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Serious Competition Turns into Barrel of Laughs at Washington International Horse Show

Washington, D.C. – October 2, 2006 – The 2006 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) serves as one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive indoor equestrian events, with prominent riders, Olympic veterans, and superstar equines competing for top honors and fabulous prize money. WIHS is held from October 24 - 29, 2006, at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., home of the Washington International Horse Show since the year 2000.

One of the annual highlights at WIHS is the intensely fast-paced Barrel Racing. This year, the barrel racing exhibition includes ten talented women who will race for time around barrels at heart stopping speed. Some of the leading ladies from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, American Professional Rodeo Association, National Barrel Horse Association, and the J-W Ranch Barrel Series will race against one another, with the top four competing in an additional run against four show jumpers mounted on barrel racing horses.

This event is always a crowd favorite, and the show jumping enthusiasts enjoy seeing equestrian athletes compete in a discipline different from their own. The Barrel Racing action will start on Thursday, October 26, with an evening competition and continue the following evening, Friday, October 27.

The 2006 WIHS Barrel Racers include: Ann Religh of Spring Grove, PA, who was 2005 WIHS Champion; Judy Merola of Pennsgrove, NJ, the 2003 WIHS Champion; Carol Kerstetter of Milton, PA, the 2004 WIHS Champion; Beth Borrowy of Opperco, MD; Sandra Pomakala from New Egypt, NJ; Lorraine Bytheway of Glen Mills, PA; Katie Codd of Westminster, MD; Kelsey Free of Greencastle, PA; Illeen Hannah of Oxford, PA; and Lisa Barone of Yorksprings, PA.

The serious side of competition is lightened when the Show Jumping athletes join in the fun. Although they are top athletes in their disciplines, they never get to practice barrel racing and the awkwardness of using different equipment and riding aids is often comical.

Candace King, one of our country’s top Grand Prix Show Jumpers, competed in last year’s barrel racing competition and reported, “All of us had a blast last year. I think it’s good for the crowd, and it’s fun for us as competitors to take part in something a little different. I grew up riding Western, so it was like riding a bike. I hope to have the opportunity again this year!”

Grand Prix Show Jumper Todd Minikus competed in the barrel racing competition at last year’s event as well. He offered the comment, “It’s a lot of fun, and I think the spectators really enjoyed it. I think there are more common denominators than uncommon when it comes to different disciplines of riding. I would be happy to participate in the event again.”

Join the Washington International Horse Show crowd as they cheer on the leading ladies of Barrel Racing and our nation’s top show jumpers in this special event! In addition, the many exciting events this year at WIHS include the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, the $25,000 Puissance, Invitational Dressage Championship, Terrier Races, and Side Saddle.

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

Photo Credit: Show Jumping Rider Aaron Vale Barrel Racing. Photo by Diana De Rosa

 

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