(Washington, DC) ' October 13, 2007 ' -- The Washington International Horse Show dedicated its centerpiece competition in honor of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford. The President's Cup was officially renamed the Gerald R. Ford President's Cup Grand Prix, in honor of former president and horse enthusiast.
Joining the dedication ceremony was President Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales. "On behalf of the Ford Family, I want to express our deep appreciation to the Washington International Horse Show for bestowing this honor in memory of my father," said Ms. Ford Bales during the honorary tribute. Speaking to the crowd, Ms. Ford Bales continued, "Additionally, my thanks and gratitude go out to each and every spectator in attendance since a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a facility that bears my mother's name, The Betty Ford Center." The funds donated to the Center will be used for its recently opened Equine Therapy Program.
"We are honored to pay tribute to our 38th President of the United States by renaming the President's Cup Grand Prix"' said Susan Webb, Executive Director of the show. "President Ford's remarkable legacy of courage, leadership and dedication to his country will continue to live on through his passion for horses at the WIHS for years to come."
Following the ceremony, 25 riders raced against the clock to complete 10-14 jumps, ranging in height from 4' to 5'3' with a spread of five to six feet for the title of Grand Champion and a total purse of $30,000. Black Ice ridden by Jill Henselwood of Canada rose to the occasion with an impressive jump-off time of 32.11 seconds.
Susan Ford Bales presented the President of The United States Perpetual Cup trophy in honor of her father.