Washington International Horse Show Gets Underway at the Verizon Center (photos)

The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), a leading equestrian event in the U.S., celebrates its 53nd year in the nation’s capital, Tuesday through Sunday, October 25-30, 2011. This championship event, drawing leading horses and riders from around the nation and the world, is one of the few remaining major metropolitan indoor horse shows and is the pinnacle of the annual equestrian season. The show takes place each October at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., attracting the attention of tens of thousands of equestrians, non-equestrians, celebrities and politicos alike with events such as show jumping, dressage, hunter and equitation competition, plus Kids Day, Barn Night, special exhibitions, shopping and hospitality.

This year, about 500 horses are expected to perform in the competition. More than $400,000 in purses will be given to the top riders. The highlights of this week’s competition are Friday night’s $25,000 Puissance class and Saturday night’s $100,000 President’s Cup grand prix. In Friday’s Puissance, horses will jump the great wall until only one horse remains without knocking it down. The Washington International is the only remaining show in the US to offer this class. The record to beat is 7’ 7-1/2,” set at Washington in 1986. Riders will also gain valuable points to qualify for the World Cup Finals in April.

The Washington International Horse Show is open to the public; children 12 and under receive free admission during the day. Two performances are held daily except Sunday. Daytime events generally end around 5 p.m. Children’s tickets are $10 in the evening, except for Friday and Saturday nights when tickets are $20. Adults tickets are $15 during the day and $20 in the evening, except for Friday and Saturday nights, when admission is $40. For those who wish to watch the events remotely, the show’s Web site will feature more than 70 hours of live-streaming video.

View our photos from the early days events by clicking on the photo icons below. (All photos by Jeff Malet)

View additional photos by clicking here.

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