May 2, 2018 - Washington, D.C.
The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce Charles Owen, a leading manufacturer of equestrian safety helmets and equipment, will return for the sixth year as presenting sponsor of the popular WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series. Racing will be held in May and October commencing Memorial Day weekend at the Devon Horse Show. The high-energy sport features junior jockeys racing adorable and speedy Shetland Ponies to the enjoyment of spectators of all ages.
New to Shetland Pony racing? Watch this! The WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series presented by Charles Owen, Devon 2017.
"We're delighted Charles Owen, our longstanding sponsor, will be joining us again to support this exciting and entertaining exhibition, sure to be a highlight of our 60th anniversary celebration," said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. "We're proud to partner with a leader in rider safety, so important in equestrian sport. We have a special award, a Charles Owen helmet, given to the safest rider in each race."
The first stop in the series will be the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, Pa., on Sunday, May 27 and Monday, May 28; then racing concludes at the Washington International Horse Show on WIHS Barn Night, Thursday, Oct. 25 and President's Cup Night, Saturday, Oct. 27, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Introduced in 2013, the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase races dubbed, "D.C.'s newest—and cutest—sport" by the Washington Post, and are run like professional racing events with a bugler, race caller and photo finish, but in miniature.
"Since its first year and we've had an overwhelming response to the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Series from our fans," said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. "Not only is it really exciting to watch, pony racing is also a great way for kids to get into equestrian sports. Not too many people know that Kent Farrington, currently ranked #1 in the world in show jumping and a frequent competitor at Washington, used to race ponies."
For those unable to attend in person, the races at Devon and Capital One Arena will be streamed live by USEF Network and archived on wihs.org.
The #PonyPower Prize Sweepstakes social media contest will be held May 26 and 27 in conjunction with the races at Devon. Fans may enter to win WIHS Official Merchandise including VIP tickets to the 60th Annual Washington International Horse Show, Oct. 23-28, at Capital One Arena. Details will be available on http://www.wihs.org/shetland-pony-steeplechase/.
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 Race Course.
Ongoing sponsor Charles Owen is no newcomer to pony racing. The Wrexham-based company 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. The WIHS Series at Devon and Washington offer an ideal showcase for young equestrians and we encourage everyone to come out and experience it."
Learn more about the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series.
To learn more about participating in pony racing, please visit U.S. Pony Racing.
The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show will take place Oct. 23-28, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Tickets will be available Aug. 1 on Ticketmaster.com and at Capital One Arena Box Office.
For more information, please visit www.wihs.org, 'like' WIHS on Facebook, and follow on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to tag WIHS by using #WIHS2018, #WIHSturns60 and #HorsesInTheCity.
About Charles Owen
Known throughout the world as the leader in equestrian helmet design, Charles Owen represents more than 100 years of innovation and style for a safer world. Each Charles Owen helmet is handcrafted using the highest quality materials. With the largest range of helmet styles and shapes, independently certified to up to four international equestrian safety standards, Charles Owen offers a wider range of protection in a potential accident. For further information, please visit: www.charlesowen.co.uk.
About Washington International Horse Show
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of North America's most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events attracting more than 26,000 spectators annually to Washington, D.C., for Olympic-level competition plus community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders arrive from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington for the President's Cup, presented by Events DC, the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals, the $25,000 Puissance high jump on Military Night, and Kids' Day, a free, fun and educational community event. WIHS, an official USEF Heritage Competition, is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization based in Washington, D.C. wihs.org