Have you ever wondered who those teenagers are running around the Capital One Arena wearing Washington International Horse Show gear? Well, we’re the WIHS Junior Committee!
We are the 26 right-hand-people for the WIHS Staff in charge of various jobs during the horse show, including escorting VIPs, giving tours, and ensuring everything runs smoothly. However, we start our Junior Committee work several months before the horse show begins. We work on projects you may have seen on WIHS social media, like #MajorMonday and #FlattyFriday, and during the horse show, like the Barn Night Scavenger Hunt, therapeutic riding facility tour of the horse show, and our work with local military families.
One of the longest-serving current Junior Committee members, Jennifer Taylor, works on the Military Families Project and says, “I come from a military family, so supporting our troops is of great importance to me.” Through her position on the Junior Committee, Jennifer says that she gets “satisfaction of helping serve [her] community while doing something [she loves].”
Although we work on different projects throughout the year, the Junior Committee is a tight-knit group that as JC member Cari Farmer says, “All have common interests and… all get each other.”
Still, sometimes working on projects for WIHS on top of school and riding can take a toll on our stress and energy levels. However, most of the Junior Committee members are incredibly organized and do their best to manage their time.
Cari, for example says, “I like to go through my month with my family and put down all of the events I have. Staying organized and aware of all your meetings, tutoring sessions, horse shows and more is the key to make it easier on yourself.”
The stress that comes with balancing multiple activities is totally worth it though once we get to see all of our hard work put into action during the week of the horse show. Another Committee member, Grace Hetherington, says that “the opportunity of experiencing first hand how a world class horse show is put together is really incredible.”
We also recognize our hard work paying off when we get to see the world’s top riders schooling their horses, warming up to show, and sitting right next to us in the stands. Cari recalls a time when she walked by Mclain Ward at the horse show. She says, “I stop in my tracks and turn around with my mouth wide open and needed to process what just happened.”
Not only do we gain experience in an office setting and knowledge about leadership and project management, but also we, as Junior Committee member Casey Ruggiero says, get to work “with [our] peers on a project that we all thoroughly enjoy.”
Overall, being a WIHS Junior Committee member, although requiring a lot of hard work, is one of the most rewarding jobs any of us have ever had. It gives us the chance to learn new things, meet new people, and build a stronger foundation for our futures and none of us would trade our experience for anything else.
Learn more about the Junior Committee >