The Chronicle of the Horse


After two years away from home in North Carolina due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington International Horse Show will return to the Washington, DC area in 2022, but not to its traditional downtown home, the Capital One Arena.

Instead, the show was moved permanently to Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

The Washington International previously shared a home with the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena in downtown Washington. Kimberly Loushin Photo

The WIHS Board of Directors today announced that the show has officially asked the American Equestrian Federation and the International Equestrian Federation to change locations, marking the end of its stay downtown. The Board of Directors also announced that it has applied to upgrade the show to FEI 5 * level, while continuing as a member of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League in 2022.

Pending final approval from the FEI and USEF, the 64th edition of the historic competition will be held October 25-30 at the PGEC Show Place Arena. The site also hosts competitions, including the Capital Challenge Horse Show, which takes place each year in early October.

“We embarked on an in-depth, multi-year search for a new venue when we learned that our special downtown home for nearly 20 years, Capital One Arena, would no longer be able to host the show,” said WIHS President Victoria Lowell. Release. “We looked at all possible scenarios in the DC area inside and outside the city. We’re dedicated to creating a special, one-of-a-kind indoor experience suitable for exhibitors and horses at The Show Place Arena that honors the history and tradition of WIHS with dramatically increased cash prizes and a major commitment to deliver a world class venue inside and out. “

The horse show was held at the National Guard’s Armory in Washington from 1958 to 1974, when it moved to what was then the Capital Center and later became the USAir Arena, which is also home to the Capitals. Washington from the National Hockey League and Washington from the National Basketball Association. Bullets (now the Wizards). The center of the capital was demolished in 2002.

From 2000 to 2019, WIHS took place in the Capitals and Wizards’ current home, the Capital One Arena. Two years ago, he was temporarily moved to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC, where lessons could be held outdoors.

Organizers promise better seating, updated stables and plenty of entertainment options at WIHS ‘new headquarters, the Prince Georges Equestrian Center. Impact press photo

“The Show Place Arena will be transformed with the support of Prince George County, the Maryland-National Capital Park & ​​Planning Commission and the State of Maryland to provide exhibitors and spectators with a unique experience that WIHS has always provided. , including world-class seating. , hospitality, entertainment, food and shopping, ”according to a press release. “WIHS will partner with the popular National Harbor waterfront complex near Oxon Hill, Maryland to create a WIHS Hotel and Hospitality Campus providing exhibitors, spectators and sponsors special access to the best accommodation, entertainment and community events, including the popular WIHS Kids. ‘ Day.”

Also as a member of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League, WIHS will offer cash prizes and increased ranking points throughout the international division. The 2022 edition of WIHS will see the return of the exhibitor lounge and VIP dining platform, in addition to new hospitality opportunities and special events at National Harbor, according to the press release. Organizers are also promising updates to the PGEC that will include better seating, updated and tangled stables and a covered school area.

“WIHS has a long and revered history in the Washington, DC area, and we are delighted that it has found a home with us in Maryland,” said Ross Peddicord, executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board. “Maryland’s successful investment in hosting the first 5-Star Maryland Eventing Competition at Fair Hill, which attracted over 20,000 fans, is a prime example of the commitment of local officials to equestrian sport.

“In this endeavor, we have worked with the county government and various public agencies and private donors to secure significant funding for infrastructure improvements and event operations,” continued Peddicord. “It’s part of the Maryland Horse Park System plan, as outlined by the Maryland Stadium Authority. This is the game plan that we are following here. We are extremely pleased that the Prince George County government has already stepped up to the plate and bring this world class competition to their riding. This will have a huge economic and cultural impact.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has designated October the “Maryland Horse Month,” with highlights such as WIHS as well as the Maryland 5 Star, taking place October 13-16, 2022 in the Special Events Zone. from Fair Hill to Elkton, Maryland; and the Maryland Million Horse Race to Laurel, Maryland. WIHS will bring back its popular Children’s Day and continue to evolve its mission of educating and entertaining the community through equestrian sport in Prince George County and the greater Washington, DC area.

“For over 60 years, WIHS has been known for its unique ability to bring the joy of horses and jumping to spectators and fans in the DC area who otherwise might not have the chance to experience these wonderful animals, ”Lowell said. “The partnership with Maryland and National Harbor, coupled with exciting competition at the nearby Show Place Arena indoor complex, will provide the best of both worlds for athletes, horses and spectators.”