Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Washington, D.C. – October 7, 2014 – The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is thrilled to announce an all-star lineup of international show jumpers scheduled to ride in this year’s competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. One of the year’s most esteemed equestrian competitions with an FEI four-star rating and World Cup qualifier, WIHS draws many of the biggest names in the sport, including Olympians and rising young talents. The 56th annual event runs October 21-26, 2014.
Following team and individual bronze medal performances in this summer’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in France, U.S. superstar Beezie Madden is back on home turf and set to compete at WIHS along with teammates McLain Ward and Kent Farrington. Madden and Ward are each two-time Olympic gold medalists, and Farrington is currently the number four ranked rider in the world (as of September 30, 2014). U.S. WEG traveling team alternate Charlie Jayne will also show along with original alternate Margie Engle, who has one of the most illustrious careers in the sport.
Adding to the challenge, U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut is slated to compete as well as coach her protégé, Jessica Springsteen, throughout the competition. Springsteen is hot off of a win in the American Gold Cup CSI 4*-W and looks to continue her success at WIHS. 2012 President’s Cup winner Reed Kessler joins the list of top riders as she returns stateside with Olympic mount, Cylana. Other young U.S. stars such as Katie Dinan, Quentin Judge, Brianne Goutal, Lillie Keenan, Meagan Nusz, and Catherine Pasmore will compete as well.
U.S. show jumping star Todd Minikus is always one to watch at WIHS as he continues a fantastic season that includes a win in the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, NY, in September. Georgina Bloomberg is also having a phenomenal season with a big win in the inaugural Central Park Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, in New York City.
Along with top riders for the United States, international stars Francois Mathy, Nicola Philippaerts and Olivier Philippaerts are all traveling from Belgium to jump at the prestigious WIHS competition. Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam will be on board as well after recently winning the New Albany Classic Grand Prix, as will countryman Kevin Babington, who secured a major win in this summer’s Hampton Classic Grand Prix. Colombia’s Daniel Bluman and Roberto Teran as well as Brazil’s Paulo Santana round out the list of top international riders.
With a star studded lineup of riders and many of their best horses, the schedule of international show jumping competition at this year’s WIHS features many exciting classes. Competition begins with a $10,000 International Jumper speed class on Wednesday evening, October 22.
Thursday, October 23, highlights a $34,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake in the afternoon followed by the always popular Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery. Barn Night draws one of the show’s largest crowds as local horse lovers watch the entertaining $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, participate in group contests, and have the opportunity to attend autograph signings with top riders.
Show jumping continues on Friday, October 24, as WIHS salutes the nation’s armed forces during its fourth annual Military Night. Classes include a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final as well as the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance presented by The Boeing Company, which is an exhilarating high jump competition.
International jumping concludes on Saturday, October 25, with the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, CSI 4*-W presented by Events DC, a Longines FEI World Cup qualifier.
The complete list of international competitors for the 2014 WIHS includes:
Kent Farrington (USA)
McLain Ward (USA)
Beezie Madden (USA)
Laura Kraut (USA)
Charlie Jayne (USA)
Katie Dinan (USA)
Jessica Springsteen (USA)
Reed Kessler (USA)
Leslie Howard (USA)
Quentin Judge (USA)
Todd Minikus (USA)
Brianne Goutal (USA)
Margie Engle (USA)
Georgina Bloomberg (USA)
Meagan Nusz (USA)
Catherine Pasmore (USA)
Candice King (USA)
Kirsten Coe (USA)
David Beisel (USA)
Molly Ashe-Cawley (USA)
Nicola Philippaerts (BEL)
Olivier Philippaerts (BEL)
Shane Sweetnam (IRL)
Daniel Bluman (COL)
Francois Mathy (BEL)
Kevin Babington (IRL)
Roberto Teran (COL)
Paulo Santana (BRA)
Callan Solem (USA)
Lillie Keenan (USA)
The Washington International Horse Show looks forward to hosting this group of talented riders and top horses in another year of world-class competition at Verizon Center. For more information, please visit www.wihs.org, join us onFacebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
About the Washington International Horse Show, 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. In 2014, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), theinternational governing body for all Olympic equestrian disciplines,raised the show’s rating to CSI4*-W to reflect the increase in prize money for international show jumping. 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.
Photo Credit: Photos © Alden Corrigan.