Tracey Weinberg--Remembering 30 Years at the WIHS

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Jennifer Kappler for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

 

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Photo Credit:  Photo © 2006 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com . This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

Tracey Weinberg – 30 Years of Fond Memories from the Washington International Horse Show

 

Washington, D.C. – July 21, 2006 – From her first step into the arena at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) in 1974, Tracey Weinberg has been an exhibitor and fan of the prestigious indoor event.  Weinberg started her career in the news business at a NBC news affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland. She is now the President of Weinberg, Harris & Associates, a marketing and advertising agency in Baltimore that she founded 15 years ago. She has been involved with horses since she was a young child, and her devotion to the sport motivated her to move to Lovettsville, Virginia, three years ago to be closer to her trainer, Olympian Joe Fargis. Weinberg now commutes three hours round trip from her office to her home and 45 minutes from her home to Fargis’ farm in Middleburg, Virginia, to ride. Along with a busy career and consuming hobbies, Weinberg takes the time to serve on the Board of Directors for WIHS.

 

Her fond memories and history as a competitor at the famous show compelled her to give back by helping to raise much needed funds to keep WIHS alive.  She is a member of the Board, as well as a competitor, on her four High Amateur Owner Jumpers at this fall’s event.

 

Weinberg consistently places in the most competitive amateur divisions in the sport of show jumping, but her beginnings were not so auspicious.  “The first year that I competed at Washington, I brought my ornery old pony named Zims Little Fellow,” Weinberg recalled.  “The show was held at that time (1974) in the old Armory building right in the center of town.  My father took Zim off of our trailer and proceeded to be dragged uncontrollably down the barricaded streets of Washington by him,” she laughed.  “My poor embarrassed father was saved when Zim spotted a median with grass growing on it and stopped for a snack.”  

 

The second year that Weinberg went to WIHS was equally dramatic. “I was so excited to show at Washington and had been preparing all year for my class,” she stated.  “I entered the arena, and my pony took one look at the oscillating ceiling fans and spun in fear.  Needless to say, I never even made it to the first jump.”

 

Determined to do better the third year, Weinberg gave it her best effort.  She qualified all year to ride in the coveted Maryland Final (MHSA).  Not only did she make it to the first jump, but she pinned third in the class.  George Morris, now the U.S. Chef d’Equipe for Show Jumping, judged the MHSA that year and was so impressed with her performance, he suggested that she come to his famous farm Hunterdon for lessons.  “My parents drove me four hours to Hunterdon (based in Pittstown, NJ) ,” she remembers fondly.  “In my first lesson with George, he said ‘You look like a frog on a lily pad.’ Despite his humorous approach, I stuck with him, and he gave me my foundation for riding,” she said.  “The third year competing at the Washington International Horse Show proved to be one of the most pivotal moments of my riding career.” 

 

Her winning ways continued in the years to follow at WIHS.  In her final year competing in the hunter division, she placed first on Escadrille.  The year was memorable not because of the blue ribbon; it was memorable because she won the prize with a broken tail bone. “I fell in a terrible accident while turning a horse out in the paddock a week before the show,” she said.  “I was not going to let the injury keep me from showing, even though I could barely walk.  By the time I competed, I had acquired an infection, and it took two people to put me on the horse and take me off of him,” she grimaced.  “I won the class, then rushed immediately to the hospital for treatment. Escadrille was a great horse, and I was not about to miss my favorite show,” she laughed. “Escadrille just passed away, at the ripe old age of 39!”

 

This year, Weinberg will be showing her four High Amateur Owner Jumpers, named Cromwell, Larone, Linda Z, and Naomi 174.  Her parents, who still reside in Baltimore, will come to watch her and show their support.  With any luck, there will be a calm celebration of blue ribbons, without her father being dragged down the streets of Washington.

 

Photo Credit:  Photo © 2006 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com . This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

WashingtonInternational Horse Show Fast Facts

 

What: 48th Annual Washington International Horse Show, a championship event with top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, competing for more than $400,000 in prize money and championship titles. Approximately 600 horses compete in the six-day event. Riders from Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Brazil and Ireland are expected to participate at the show in the Olympic sport of show jumping.

 

When: October 24 - 29, 2006   (Local Weekend: October 20-22 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center, Upper Marlboro, Maryland)

 

Where: Verizon Center, 7th and F Streets NW, Washington, D.C., home of the Washington International Horse Show since 2000, as well as professional and college sports teams including the NBA Wizards, the NHL Capitals, the WNBA Mystics and the Georgetown Hoyas, concerts, family shows and sporting events.

 

Highlights: $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, $25,000 Puissance class, Washington International Invitational Dressage Championship, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races and Side Saddle classes.

 

General Information:

 

The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) has been one of the world's top championship horse shows since 1958.  Originally based at the Washington D.C. Armory, it moved to the U.S. Air Arena in Prince George’s County in 1975.  Since 2000, it has been in its present location at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.  Each October, the WIHS brings the "country to the city" with local streets adjacent to the Verizon Center turned over to stabling and exercise areas for the finest horses and riders in the country.

 

Riders of all ages – from children as young as six riding ponies to mature riders in their 40’s and 50’s on powerful jumpers and dressage horses – compete throughout the year and throughout the country to qualify to ride at Washington. 

 

Thursday evening’s “Barn/Group Night” is a favorite with local young riders, who attend in groups and vie for prizes based on best group spirit, best essay, largest group, etc. Groups also walk the course with grand prix riders after the Gambler’s Choice show jumping competition.

 

On Saturday afternoon, children can get up close and personal with their four-footed friends in the Pony Pavilion where they can pet and ride ponies, learn how to groom, and much more.

 

The show offers a special opportunity for amateur riders living within 100 miles of Washington D.C. who otherwise may not be able to compete at this top event. Local children and adult amateur hunter riders may compete in a qualifying event October 21-22 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The top finishers will compete in the WIHS Local Hunter Finals at the Verizon Center on Sunday.

 

The Washington International Horse Show also is a great place to shop. More than 60 vendors set up booths on the arena concourse with jewelry, crafts, saddlery and unique items.  In addition, visitors may bid on one-of-a-kind items in the silent auction, including vacations, art, wine, equestrian items and sports tickets.  For information about this year's specialty vendors, visit www.wihs.org.

 

The WIHS is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization, which has benefited many local and national groups, including the Christopher Reeve Foundation, NBC4’s Camp 4 Kids, Canine Companions for Independence, ASPCA, Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health, Partners in Education, Community Services for Autistic Adults & Children, National Center for Therapeutic Riding, Starlight Starbright Foundation-Midatlantic, etc.

 

Horse Show Office: 16063 Comprint Circle, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, (301) 987-9400, Fax: (301) 987-9461, website: www.wihs.org, Executive Director: Susan Webb, Susie@wihs.org

 

Public Relations: Diana De Rosa, Press Link: (631) 773-6155, Cell: (516) 848-4867, dderosa1@optonline.net, website: www.presslinkpr.com

 

Media: Phelps Media Group/Mason Phelps, Jr. (561) 753-3389, mpjr@phelpsmediagroup.com.   Press releases and photos are available at http://www.phelpsmediagroup.com.  For accreditation, visit http://www.wihs.org/news/media.cfm and complete a media accreditation form.

 

2006 Washington International Horse Show

Tickets and Schedule ***Program subject to change***

 

 

Tickets - www.ticketmaster.com or call 202-397-SEAT

 

Performance                 Day                  Evening            Evening VIP**

Tuesday                       $15                  $20                  $40

Wednesday                  $15                  $20                  $40

Thursday                      $15                  $30*                $45*

Friday                          $15                  $35                  $60

Saturday                       $20                  $35                  $60

Sunday             $15                  ---                    ---

 

*Barn Night Groups (10 or more) receive $5 off each ticket on Thursday night.

**VIP seats include premium arena-level seating and a complimentary WIHS program book ($10 value).

 

Tentative Schedule:

 

Tuesday, Oct. 24: Daytime performance: Regular and Green Conformation Hunters; First/Second Year Green Hunters; Regular Working Hunters; Amateur/Owner Hunters (Riders 35 & Under and Over 35); Evening performance: WIHS Children's Hunter and Adult Hunter Championships

 

Wednesday, Oct. 25: Daytime performance: Regular Working and Regular Conformation Hunters; Second Year Green and Green Conformation Hunters; A/O Hunter (35 & Under and Over 35); Amateur/Owner Jumpers; Evening performance: WIHS Children's Jumper Championships and Adult Jumper Championships

 

Thursday, Oct. 26 (BARN/GROUP NIGHT): Daytime performance: Small Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Large Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Small Junior Hunters (16-17), Large Junior Hunters (16-17); $25,000 President's Cup Qualifier; Amateur/Owner Jumpers, Junior Jumpers; Evening performance: WIHS Invitational Dressage Championship Grand Prix; $20,000 Gambler's Choice, Side Saddle, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races

 

Friday, Oct. 27: Daytime performance: Small Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Large Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Small Junior Hunters (16-17), Large Junior Hunters (16-17); WIHS Equitation; Amateur/Owner Jumpers; Junior. Jumpers TFR (time first round); $25,000 Open Jumpers; Evening performance: Polo, WIHS Invitational Dressage Championship Freestyle; $20,000 Accumulator Class, $25,000 Puissance, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races

 

Saturday, Oct. 28: Daytime performance: Small, Medium and Large Pony Hunters;  $20,000 Hit & Hurry Class; Junior Jumpers; Pony Pavilion; Evening performance: WIHS Equitation Classic (Jumper Phase & Final work-off); $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, Terrier Races, Dressage

 

Sunday, Oct. 29: Small, Medium and Large Pony Hunters; WIHS Pony Equitation Classic; Local Hunter Finals (Horses); Local Hunter Finals (Ponies)