Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Night at the Horse Show:

The Washington International Horse Show Coverage

by: Nicki Harrison

The Washington International Horse Show on Oct. 26, 2013 was an exciting night with entertainment for everyone. Two of our Customer Service Representatives made the trek out to Washington DC by way of Metrorail.  After stepping off of the escalator leaving the Gallery Place/ Chinatown Metro Station, we were greeted by the makeshift horse stables in the middle of the street, fenced off by a single chain link fence. We admired the ponies on the other side of the fence as we walked to the doors of the mighty Verizon Center. As we stepped in, we were instantly immersed into a flurry of activity. There were vendors outlining the hallway around the arena. The smell of fried food and leather permeated the air, and there were enough shiny, expensive, and new equestrian themed items to distract any shopaholic from the activity going on in the arena.

The night started off with the Hermès WIHS Equitation Finals. The top 10 Equitation riders competed for a huge silver trophy and a brand new Hermès Cavale saddle. We could sense the competitiveness in the air once the riders entered the ring on their horses, adorned with bright red WIHS coolers. They were each called in reverse order to be presented with their ribbons. The tension in the ring was almost unbearable as soon as the top two riders were left. Only Victoria Colven of Loxahatchee, FL on Monsieiur du Revery and Meredith Darst of Lebanon, OH on Gabler’s Soldier were left. Once Colven was announced as being in second place, you could just see the delight on Darst’s face. Once she was announced as being in first, you could tell that Darst was still in shock. The announcer asked her to speak and she could only speak a few words. I’m sure her trainer, Stacia Madden, as well as the other riders at Beacon Hill Show Stables were proud!

Once the award ceremony was over, the ring crew brought out red, white, and blue barrels for a barrel racing exhibition. There were 5 professional barrel racers that were brought out first to show everyone how it’s done. Once they were timed, it was revealed to the audience that some of the show jumpers would be racing around the barrels. Despite having no experience in barrel racing, one of the show jumpers, Darragh Kenny, stood above the rest. He managed to make it through the clover-leaf pattern without knocking down a single barrel with the quickest time. Kenny, along with his barrel racing counterpart, Paige Reynolds, each took home a shiny new WIHS belt buckle and a delicious cupcake from the famous Georgetown Cupcakes.

Following the barrel racing were the terrier races. The whole audience had a good time watching the terriers chase a fake fox tail over jumps. Even a ring crew member had a good time racing over the jumps solo after resetting the fox tail!

Proceeding the terrier races was the most anticipated event of the night: The $125,000 Presidents Cup Grand Prix. This was one difficult jumping course. Several top riders attempted the massive jumps, with only two riders making it to the jump off. Not even Olympic Medalist and FEI Rolex World Cup Champion, Beezie Madden, was able to achieve a clear round on her mare Coral Reef Via Volo. After an exciting jump off between Brianne Goutal on Nice de Prissey from New York, NY and Kent Farrington on Blue Angel from Wellington, FL, Farrington took home the Presidents Cup along with $125,000. Both riders accomplished a clear round in the jump off, but Farrington managed to maneuver Blue Angel around the course at a slightly quicker pace.