As the world at large continues to rewrite the rules of normalcy, the horse show industry has begun to awaken after a difficult time on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The early part of the year brought unavoidable cancellations that left the fall show jumping schedule in limbo until only a few weeks ago.
As previously announced, management teams for year-end finals and championships were faced with the challenge of finding safe, secure, and – perhaps most challenging – outdoor venues to host their events. After tireless collaboration between the Washington International Horse Show presented by MARS Equestrian™ (WIHS), United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), and Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), the show will go on.
While horses won’t make their daily commute to the show ring down F Street this year, the team at WIHS found a way to keep #HorsesintheCity alive and well.
Photos by Jump Media
Learn more about the relocation of WIHS to TIEC by clicking HERE.
“Virtually every aspect of our world has changed in ways we could have never foreseen, and as a result WIHS has had to adapt and rethink tradition,” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “WIHS will look very different this year, but will still offer the same level of prestige and achievement as in the past.”
While horses won’t make their daily commute to the show ring down F Street this year, the team at WIHS found a way to keep #HorsesintheCity alive and well by taking a trip to the country. Utilizing TIEC’s expansive facility in Mill Spring, NC, the WIHS Children’s and Adult Hunter and Jumper Championships will again afford qualified riders the chance to take home a piece of WIHS notoriety. Spoiler alert, Georgetown Cupcakes may be 500 miles away, but those little treasures are making the trip!
In addition, the coveted WIHS Equitation Finals and WIHS Pony Equitation Finals will continue as one of the most popular stops on the road to equitation glory this fall. WIHS events are scheduled to take place at TIEC from October 21-25, 2020. Click HERE to view the complete schedule.
The coveted WIHS Equitation Finals and WIHS Pony Equitation Finals will continue as one of the most popular stops on the road to equitation glory this fall. Photos by Jump Media
It doesn’t stop there! The 2020 space on the President’s Cup Trophy will not be left blank. Through a partnership between WIHS and TIEC, the 62nd President’s Cup Grand Prix presented by MARS Equestrian™ will take place at TIEC as a CSI4* grand prix event. Grand prix riders will have a chance to add their name to a list that includes notable talents like Beezie Madden, Kent Farrington, and McLain Ward to name a few.
“WIHS, and so many horse shows, depend on the support of an immense number of people, especially in a year filled with so much uncertainty,” continued Lowell. “After pledging support as the presenting sponsor of WIHS in 2019, MARS Equestrian™ stepped up to renew their support for 2020, and will also become the presenting sponsor of the President’s Cup Grand Prix. Such enthusiasm, cooperation, and commitment from MARS Equestrian™, the WIHS Board of Directors, and all of our sponsors is appreciated beyond words. It’s a true testament to what will make this year another WIHS success: collaboration.”
One of the many things that made WIHS special was its ability to bring horses and horse sport to the masses. While usually taking place in the heart of our nation’s capital, WIHS brought horses where they don’t always have the opportunity to go: the city! This year, they are going virtual. Thanks to support from USEF Network, WIHS will come alive for all its fans despite their inability to attend. As always, wall-to-wall WIHS live streaming will be available from TIEC so that WIHS fans – young and old, near and far – can be a part of the historic event.
WIHS, with a storied history, innovative take on show jumping events, and unsurpassed dedication to creating horse sport fans from all walks of life, has proven its dedication to offering the same time-honored favorites this year and for many more to come. Photos by Jump Media
WIHS is also going virtual with more than just competition. Barn Night, supported by Navigators Global, the most popular night of WIHS, will be promoting the theme of “Horses and Heroes,” by honoring essential workers, teachers, families, and those who work tirelessly to keep us safe and smiling. Barn Night will continue to engage and entertain its enthusiastic fans and followers by taking its popular contests online. Click HERE to learn more and enter online. In addition, the popular WIHS Silent Auction will make the most of online bidding this year. Exciting auction items, expereinces, and gifts ideas will go live at WIHS.org during WIHS.
“The horse show world—like the rest of the world—had to adapt, but thanks to efforts by so many individuals, organizations, and governing bodies, WIHS will prevail, and will bring the fans of horse sport along with them,” concluded Lowell.
While Lowell is certainly correct in saying that WIHS will have a different look this year, it’s still the same WIHS. The event with a storied history, innovative take on show jumping events, and unsurpassed dedication to creating horse sport fans from all walks of life, has proven its dedication to offering the same time-honored favorites this year and for many more to come.
For more information on WIHS and how its 2020 events will look, please visit www.wihs.org. Also, don’t forget to join WIHS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat to catch every stride from this year’s show. Show us you’re watching by using #WIHS2020.