Event Information | Washington International Horse Show

Event Information

2020 FAQ

Where will the 2020 Washington International Horse Show be held?

WIHS will be held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida. The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center is located at the Florida Fair Grounds at 4800 US-301, Tampa, FL 33610. 

The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is also moving to the Bob Thomas Equitation Center, making a miniature “indoor” circuit outdoors.

When will the 2020 Washington International Horse Show be held?

WIHS will run Tuesday, October 20 – Sunday, October 25.

Why Tampa, Florida?

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in place in Harrisburg, PA, and Washington, D.C., the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center and Capital One Arena remain closed and unable to host the PA National and WIHS, respectively. In searching for an alternative venue, the overriding consideration was the commitment to providing a safe environment for competitors, families, and staff in the face of the ongoing pandemic while still meeting the requirements of sponsors and competition schedules.

An emphasis was placed on finding an outdoor venue with suitable spacious outdoor environment that could facilitate effective social distancing where all USEF COVID-19 protocols can be followed to the fullest extent.

What is the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center like?

The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center is a 23 acre complex featuring five competition rings, several schooling/longeing areas, recently updated barns and a spacious semi-open air viewing pavilion. It has previously hosted World Cup Qualifiers, the Southeast Medal Finals, a World Cup Final (’89) and numerous other hunter and jumper events. The facility is currently open and operational. Learn more about the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.

What about the current COVID-19 case increase in Florida?

WIHS is very aware of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and are prepared to adjust accordingly based on health requirements and guidance from the CDC and USEF. The health and safety of our exhibitors, trainers, and their families is WIHS' main priority in this unusual year. 

A primary reason in selecting the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center was the ability to effectively implement COVID-19 health and safety protocols and maximize social distancing. WIHS will be spectator-free for 2020 and will follow USEF and CDC guidelines in our COVID-19 action plan which will be updated frequently and includes daily temperature checks, mandatory face coverings while not mounted, and strict social distancing enforcement.

When will the Prize List be released?

WIHS will release the 2020 Prize List on August 1. The Prize List and entries will be online only.

Are there any major changes to WIHS’ schedule?

WIHS plans to use 2 rings, the Covered Arena and Grand Prix Arena, for competition. The usage of multiple rings will minimize time spent on the competition grounds each day per the USEF recommendation. WIHS will run from approximately 8am to 4pm each day using 2 rings. There will be no evening classes (and no late night schooling – you can get some sleep!)

The President’s Cup Grand Prix will run Sunday, October 25 at 2:30pm.

What about changes to qualifying criteria?

WIHS is working with NHS and PNHS to update qualifying criteria to remain fair given how many events have been cancelled throughout the year. Please stay tuned for specific changes and information regarding qualifying criteria.

Are there any other changes to note?

Tack stalls are now available for all exhibitors, including FEI competitors.

Will there be vendors?

WIHS will allow vendors to setup onsite and adhere to COVID-19 protocols such as contactless purchasing and a maximum amount of customers in storefront at a time. Stay tuned for vendor pricing and applications.

Where can I stay close to the show grounds?

Tampa area offers numerous hotels within a 15 mile radius including 9 hotels within 1 mile of the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. Stay tuned for a list of preferred hotels and WIHS discount rates.

What is the average temperature in Tampa in October?

Tampa in October has an average high of 85°F and low of 69°F.

What is life in Tampa like?

Tampa is currently in Stage 2 of reopening. Restaurants, retail, movie theaters, and casinos are open at 50% capacity indoors or with outdoor dining options. Bars without food service remain closed. Please note: Face coverings in public are mandatory throughout the greater Tampa area.

I’m not an exhibitor but I’d like to watch this year’s show. How can I do so?

No outside spectators are permitted for WIHS this year, but we will be streaming all classes via USEF Network and FEI classes on FEItv. Stay tuned also to our Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest in updates, show highlights, interviews and a look at how we are bringing the indoors outdoors!

What is happening with the WIHS Regional Show and Zone 3 Championship?

WIHS plans to hold the Regional Show at Prince George Equestrian Center on October 16 - 18 using outdoor rings. Stay tuned for updated schedule and prize list in August.