When the 26th annual Capital Challenge Horse Show kicks off on September 27, the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, becomes the place to be for the nation’s top hunter and equitation horses and riders.
Here are 10 reasons not to miss this year’s show, to be held September 27 through October 6.
1) There’s an entire weekend dedicated to the country’s best equitation riders.
As host to prestigious finals such as the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal Finals and the Ariat National Adult Medal Final, the Capital Challenge Horse Show offers more major equitation finals than any other horse show on the “indoors” circuit.
From September 27 through 29, the action centers around BIGEQ.COM Equitation Weekend, featuring classes that riders of all ages have set as year-end goals:
THIS National Children’s Medal Finals
EMO Insurance Agency/United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) 3'3" Jumping Seat Medal Final – East
Palm Beach International Academy North American Junior Equitation Championship
North American Adult Amateur Equitation Championships
2) There are so many gorgeous, talented hunters all in one place.
Each year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show hosts the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals. That means many of the nation’s nicest hunters from across the divisions are all together in one place!
The WCHR Challenges to watch for the best hunters in the country include:
$30,000 WCHR Professional Challenge, sponsored by the Gochman family
$10,000 WCHR Professional Final
WCHR Developing Pro Challenge, sponsored by the John R. Ingram Fund
WCHR Children’s Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Meadow View/Stephanie Bulger
WCHR Adult Amateur Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Kate Considine & Willow Brook Stables
WCHR Pony Hunter Challenge, sponsored by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund
WCHR Junior 3'3" Hunter Challenge
WCHR Junior 3'6" Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Nicole Lyvere & Finally Home Farm
WCHR Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Milestone, LLC/Havens Schatt
WCHR Amateur-Owner 3'6" Hunter Challenge, sponsored by Robinson Ridge
3) Top hunter riders face off in the uniquely formatted $10,000 WCHR Professional Final, a class unlike you’ll see anywhere else.
When the top six riders in the WCHR professional standings enter the ring on Friday, October 4, they will jump the opening, handy hunter round of the $10,000 WCHR Professional Final on their own horse. Then, the top four riders will return for the final round, in which they each take turns jumping four donated horses that they have never ridden before! It’s a showcase of the top hunter riders’ talent and a competition not to be missed.
4) It’s a chance to get a glimpse at the future stars of the hunter ring.
Do you know what the famous hunters Bacardi, Declaration, Dream Date, Gray Slipper, Largesse, Sambalino, and Q all have in common? They all started their careers with top finishes in the Future Hunters, now the Green Hunters, at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
The $25,000 3' and 3'3" Green Hunter North American Championships at Capital Challenge continually bring out the brightest, up-and-coming future hunter stars for what was the first championship of its kind. You can watch them perform on Wednesday, October 2.
5) There are great jumpers, too.
While the hunter and equitation classes are often top of mind when thinking of Capital Challenge, the horse show is also host to Children’s, Adult, Junior, and Amateur-Owner Jumper competition including:
$15,000 North American 1.30-1.35m Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge
$12,000 North American 1.20-1.25m Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Challenge
$12,000 Adult Amateur Jumper Challenge, sponsored by Johnson Horse Transportation
$12,000 Children’s Jumper Challenge
6) It’s the only “indoors” horse show where you can also spend some show time in the sun!
Capital Challenge is generally considered the first leg of the year-end indoors circuit, but it’s the only indoor final where you can simultaneously enjoy some fresh air and show in beautiful outdoor rings, as well as a spacious indoor. From the professionals to juniors and amateurs, the majority of divisions have the chance to first show outside before concluding their divisions in the prestigious indoor setting.
7) There is lots of shopping!
The shopping at Capital Challenge offers a wide selection of tack and equipment, custom clothing and hand bags, belts, paintings, antique jewelry, show attire, Capital Challenge souvenirs, and much more! View a full list of vendors here.
8) Spectators can now watch from an all-new VIP viewing deck.
An all-new VIP club will be introduced at this year’s show, with each VIP table seating four guests and including refreshments and snacks available throughout the day and into the evening. Catering is also available upon request. (Call or email Jennifer Glass at (239) 851-8751 or email@example.com
to find out more.)
9) There are great places to stay in the area, available to Capital Challenge Horse Show attendees at reduced rates!
Thanks to Capital Challenge’s eight official partner hotels, exhibitors, trainers, friends, family, and staff have more lodging options than ever, all available at special, discounted rates! Explore the options here
, and make your reservations today.
Be sure to mention “Capital Challenge Horse Show” when booking to receive the preferred rates, or book online using the links provided. All reservations made through the hotels are fully refundable up to 48 hours prior to arrival.
10) There is a good chance that your friends will already be there.
With more than 1,300 entries competing throughout the 10 days of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, it’s the place to be from September 27 through October 6!
About the Capital Challenge Horse Show
Now in its 26th year, the Capital Challenge Horse Show, presented by the World Equestrian Center, sets itself apart with a distinct and unique focus on preeminent hunter and equitation competition. Held each autumn at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD, the 2019 edition of the Capital Challenge Horse Show will take place September 27 through October 6. The 10 days of competition will include prestigious equitation events, jumper divisions, the World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Finals, the $25,000 3’ and 3’3” Green Hunter North American Championships, and more, with many of the country’s best horses and riders competing in junior, amateur, and professional divisions. For more information, visit www.capitalchallenge.org.