Horses often connect us to so many beautiful things. They play prominent characters in beloved fairy tales and stories about heroism throughout history. They fill our hearts when we see them at visits to farms and horse races across the country. After two years, The Washington International Horse Show returns to the DC area with a stunning horse showcase at The Show Place Arena, Prince George’s Equestrian Center (PGEC) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The event runs from October 24 to 30, 2022.
Washington International Horse Show Event Highlights
Free Kids Event – Saturday, October 22 (11:00 am)
WIHS Kids’ Day is a free, fun, family-friendly event. Children participate in hands-on educational and fun activities, including pony rides, coloring station, face painting, pony brushing lessons, a horseless horse show with an opportunity to jump courses on foot and win ribbons, a pony kissing booth, carousel rides, plus special guest horses, ponies, and more.
This special day will be held at the National Harbor Carousel Lot and is outside the main event dates of the Washington International Horse Show.
Barn Night – Thursday, October 27 (7:00 pm)
Barn Night celebrates the camaraderie of barns and horse-loving groups with contests and prizes. This year’s contest theme, “Gallop Green,” in partnership with “Green is the New Blue,” encourages barns to take strides to reduce our carbon hoofprints by sharing eco-friendly ideas for a chance to win great prizes!
Local students from Frederick Douglass High School will perform the National Anthem before international jumper competition kicks off with the $75,000 International Jumper FEI Welcome Stake followed by the $37,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class where top riders go wild with fun and surprising costumes.
Interview with Mary Helen Shaughnessy, WIHS Executive Director
We also got a great opportunity to chat with Mary Helen Shaughnessy, WIHS Executive Director who shared some of her thoughts about the show with us.
We’re so excited the show is back in the DC area this year! What are you most excited about for this year?
I’m excited that we have moved to a new venue of Show Place Arena that offers easy and affordable access for families to attend – meaning that the best riders and horses in the world will be competing in front of brand new audiences as well as our previous fans and friends.
I know you’re in a new location but what else is new for 2022?
WIHS is newly a 5* rated event, which is the pinnacle of equestrian sport, and makes us the only indoor 5* in the United States! Riders and horses that competed in the Olympics and World Games will be attending alongside the country’s top pony and junior riders. This creates a super unique mix of talent and enthusiasm in the ring that is echoed in the stands with our great spectators and audience. Also for the first time in years – the terrier races are back! On Friday, Jack Russell terriers will race in the arena and then on Saturday, our Shetland Pony Steeplechase is back. Several opportunities to watch pint-sized four-legged friends race around in the midst of top equestrian sport!
Barn Night sounds like so much fun with costumes for Halloween! Can you give us a sneak peek of what kinds of creativity visitors can expect that night?
Barn Night is back in person for the first time since 2019 and we are so excited! This year is all about “galloping green”, and is themed around reducing your carbon “hoofprints” via sustainable and green practices at your barn, at home, and around the world! We have so many fun contests for barns like creating a recyclable jump, filming a TikTok about going green, and encouraging folks to wear “earth” tones. For horse fans we will have an autograph signing with top riders and the entertainment in the arena is top notch, with the highlight being where both our riders AND their horses play dress up while jumping and competing for the Best Costume Award.
How can fans stay involved with the organization when the event is not in town?
Social media of course! We have super active Instagram @wihs and do horse spotlights and rider takeovers all year round, plus we will launch our TikTok (@wihsofficial) during show week this year, so get ready for fun horse content all year round!
What are the options for tickets and how can my followers attend the show?
Our big nights of Thursday’s Barn Night, Friday’s Military Night and Saturday’s World Cup Night have tickets starting at $15 and going up to our latest offering of a “Ticket and Dinner” that features a tasty grab-and-go buffet and super arena seat. You can make it a complete evening of dinner and entertainment for the whole family. Also, new this year, every daytime session (8:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Sunday) is FREE for kids and never more than $10 for adults. Parking is also free. You can come by, see the horses, do some pre-holiday shopping and really have a great time for folks of all ages.