Maryland Riders Prepare for the 63rd Edition of the Washington International Horse Show presented by MARS Equestrian™
By Kara Pinato Scro / Jump Media (first published in the September 2021 print edition)
For more than half a century, the Washington International Horse Show has showcased the top hunter and jumper talent in the country, including Maryland’s elite and upcoming riders, and has attracted countless fans of all ages. This year, WIHS presented by MARS Equestrian™ will take place once again at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, NC, to ensure a safe and successful event amid COVID-19, before returning home to the Washington, DC, area in 2022.
Beginning Tuesday, October 26, and running through Sunday, October 31, WIHS will have six days and three nights of competition, but in a departure from the usual format, it will take place in two rings rather than one—Tryon Stadium and the Grand Hunter Ring—and will offer more classes and increased prize money.
Watch Marylanders Take Center Stage
As of August 6, a number of Maryland riders are at the top of the WIHS rankings. Kingsbury and Ava Berman of Baltimore sit in an impressive third place in the Children’s Hunter standings, Mahalo and Kathryn King of New Market rank fourth in the Adult Hunters, and Dedwig and Perri Freeman of Ellicott City round out the top 12 of a strong group of Adult Jumpers.
While fans will be welcome free of charge at Tryon, those not able to make the trip can cheer on their friends and favorite riders on the WIHS Live Stream presented by MARS Equestrian™ on USEF Network, and FEI TV. Both rings will be streamed live. If you do make it down, in addition to the great competition, you can enjoy both VIP hospitality and shopping.
New Events for Exhibitors and Spectators
New this year for WIHS junior and amateur competitors is a full Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division, as well as Welcome classes for all Children’s and Adult Hunter and Jumper riders.
The highlight class of the week, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington CSI4*-W for the President’s Cup presented by MARS Equestrian™, will offer the largest purse in its history at $215,000. The $404,500 FEI division also includes Thursday’s Accumulator and Welcome Stake, and Friday’s Speed Final and Puissance.
Increased FEI ranking points will be offered and 50 international riders will be accepted to guarantee excitement in daytime and classes under the lights in Tryon Stadium.
Equitation’s Best of the Best
The three-phase WIHS Equitation Finals—and the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals presented by Huntland—have long been a cornerstone of the horse show. This year, riders who qualified for the WIHS Equitation Finals will be judged by five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic silver medalist Anne Kursinski, as well as renowned judges Ralph Caristo, Sissy Wickes, and Callan Solem.
Treasured Traditions with a Twist
The final event of show week falls on Halloween and will feature the new WIHS Halloween Hunt Teams for pony hunter riders, with teams of three going all out with costumes for both ponies and riders.
Local-Area Juniors Help Bring the Show to Life
The WIHS Junior Committee, sponsored by Signature Academics and comprised of Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.-area-based youth, have been integral in putting on this event. This talented group of teens has generated interest through social media, community partnerships, and fan engagement activities at both TIEC and at the WIHS Regional Show at Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, VA.
Whether in person or following along from home this year, WIHS has an impressive lineup of classes, events, and entertainment for everyone.
For the full 2021 WIHS schedule, visit: https://wihs.org/event-schedule/