Hunters and jumpers have arrived in the nation’s capital to compete in the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) from Oct. 9 – 14. Six hundred-plus horse and rider duos are vying for prestigious awards, including more than $400,000 in prize money.
The highlights of the WIHS are the inaugural $15,000 High Performance Hunter Classic and the $100,000 Gerald R. Ford President’s Cup Grand Prix. Both classes take place on Saturday, October 13.
The High Performance Hunter Classic is a two round competition. The first round takes place over a 3’6” hunter-type course. Three-judging teams, consisting of two judges each, assign one numeric score. The three separate scores are then averaged to create the final score for the first round.
The top six horses are invited back to participate in the second round of competition, consisting of a handy type course. The first and second round score are combined to create a total two-round score. The horse with the highest two-round score is named the winner and receives the $5,000 top prize.
The class is judged on brilliance, performance, soundness and suitability.
Champions from each of the following hunter sections will earn the right to compete in the High Performance Hunter Classic: Green Conformation, Regular Conformation, First Year Green Working, Second Year Green Working, Regular Working, Small Junior Hunter (16-17), Small Junior Hunter (15 & Under), Large Junior Hunter (16- 17), Large Junior Hunter (15 & Under), Amateur-Owner (35 & Older) and Amateur-Owner (Under 35).
The Gerald R. Ford President’s Cup Grand Prix is the show’s most coveted event. Twenty-five riders race against the clock to complete 10-14 jumps, ranging in height from 4’ to 5’3” with a spread of 5 to 6 feet. The horse and rider duo that completes the round the fastest with the least amount of penalties wins the top prize of $30,000.
Members of the Ford family, including Susan Ford Bales, will be present on Saturday evening to honor the winners of the Gerald R. Ford President’s Cup Grand Prix.