Washington, September 14, 2015 – The 2015 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is pleased to announce the details of this year’s WIHS Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery. Barn Night is a favorite with young riders, barn mates and horse lovers who attend in groups and have a chance to enter contests, win great prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening. This year’s Barn Night, themed “Keeping Up With the Equestrians,” will be held Thursday evening, October 22, during the 57th annual WIHS competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.
Kids representing their barn during the 2015 WIHS Barn Night Spirit Contest
Along with Dover Saddlery, Barn Night 2015 is sponsored by the Peterson Family Foundation, The Equiery, Breyer Animal Creations, Charles Owen, United Metro Golf Cart, and Swan Lake Horse Shows. The evening will be packed with exciting competition and exhibitions, including the $20,000 International Jumper Gambler’s Choice Costume Class, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions, and WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Racing, presented by Charles Owen. Fun activities along the concourse include a scavenger hunt and a Breyer stablemate horse painting station. Top riders will also be available for autograph signings following the Gambler’s Choice competition.
Mini jockeys and Shetland ponies race to the finish line during the 2015 WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship
“It is wonderful to see all of the young riders and horse lovers who come out to support the Washington International Horse Show and get involved in the sport each year,” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “Barn Night is a fun event for both spectators and competitors. We love to see the creativity and excitement that the barns show each year and we look forward to welcoming everyone in October.”
All barns, equestrian groups, teams, and horse enthusiasts are invited to take part in Barn Night activities. Barns must register to participate in the group contests, which include Largest Group Contest (MD, VA, DC/Other and Overall), Group Spirit Contest, Banner Contest and Video Contest.
Lillie Keenan in a pink Power Ranger costume during the $20,000 International Jumper Gambler's Choice Costume Class
Exciting new prizes this year include a group clinic with top international show jumper Brianne Goutal, a custom stable drape set from Dover Saddlery, a custom barn jump courtesy of Swan Lake Horse Shows, a customized restored golf cart from United Metro Golf Cart and several Dover Saddlery shopping sprees.
Brianne Goutal got an early start competing at Washington as a child and has since earned numerous WIHS accolades in the hunters, jumpers and equitation. In 2004, Goutal won the WIHS Equitation Finals and went on to make history as the first junior rider to win all four of the major U.S. equitation finals. That success spring-boarded Goutal on to a fantastic international show jumping career and has brought her back to WIHS in new and exciting ways.
“I’ve been competing at WIHS since I was eight and it has always been my favorite indoor show,” said Goutal. “I grew up in New York City, so I feel very at home here. Growing up in the city, you do not see that much interaction from kids who ride, so it’s wonderful when that actually has a strong foothold.
“I started working on the Board at WIHS a few years ago,” she continued. “I think the Washington International Horse Show has been able to really connect with children interested in riding. Barn Night is just a wonderful opportunity for everyone to experience the sport. So many people love horses and come in from outside the city to check it out. I’m super excited to help promote Barn Night because I think it is a wonderful event.”
Goutal looks forward to teaching a group clinic as one of the Barn Night prizes this year and always enjoys seeing and furthering the young talent of the sport.
“I have taught a bunch of clinics and they are all different,” Goutal explained. “Primarily, it is always fun to meet new people and to see who is really interested.”
Tamarac Stables stands and cheers for their barn during the 2015 WIHS Barn Night
Barn Night registration forms are due by October 14. Barns that register early, by October 1, will be entered automatically in a raffle for a chance to win a $250 Dover Saddlery shopping spree. The winner will be announced on Facebook on October 13. Forms and rules are available at www.wihs.org/barn-night/.
WIHS tickets may be purchased online at www.Ticketmaster.com or at the Verizon Center Box Office. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more through Verizon Center Group Sales. Call 202-661-5061 for details.
Along with the great competition and contests, the third annual Buck Breast Cancer Benefit will be held in the Acela Club during Barn Night beginning at 7 p.m. A portion of ticket sales will benefit Capital Breast Care Center. Guests are invited to think pink, wear pink and celebrate the lives of survivors, friends and family! Tickets are $150/per person and include dinner and an open bar. Tables are also available. Call 202-525-3679 for details.
Bring your barn spirit and get ready for a night of thrilling competition and lots of fun! For more information on Barn Night, please visit http://www.wihs.org/barn-night/.
About WIHS, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids' Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.