WASHINGTON, March 20, 2015 - The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), the country's leading metropolitan indoor horse show, is pleased to announce it has been selected to join the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping North American League, a major new league in the North American equestrian sports landscape.
The launch announcement was made Tuesday at the SPORTELAmerica global sports media convention in Miami, Fla., by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for horse sports, and Swiss watchmaker Longines, the title partner, official timekeeper and official watch, of the new league. As one of the events in the new league, WIHS officials were invited to attend this press conference to announce one of the most major advancements to show jumping in North America.
"We are thrilled to be part of this exciting new development in our sport," said WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan. "The Washington International Horse Show has a long and storied history of show jumping in North America and in welcoming the best riders from around the world, so we are thrilled to be a part of the new league. As one of the few events hosted in an urban setting, WIHS offers a unique setting for the Longines FEI World CupTM competition and is able to draw on the fantastic community support and loyal fan base we have cultivated over the years. Located in the heart of the nation's capital, Verizon Center is one of the best professional sports venues in the United States, which adds another exciting component to the top level sporting event that is WIHS and the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping North American League."
The league, which kicks off in August 2015, will offer an unprecedented amount of $2.4 million in prize money, and gives the best jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for a jackpot of more than $1.4 million at the Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Final, March 23-28, 2016, in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Washington International Horse Show, scheduled for Oct. 20-25, 2015 will be third in the series of 14 events, which involves seven East Coast and seven West Coast venues across the United States, Mexico and Canada. WIHS will offer $125,000 of the $2.4 million in prize money offered at the league events, making it a major contributor. This, along with its cache as one of the North American Riders Group Top 25 events, marks it as a competition not to be missed.
The highlight event of Washington, the $125,000 Longines FEI World CupTM qualifier, the President's Cup Grand Prix presented by Events DC, is the world cup qualifier. The winning rider is presented with the show's most prestigious prize, the President of the United States Perpetual Cup, a trophy given to the show in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Qualifying Events East Coast: Bromont CAN, New York USA, Washington USA, Lexington USA, Toronto CAN, Wellington USA and Ocala USA.
Qualifying Events West Coast: Langley CAN, Rancho Murieta USA, Del Mar USA, Calgary CAN, Las Vegas USA, Valle de Bravo MEX and Thermal USA.