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Washington International Horse Show Offers Top Caliber Shopping for Spectators and Competitors

Washington, D.C. - September 25, 2006 - The 2006 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is just around the corner! As one of the most prestigious and competitive equestrian events in the country, the excitement begins on Tuesday, October 24 and will run through Sunday, October 29. Located at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., this annual show also offers a unique shopping experience for exhibitors, spectators, and children of all ages.

Specialty shops encircle the perimeter of the Verizon Center and offer an eclectic array of equestrian and non-equestrian merchandise. Those looking to find the latest trends for themselves and their horses can walk away with WIHS Souvenirs and take time to stroll the gift shops in the concourse or bid on items in the Silent Auction. The WIHS Silent Auction is open throughout the six day show, with bids closing and winners announced on Saturday evening.

"This year’s silent auction features many new items," commented Ericka Schaefer, Administrative Director of the WIHS. "Some of these include a custom Shadbelly from Saltare Equestrian, ComfortStall™ Mat Systems from North Brook Farms, and even a gift certificate to the famous Tavern on the Green! Our auction will boast more of the ever so popular equestrian-related items and great clothing items as well."

"Many veteran vendors will return to this year’s show," she continued. "Some new clothing-related stores, such as Preppy Style, Ludlow of London, and Saltare Equestrian Apparel, will have shops available. Luxury jewelry, commission paintings, and high end tack are just a glimpse of the items that will be available for purchase from our vendors."

The WIHS Souvenir Shop offers official souvenir programs, posters, monogrammed polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball hats, and other keepsakes to take home. These souvenir items are wonderful mementos for those who experience the Washington International Horse Show.

A variety of artwork is available at vendors such as Christine George Design, which will display beautiful fine art, oil paintings, prints, tiles, mosaics, coasters, and other décor. Watercolor paintings by Carol Ratafia will be exhibited for sale at Ratafia Studios, and Leafline Studios will display their large, acrylic paintings of people with their animals. One-of-a-kind animal sculptures depicted on household items such as lamps and dinnerware can be found at Susan Kimmel Ceramics Sculptures.

For those interested in purchasing jewelry, shops such as Fox Run Ltd., Unusual Silver, and Horsefeathers will offer equine jewelry, while pearls imported from the Far East can be found at Grand Illusions. Silverado Jewelry will display fashionable and stunning sterling silver in their booth, and Anytime Tack offers equine inspired art, jewelry, and jewelry boxes.

High-end gold, silver, and platinum jewelry will be on display at Vandermoore Designs Inc., the official jeweler of the American Grand Prix Association. This shop also exhibits fine jewelry, original art, and antique statues.

Spectators can shop for equine gifts and accessories for their beloved dogs at Equine Impressions. Items include leather belts, dog collars, leashes, dog blankets, and breed specific socks. This unique store also offers select equestrian and fox hunt jewelry, silk ties and scarves, linens, needlepoint and tapestry pillows, and much more. Shoppers can rest their feet at Clark Enterprises, which sells Home Therapy Equipment and has electronic massagers set up for all to try.

Fashion-oriented spectators can explore fine clothing displays, sporting antiques, and jewelry at Ermilio Clothier & Specialty Shop. Other leather products are available at Outback Survival Gear, which specializes in Australian oilskin coats and hats. Ludlow of London will provide waterproof leather boots by Dubarry of Ireland, tweed and suite clothing, and luggage. Women’s and girl’s accessories that include belts, bags, watches, key chains, and headbands can be found at Preppy Style. Additional equestrian attire will also be available at Saltare Equestrian Apparel.

The experts at Journeymen Saddlers will measure custom chaps and belts for riders, and Vogel Custom Boots & Shoes will also provide riders with custom made boots, shoes, and accessories at their WIHS booth. Antares Custom Saddles will have a booth with custom girths, stirrup leathers, pads, and more, and JPC Equestrian, Inc. will carry Tuff Rider breeches and outerwear, LAS Helmets, and Equine Couture saddle pads.

Saddles and high end tack will be presented at the Devoucoux, Inc. vendor. Other horse products, equestrian wear, tack, and grooming supplies will be conveniently available at shops such as F. M. Brown’s Tack Shop, Ride to Win, and Mortack, Inc. (Arc de Triomphe). Thin Line Saddle Pads will offer their line of ThinLine and sheepskin pads, while JMS Ventures, Inc. will display fine gifts from Kenya such as handmade beaded horse browbands and pet collars.

Information booths are also readily available at the Washington International Horse Show for organizations such as Hilton Grand Vacations, Therapeutic Riding Association of VA, the University of Findlay, King Construction Co. LLC, and North Brook Farms, Inc., who markets equine products such as rubber flooring, arena surfaces, and barn plastics. Nutrena Animal Nutrition and Southern States Feed will present the latest equestrian feeds, and Palladium Fencing Goat Island Resources, LLC will provide information on their wood fencing products.

Spectators interested in the equestrian industry can check out the HorseTV Channel for equestrian television programs. This year WIHS also offers a "free magazine" table with complimentary local and national publications.

The Washington International Horse Show is truly a community event that offers something for the entire family. In between watching the equestrian action going on in the main arena, children can enjoy pony rides and face painting on Saturday afternoon at the Pony Pavilion, and spectators can shop for the always popular WIHS souvenirs and a host of other items.

For more information on the Washington International Horse Show, please visit their official website at http://www.wihs.org.

Washington International Horse Show Fast Facts

What: Now in its 48th year, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the world's leading equestrian events. It features top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad competing for more than $400,000 in prize money and championship titles. Approximately 600 horses will be on hand for the six-day event. Riders from Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Brazil and Ireland are expected to participate at the show in the Olympic sport of show jumping.

When: October 24 - 29, 2006 (Local Weekend: October 20-22 at Prince George’s Equestrian Center, Upper Marlboro, Maryland)

Where: Verizon Center at 601 F Street NW (7th and F Streets NW), Washington, D.C., home of the Washington International Horse Show since 2000, as well as professional and college sports teams including the NBA Wizards, the NHL Capitals, the WNBA Mystics and the Georgetown Hoyas, concerts, family shows and sporting events. ***Take Metrorail or Metrobus to Gallery Place-Chinatown for an easy trip to the show.

Highlights:

-- $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix (Sat., Oct. 28-evening)

-- $25,000 Puissance (Fri., Oct. 27-evening)

-- Invitational Dressage Championship Grand Prix (Thurs., Oct. 26-evening) and Musical Freestyle (Fri., Oct. 27-evening)

-- Washington International Equitation Classic Finals (Sat., Oct. 28-evening)

-- $15,000 AHJF Nations Cup Hunter Challenge (Sat., Oct. 28-day)

Website: http://www.WIHS.org

General Information:

The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the nation's leading championship horse shows since 1958, hosts some of the finest horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic and World Cup medalists. Unique among horse shows, the WIHS takes place in the middle of a city, and not just any city--the nation's capital! For six days, the WIHS transforms local city streets around the Verizon Center into stabling and exercise areas for hundreds of horses. Show jumping, hunter, equitation and dressage competition is the mainstay of the show, with entertaining exhibitions of racing terriers, a celebrity sports challenge and barrel racing rounding out a very full program. Riders of all ages - from children as young as seven riding ponies to experienced riders well into their 50’s on powerful jumpers and dressage horses - compete throughout the year and throughout the country to qualify to ride at Washington.

New this year is side saddle, with riders evoking the elegance and style of past eras, the AHJF Nations Cup Hunter Challenge, an innovative hunter competition pairing WIHS equitation (junior) riders with international show jumping riders, and a polo exhibition.

Barn/Group Night, Thurs, Oct. 26, is a favorite with local young riders who attend in groups and vie for prizes based on best group spirit, best essay, largest group, etc. All participants get a free tee-shirt and have the unique opportunity to walk the show jumping course with grand prix riders (and get autographs) following the $20,000 Gamblers Choice class. On Saturday afternoon, younger children will enjoy pony rides, face painting and horse-based learning activities at the Pony Pavilion located just outside the Verizon Center.

More than 60 vendors offering equestrian gear, apparel, jewelry and other unique items are conveniently located on the concourse around the competition arena. Spectators also may bid on more than 60 unique and one-of-a-kind items in the Silent Auction.

WIHS Local Weekend offers local amateur riders, who otherwise may not qualify, a chance to ride at the Washington International. Local children and adult amateur hunter riders based within 100 miles of Washington, D.C. may compete in a qualifying event Oct. 20-22 at Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md., with the top finishers eligible to ride in the WIHS Local Hunter Finals at the Verizon Center on Sunday, October 29th.

The WIHS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization benefitting local and national charities. Current and past donation recipients include the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, NBC4's Camp 4 Kids, ASPCA, Childrens' Inn at the National Institutes of Health, Community Services for Autistic Adults & Children, National Center for Therapeutic Riding, Newspapers in Education, Starlight Starbright Foundation-Midatlantic, and many more.

Horse Show Office: 16063 Comprint Circle, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, (301) 987-9400, Fax: (301) 987-9461, website: http://www.wihs.org, Executive Director: Susie Webb, Susie@wihs.org

Management: Austin Kiplinger, Honorary Chairman of the Board; Jorge J. Carnicero, Chairman; Dr. Sheila C. Johnson, President; Susie Webb, Executive Director; Hugh Kincannon, Show Manager

Public Relations: Diana De Rosa, Press Link: (631) 773-6155, Cell: (516) 848-4867, dderosa1@optonline.net, website: http://www.presslinkpr.com

Media: Phelps Media Group/Mason Phelps, Jr. (561) 753-3389, mpjr@phelpsmediagroup.com. Press releases and photos are available at http://www.phelpsmediagroup.com. For accreditation, visit http://www.wihs.org/news/media.cfm and complete a media accreditation form.

2006 Washington International Horse Show

Tickets and Schedule ***Program subject to change***

Tickets go on sale September 5, 2006

Hours: Two performances daily except Sunday: Day (Tues-Sun): 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Evening: (Tues-Sat): 7:00-10:30 p.m (ending times approx.)

Tickets - http://www.ticketmaster.com or call 202-397-SEAT

Performance Day Evening Evening VIP**

Tuesday $15 $20 $40

Wednesday $15 $20 $40

Thursday $15 $30* $45*

Friday $15 $35 $60

Saturday $20 $35 $60

Sunday $15 --- ---

Anytime Package: $85 (a $235 value); good for all 11 performances.

Pony Pavilion: Tickets for the Pony Pavilion sold only at the Pony Pavilion on Sat., Oct. 28, 1:00-4:00 p.m. $5 per person or $10 for families/groups up to five people. Donations of $5 or $10 are readily accepted at the Pony Pavilion with net proceeds going to the Meadowbrook Foundation.

*Barn Night/Groups (10 or more) receive $5 off each ticket on Thursday night only.

**VIP seats include premium arena-level seating and a complimentary WIHS program book ($10 value).

Tentative Schedule:

Tuesday, Oct. 24: Daytime performance: Regular and Green Conformation Hunters; First/Second Year Green Hunters; Regular Working Hunters; Amateur/Owner Hunters (Riders 35 & Under and Over 35); Evening performance: WIHS Children's Hunter and Adult Hunter Championships

Wednesday, Oct. 25: Daytime performance: Regular Working and Regular Conformation Hunters; Second Year Green and Green Conformation Hunters; A/O Hunter (35 & Under and Over 35); Amateur/Owner Jumpers; Evening performance: WIHS Children's Jumper Championships and Adult Jumper Championships

Thursday, Oct. 26 (BARN/GROUP NIGHT): Daytime performance: Small Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Large Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Small Junior Hunters (16-17), Large Junior Hunters (16-17); $25,000 President's Cup Qualifier; Amateur/Owner Jumpers, Junior Jumpers; Evening performance: WIHS Invitational Dressage Championship Grand Prix; $20,000 Gambler's Choice, Side Saddle, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races

Friday, Oct. 27: Daytime performance: Small Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Large Junior Hunters (15 & Under); Small Junior Hunters (16-17), Large Junior Hunters (16-17); WIHS Equitation; Amateur/Owner Jumpers; Junior. Jumpers TFR (time first round); $25,000 Open Jumpers; Evening performance: Polo, WIHS Invitational Dressage Championship Freestyle; $20,000 Accumulator Class, $25,000 Puissance, Barrel Racing, Terrier Races

Saturday, Oct. 28: Daytime performance: Small, Medium and Large Pony Hunters; $20,000 Hit & Hurry Class; Junior Jumpers; Pony Pavilion; Evening performance: WIHS Equitation Classic (Jumper Phase & Final work-off); $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, Terrier Races, Dressage

Sunday, Oct. 29: Small, Medium and Large Pony Hunters; WIHS Pony Equitation Classic; Local Hunter Finals (Horses); Local Hunter Finals (Ponies)



Photo Credit: Christine George by her artwork at WIHS. Photo© 2005 Jennifer Wood/PhelpsSports.com.

 

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