May 16, 2017 - Washington, D.C.
Now in its fifth year, the Washington International Horse Show's Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series, presented by Charles Owen, will be held in May and October 2017, commencing Memorial Day weekend at the Devon Horse Show. The high-octane sport features junior jockeys racing cute, fluffy Shetland Ponies for the enjoyment of spectators of all ages.
The first stop in the series is the historic Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, Pa., on Sunday, May 28, and Monday, May 29, and it concludes in the fall with finals at the Washington International Horse Show on WIHS Barn Night, Thursday, October 26, and President's Cup Night, Saturday, October 28, at Verizon Center 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.
"This will be our fifth 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 Verizon Center will be streamed live by USEF Network and archived on wihs.org. Fans can also follow WIHS on Facebook Live for exclusive live video action.
The exciting social media contest, #PonyPower Prize Sweepstakes, will take place May 28 and 29 in conjunction with the races at Devon. Fans can enter to win WIHS Official Merchandise including VIP tickets to the 59th Annual Washington International Horse Show, October 24-29 at Verizon Center. Entry details are available below.
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 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. The WIHS Series at Devon and Washington offer an ideal showcase and we encourage everyone to come out and experience it."
Learn more about the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Series.
About the 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 $25,000 Puissance high jump, presented by The Boeing Company, and $50,000 Speed Final 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. For more information, please visit wihs.org, join us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.