, October 25.

All of the fantastic regional competition in Upper Marlboro, MD leads up to the 57th annual Washington International Horse Show, featuring many of the nation’s top horses and riders as well as some of the world’s best international competitors. For more information, please visit www.wihs.org.

About Washington International Horse Show, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend 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 more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President’s Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) 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. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.

D.C.’s “Cutest Sport” Is on the Road to the Washington International Horse Show

WASHINGTON – May 20, 2015 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the wildly popular WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, will be off and running again in 2015. The entertaining event features pint-sized jockeys in colorful silks racing the cutest, fluffiest Shetland Ponies to the cheers of spectators of all ages.

The first stop in the series will be the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, Pa., May 24 and May 25, and it will conclude with the finals at WIHS in October at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Introduced in 2013 and expanded last year, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races, dubbed “D.C.’s newest — and cutest — sport” by Gillian Brockell of the Washington Post, are run like professional racing events with a bugler, race caller and photo finish, but in miniature — the jockeys are youngsters from seven to 14 mounted on traditional Shetland Ponies racing over a course of mini-hurdles.

For those unable to attend in person, the Devon races will be streamed live by EQSportsNet (eqsports.net) and archived on WIHS.org.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Series,” said WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan. “It’s been so much fun to create and build a fresh, fun and exciting event for spectators of all ages. Pony racing is also a great way for kids to get into equestrian sports. Not too many people know that Kent Farrington, one of the world’s top-ranked show jumpers and a frequent competitor at Washington, used to race ponies!”

Well-established in the United Kingdom, pony racing is growing in popularity in the U.S., thanks in part to Maryland-based U.S. Pony Racing, LLC (USPR), organizer of the WIHS exhibition series, which runs flat and jumping pony races at events throughout the region, including at Pimlico.

Before entering the USPR program, ponies are evaluated for their suitability and every child is fully prepared for race day. “We don’t want [the ponies] to be little race horses, we want them to be good ponies that kids can ride,” said Regina Welsh, USPR founder and director. “We want well-rounded kids and well-rounded ponies.”

Ongoing sponsor Charles Owen is no newcomer to pony racing. The Wrexham-based helmet maker has been a significant supporter of pony racing in the U.K. since 2005.

“Charles Owen is delighted to continue its support of the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series,” said Roy Burek, Managing Director of Charles Owen. “With our long association with pony racing in the U.K., we’re especially excited to be a part of its growth in the U.S. Devon and Washington offer an ideal showcase for this sport and we encourage equestrians and non-equestrians alike to come out to experience and enjoy it.”

The 57th annual Washington International Horse Show will be held October 20-25, 2015, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit WIHS.org.

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

Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 26,000 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 more than a 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. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the international governing body for horse sports.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

2014 WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series Debuts at the Devon Horse Show

Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. – May 14, 2014 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the return of the wildly popular Shetland Pony racing exhibition and launch of the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, which will include a stop at the historic Devon Horse Show in Devon, Pa., plus two nights of racing in Washington, D.C.

The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races are run like professional racing events with a bugler, race caller and photo finish, but the jockeys are youngsters from seven to 14, mounted on traditional Shetland Ponies racing over a course of miniature hurdles.

“Last year the audience went crazy for the super cute, fluffy Shetland Ponies and their tiny colorful jockeys racing around Verizon Center!” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “We started talking right away about how we could bring them back in a bigger way. Devon is a natural fit as it’s such a special show with great spectators of all ages.”

Well-established in England, pony racing is growing in popularity in the U.S., thanks in part to Maryland-based U.S. Pony Racing, LLC (USPR), organizer of the WIHS exhibition series, which about a year ago started running flat and jumping races for Shetland Ponies at racetracks in Maryland, including Pimlico.

Before entering the USPR program, every pony is evaluated for suitability for its rider and every child is fully prepared for race day. “We don’t want them to be little race horses, we want them to be good ponies that kids can ride,” said Regina Welsh, USPR founder and director. “We want well-rounded kids and well-rounded ponies.”

Charles Owen, sponsor of the inaugural Shetland Pony Steeplechase at Washington last year, will return as sponsor for the expanded 2014 series. No newcomer to pony racing, the Wrexham, England-based helmet maker has been a significant supporter of pony racing in Great Britain since 2005.

“Charles Owen is delighted to be presenting sponsor of the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series,” said Roy Burek, Managing Director of Charles Owen. “With our long association with pony racing in England, we’re especially excited to be a part of its growth in the U.S. Devon and Washington offer a perfect showcase for this sport, and we encourage equestrians and non-equestrians alike to come out to experience and enjoy it.”

WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan sees the growing series as a mutually beneficial for its partners. “We’re delighted Charles Owen, with its knowledge and appreciation of pony racing, has joined us to create a fresh, fun and exciting new event,” Love Meehan said. “Very few people know that Kent Farrington, the winner of the WIHS President’s Cup Grand Prix in 2013, used to race ponies! It’s a fun event for spectators and a great way for kids to get into equestrian sports!”

The first stop in the 2014 series will be Memorial Day, May 26, at the Devon Horse Show, and it culminates with the finals at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. with races on WIHS Barn Night, Thursday, October 23, and on Grand Prix Night, Saturday, October 25. Additional venues may be added.

The 56th annual Washington International Horse Show will be held October 21-26, 2014, at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.wihs.org.

For more information on U.S. Pony Racing LLC, please visit www.facebook.com/usponyracing.

About the Washington International Horse Show

Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show attracts more than 26,000 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, 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.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

Washington International Horse Show Barn Night Is Back

Reed Kessler and Ligist won last year’s $20,000 International Open Jumper Gambler’s Choice. © Shawn McMillen Photography.

Don’t miss the inaugural WIHS Shetland Pony International Steeplechase!

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.

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!”

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 Horse Show 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

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.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

44th Annual High Hope Steeplechase Returns on Sunday, May 22

Lexington, KY, May 13, 2011 – After a one year hiatus to make room for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, High Hope Steeplechase Day – a Lexington area fan favorite for 44 years – returns to its home at the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

High Hope Steeplechase is now Lexington horse lovers’ only chance to enjoy the beauty and excitement of live Steeplechase racing combined with lots of family fun and entertainment, all in a country fair setting.

As an added special feature on High Hope Day will be the third running of the “Catch a Riding Star” race featuring student-jockeys currently enrolled in the North American Racing Academy.

Launched in 2006 by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System under the guidance of Hall of Fame and two-time Kentucky Winning jockey Chris McCarron, NARA is now part of Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

Continue reading 44th Annual High Hope Steeplechase Returns on Sunday, May 22

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP, ENGLAND, by LYNN LAWSON

LONG RUN became the youngest horse to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup for nearly 50 years in a truly enthralling race. The showpiece of the festival lived up to its name when the Nicky Henderson trained horse powered to a seven length victory ridden by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen. Kauto Star and Denman, the previous Gold Cup winners ( 2007, 2008, 2009 ) trained by Paul Nicholls, put up an immensely brave challenge together with last year’s victor, Imperial Commander but eventually bowed down to the strength of the young contender. The 6 year old French bred gelding, owned by the father of the jockey went off as 7-2 favourite giving his Berkshire based trainer the elusive victory that he has sought for 33 years.

Denman ran a terrific race in defeat to finish runner up for the second year and stable mate Kauto Star held on to third place. Thirteen horses went to post for the 3m 2½ furlong Steeple Chase which was first run in 1924 and now boasts £500,000 in prize money.

Grand National, England

Fourteen times Champion jockey Tony McCoy won the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, the world’s most famous steeplechase. After fourteen attempts dating back to 1995, an emotional McCoy couldn’t hide his joy when winning the race which had eluded him for so long. Victory prevailed riding the Jonjo O’Neill trained 10/1 joint favourite ‘Don’t Push It’, a 10 year old bay gelding by ‘Old Vic’. For millionaire owner J P McManus, this win was also long overdue after 33 attempts since his first as an owner in 1982.

A maximum field of forty runners lined up to tackle the awesome Aintree course. The four and a half mile race with 30 fences has a total prize fund of 925,000 pounds and is arguably the toughest test of horse and jockey in the world. An estimated 100 million pounds is wagered on the race each year with this year’s outcome costing the bookmakers an estimated 50 million pounds.

Runner up Black Apalachi was prominent throughout but McCoy was always stalking him on the second circuit before jumping the last together and pulling clear to win by five lengths.

LYNN LAWSON
12TH APRIL, ’10

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