WASHINGTON. April 25, 2018--The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the most exciting and entertaining equestrian events in North America, is pleased to announce the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund will return for the second year as title sponsor of the 2018 WIHS Equitation Finals. The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals is a prestigious national championship for junior riders, which will take place Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27, during the 60th anniversary WIHS at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. A special component of this partnership is the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant.
"We are thrilled to welcome back the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund as the returning title sponsor of the WIHS Equitation Finals, which is a very special competition at WIHS and a proving ground for future grand prix and Olympic riders," said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. "It's wonderful to see the passion and commitment junior riders from across the country put into qualifying throughout the year to earn a place in the finals in the nation's capital. The generous support of Lindsay Maxwell is an investment in talented junior riders who will go on as riders or trainers or to represent the United States in international competition at the highest levels."
In its 27th year, the WIHS Equitation Finals is a rigorous three-phase competition held over two days. A panel of three judges tests and evaluates the riders in hunter, jumper, and work-off rounds to determine the "best of the best."
"The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is proud to continue its support of the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals," said Founder Lindsay Maxwell, philanthropist and successful amateur rider. "The Finals are a cherished benchmark for young riders, and it's an honor to be able to support the development of the next generation of talented equestrians."
Former WIHS Equitation Finals champions include Kent Farrington (1999), currently the No. 1 rider in the world and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (1993), also ranked in the top 10 in the world. Other WIHS Equitation Finals alums active in the grand prix ranks include Brianne Goutal (2004), Jack Hardin Towell Jr. (2006), Lillie Keenan (2010), Victoria Colvin (2015), and Hunter Holloway (2016).
Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant
Introduced in 2017, the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Grant provides a rider with the opportunity to participate in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals in Washington, D.C., without the financial commitment that accompanies the event. While again assisting one deserving rider with the support to attend WIHS, the grant also guarantees that rider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The grant is experience-based and is not strictly monetary in nature.
"A key component of the Fund's mission is to positively impact the lives of young people by providing access to special opportunities," said Executive Director Bill Rube. "Our hope is that today's young riders will embrace a tradition of 'paying forward' access to the next generation of equestrians."
One of those young riders is the 2017 grant recipient, Abigail Brayman.
"The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund gave me such an incredible opportunity at the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Finals. I was not only able to compete, but also able to watch so many outstanding riders," Brayman said. "The experience showed me that no matter where you come from, it is possible to succeed even at the highest level. Lindsay's compassion and desire to help others has encouraged me to be more like her... she is one of the most genuine people in the industry. Hopefully one day, I will be able to pay it forward to the equestrian community as successfully as she has."
When Brayman qualified, she was a working student at North Run, under the tutelage of trainer Missy Clark.
"As a lifelong horsewoman, I am happy and proud to see the next generation of equestrians, such as Lindsay, invest to sustain many of the competitions and traditions that previous generations of equestrians have been able to enjoy," said Clark. "Having programs like the LMCF WIHS Equitation Finals Grant is wonderful because it allows kids who benefit from the generosity of others to be able to pursue their dreams."
LMCF Equitation Grant Eligibility
To be eligible, applicants must be WIHS members and in the top 70 of the WIHS Equitation Rankings at the time of application. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2018. Applications are available at www.wihs.org/wihs-equitation/ or by contacting Mary Helen Shaughnessy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 525-3679.
Invitations to compete in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals will be sent to the top 40 junior riders based on points earned during the qualifying period in the East Coast and West Coast Leagues with 30 riders invited from the East Coast League and 10 riders from the West Coast League.
Qualifying events for WIHS Equitation are held at more than 650 horse shows throughout North America, where riders can earn points to be eligible to compete in the Equitation Finals as well as the WIHS Children's and Adult Hunter and Jumper Championships. The qualifying period runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31.
The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show will take place Oct. 23-28 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Tickets are available on Ticketmaster.com and at Capital One Arena Box Office.
About The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund
The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is a private, charitable fund. It accepts grant proposals for the benefit of charitable, educational, or scientific purposes, exclusively from tax-exempt, charitable organizations. The issues where the Fund focuses its resources reflect Lindsay's personal priorities and values: improving the lives of children with special needs; enabling access opportunities to education; and providing care, compassion, and protection to animals.
About Washington International Horse Show, wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of North America's most prestigious and entertaining equestrian events attracting more than 26,000 spectators annually to Washington, D.C., for Olympic-level competition plus community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders arrive from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Highlights include the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington for the President's Cup, presented by Events DC, the $25,000 Puissance high jump and $50,000 Speed Final on Military Night and Kids' Day, a free, fun and educational community event. WIHS, an official USEF Heritage Competition, is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization based in Washington, D.C.