Many of the premier riders in show jumping — along with the young stars of the future — gathered for the 61st annual Washington International Horse Show, held at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., between Oct. 22 and 27. More than 500 top national and international horses and riders participated in the event.
On Saturday, Oct. 26, Olympian gold medalist Laura Kraut, riding Fleurette, jumped to victory in the $136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup, in what was the sport’s equivalent to a photo finish. Kraut was scheduled to be the last to jump in a field of 30 riders. Among those who preceded her, only Andrew Welles, on Primo Troy, cleared all 15 jumps on the challenging course. Welles would be the winner if Kraut faltered just once. But Kraut was perfect, eliciting a great cheer from the large crowd.
In the jump-off to decide the winner, Welles ran into trouble when his his horse stopped ahead of one of the jumps. Welles finished the course, but accumulated 12 faults in a time of 45.69 seconds.
Knowing the score to beat, Kraut coasted to victory with four faults and a time of 40.99. For her achievement, Kraut was presented with “The President of the United States Perpetual Cup,” donated by Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Among her many achievements, Kraut had never won this event despite many tries. She first competed at WIHS in 1978 in the pony hunter division.
Earlier that evening, Sam Walker of Canada, riding Waldo, won the championship ribbon in the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Final. Walker led the multifaceted competion from start to finish.
On Friday night, Oct. 25, the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance resulted in a tie, with both Aaron Vale, on Finou 4, and Schuyler Riley, on Very Chic Du Tillard, clearing the 6-foot-9-inch height. Vale had won the event outright the prior three years.
Earlier on Friday, Israeli rider Sydney Shulman, 24, of Greenwich, Connecticut, topped the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final on Villamoura. Shulman was a repeat winner at WIHS, coming in first the night before in the $36,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class. Kristen Vanderveen, riding Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, earned the Best Costume Award, dressed as Cruella de Ville from Disney’s “One Hundred and One Dalmatians.”
Also on Saturday, U.S. Equestrian Chef d’Équipe Robert Ridland was inducted into the WIHS Hall of Fame. In addition to a successful riding career, Ridland has been extensively involved in the governance of the sport. He twice won the Course Designer of the Year Award while building the courses for the U.S. Olympic Trials and numerous international competitions, and has appeared on television as color analyst at the Olympics.
View Jeff Malet’s photos from the 61st Washington International Horse Show by clicking the photo icons below.