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WIHS as an Exhibitor?

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  • WIHS as an Exhibitor?

    I was wondering if any COTHers had any personal experience with competing at Washington, and could share any suggestions or their experiences and opinions on the event.. Im going to be going for the childrens hunter finals. How do the horses take to living on the streets of D.C.? I've heard the schooling area is quite small but is it managable? He (my horsie) will be coming either from Harrisburg the week before (depends if the other qualifiers from my barn go) or from having a week at home after capital challenge? From reading the prize list it appears that the childrens finals go on the tuesday (Yayy for missing school) any suggestions for hotels (or ones not to go to)? MY trainers at pony finals so I dont want to bug him with all my frivilous questions.


  • #2
    Make sure you do a lot of your prep at home in the days leading up to the show, or at PG center before you ship over. There is very, very limited lunging space, and your lunging time is limited due to the long lines of people waiting. Your class also usually goes in the evening, so your horse will sit all day after lunging somewhere before 5am. You usually may hack in the show ring in the early morning during a designated time period for your division.
    The schooling area is very small, but manageable for a horse that doesn't need a lot of warmup or need to jump very high in the schooling area. Stabling is what it is. Not ideal, very cramped (don't bring much equipment), but works okay. Most horses are fine with the environment. It's mainly the prep limitations that limit what kind of horse will go well there.
    Closest hotel is the Red Roof. Hotel Monaco is also close but pricier. You will want to be close as you will be up early to ride and it is not a good area in which to walk far.
    Book now.
    Good luck. They do the best they can to make it feasible to show horses in the city, and it's an experience. You will enjoy it, as long as you go into it realizing that it's an organization nightmare and that everyone shares the less than ideal conditions, so you need to keep a flexible attitude and just enjoy it for what it is.


    • #3
      Not an exhibitor, but it's 6 blocks from my office, and walk over to spectate every year It's actually in a nice area of DC, with a lot of hotels and restaurants around. I will highly recommend the food at Austin Grill down on E St., and they do take out Just don't walk around very late on your own and you'll be fine. Mornings are generally not a problem time to be out and about, as there are a lot of cyclists/joggers around.

      I know several people stay at the hotels here by the office and walk or metro (two stops) over there. The Capitol Hyatt is really nice, as is the Washington Court on the other corner. You'll see a lot of people walking around downtown in boots and breeches.
      A Year In the Saddle


      • #4
        I did the local hunter finals a few years back with my then pre-green horse. It was quite an experience. My biggest suggestion is USE YOUR WARM UP TIME. All of it. Every single second. Keep your horse in the ring until they drag you out. Because after your warm-up time (mind you, mine was at 2:30am and I didn't show until the evening around 6 or so...), your horse will be standing in a stall until you get on before your rounds. There is a small indoor warm-up area in what (IIRC) is a parking garage, but this can be quite crowded, and felt incredibly cramped to me.

        I stayed in a suite at the monaco and thought it was very nice there. I was lucky to have a horse that's pretty easy going, so he didn't get too stressed out. I monitored his water intake closely, and took a "groom" so that someone was with him constantly while he was "in the city" because I'd heard security could be a bit lax. I am glad I did this, as there are a lot of night clubs/drunken fools out on the streets of DC late at night, and having someone who knew my horse there with him the whole time allowed me to get at least a little bit of rest.
        Here today, gone tomorrow...


        • #5
          I did washington last year (jr and regular working hunters) and it is AMAZING!!! I had so, so, so much fun. It was so neat to be able to walk from my hotel to the horse show. I stayed at the Harrington hotel (maybe called Harrington house hotel - not exactly sure - google search it). It was about a 10 minute walk from the show grounds, and very inexpensive, but tidy and comfortable.

          I was lucky enough to be stabled inside (though maybe it was unlucky - my horse didn't see the daylight for almost a week!!), and he was totally fine with it. Honestly, none of the horses seem to care much about the environment. They are all show horses, and are used to being taken strange places.

          The schooling area is small, but manageable. I was pretty nervous warming up for the regulars, so my trainer let me finish up a little on the small side (I was having some problems), but the showing part ended up going very well! Schooling for the jr hunters was not a problem, but it got a little annoying because there were so many people. However, keep in mind that the schooling area is very strictly monitored - it is not at all dangerously crowded - so it's definitely not something to worry about.

          Get ready to have the time of your life!! You will LOVE washington!
          Last edited by lauraware; Aug. 4, 2009, 11:37 PM. Reason: poor grammar


          • #6
            Thanks Guys! Ill forward on the hotel suggestions to my mom. Im lucky to have a easy going horse, after hes in the ring once and lunged once hes pretty happy about anything. I think were bringing a few grooms, so all of our precious horsies will be fine at night Im really excited for it and getting the prizelist made me more excited.


            • #7
              Make sure your horse gets a goooood looonnngg look at the jumbotron before u show!


              • #8
                My daughter showed in the children's hunters last year and we had a great time. We were the only client going and we keep our horse at home, so basically we were on our own for the transfer from PG, stabling, schooling at 4:00 a.m. until the prep and warm up time. I was so nervous about how we were going to do this, I almost scratched. However, it turned out to be very smooth and was the best experience ever. Try to get to PG as early as you can. We arrived around 3:00 and didn't get transferred to DC until around 9:00. We stayed at a great Marriott around the corner. Got up at 4:00 to go into the ring with a million other kids and trainers. No jumping, just hack one direction for 10 minutes, turn around and hack the other way for another ten minutes. There was no lunging space available last year for the childrens. Even though it seemed so complicated, it was a wonderful experience and well worth it.


                • #9
                  Daughter showed in the children's jumpers 2 years ago. Although a nerve wracking experience, it is well worth it!!! We stayed at the Harrington too. It's a clean, older hotel that's used alot for tourists and school groups. About a 15 min. walk and VERY reasonably priced. Food at the restaurant attached is not bad either and you are walking distance from the mall with all the museums.

                  Just a couple of things. You will stable and ship in first to the showgrounds at Maryland. They will transport your horse over to Verizon Center. It's best to have someone on the ground at Maryland making sure all goes well in getting on the truck. They will take your tack trunk but you will want to have either a cover or wrap it with a blanket to protect from scratching. Likewise there will need to be someone on the ground at Verizon when the horse gets off the transport. The ones that tried to follow behind the truck ended up losing them in traffic and were late getting to Verizon so try to have at least one person at each place.

                  The stalls are on the street at Verizon. They block off the streets from traffic. You will want extra shavings for cushion and will likely only be there one night. We had one problem with the police car that was parked right beside my daughter's horse's stall having it's lights continually flashing and the siren going off alot. She ended up asking them to cut the lights off since it was flashing in his stall was bothering him. They were nice and did it. Horses are transported back to Maryland right after showing, barely had time for rinsing off.

                  The warm-up area is EXTREMELY small. Daughter saw lots of falls and near misses. Just be careful. Luckily ones there are good riders so it is really no worse than the crowded warm-up ring at a show. You will be assigned a practice time. Use it. It will likely be in the middle of the night. Daughter's was 3:30am. They walked from the hotel but my husband went with them because there are some homeless in the area that will approach you. Advisable to take a taxi, safer.

                  If you have the extra money to spend $$$$ per night, stay across the street. Much more convenient.
                  They give out and sell wrist bands. We got 3, trainer, rider and friend who served as helper/groom. I would say 3 is the minimum. They enforce this and will only let those back to the horses that have the wrist bands.

                  It's a great show and daughter had a wonderful time, ended up with a nice round and a ribbon. I think she wants to go back again at some point. The shopping is also great!

                  Just be prepared! Plan ahead and make sure you are with your horse as much as possible since it can be stressful on the horses. It's just a very different environment than the ordinary show they are used to.

                  BUT MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN!!!!



                  • #10
                    I have showed at WIHS in the past and have a home in DC now, just a few blocks from Verizon.

                    The nicest, nearest hotel is Hotel Monaco, imo.
                    Verizon is in Penn Quarter, which is one of the hot areas in DC right now - lots of great restaurants, theater, museums, etc.

                    For restaurants within a few blocks of Verizon (all of the below are near 7th and D or 7th and Penn)-

                    SEI is a new Japanese restaurant that has amazing sushi; it is pricey but worth it if you like sushi. seirestaurant.com

                    Rasika - probably the top Indian restaurant in DC. Condi Rice and other well known people are frequently there.

                    701 - french cuisine, fairly good food, excellent and well-known wine bar with jazz pianist.

                    Oyamel - excellent Mexican restaurant; innovative menu.

                    The Source - Wolfgang Puck restaurant at 575 Pennsylvania

                    For info on the neighborhood generally:
                    Roseknoll Sporthorses


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks everyone! My trainers have gone for many years so Im not worrying about the logistics from their end as I trust they have it under control. My friend told me the marriot courtyard is where most of the jrs stay, has anyone stayed there? Thanks for the hint about the jumbotron Ill definetly show my horse that. Although ive realized he doesnt mind things above his head much as both of our last classic wins have been when there were helicopters flying over head (in saratoga they were searching for a lost child and in traverse city the coast guard was doing drills).


                      • #12
                        We stayed at that Marriott and it was great. An easy walk. Have a wonderful time!!!!


                        • Original Poster

                          this might seem miniscule but for the childrens and adults championships do they start in reverse order of the national rankings or is it chance when you go in the first round? thanks.


                          • #14
                            They do go in the reverse order.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by Mamare View Post
                              They do go in the reverse order.
                              Thanks! thats reasuring, Ill get to watch some trips then


                              • #16
                                Spinoff: Local hunters

                                Can you talk a little about the local hunters? I'm hoping to do the younger AAs at the qualifying show. Do you know how many usually compete at locals? And then how many make it to the finals? Was it worth doing? Also, do you have to stable at PG then in DC or can you just trailer in the day of? My horse is close to both and stabling seems like a waste unless it is nice just to have a stall during the day. Thanks!

                                Originally posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse View Post
                                I did the local hunter finals a few years back with my then pre-green horse. It was quite an experience. My biggest suggestion is USE YOUR WARM UP TIME. All of it. Every single second. Keep your horse in the ring until they drag you out. Because after your warm-up time (mind you, mine was at 2:30am and I didn't show until the evening around 6 or so...), your horse will be standing in a stall until you get on before your rounds. There is a small indoor warm-up area in what (IIRC) is a parking garage, but this can be quite crowded, and felt incredibly cramped to me.

                                I stayed in a suite at the monaco and thought it was very nice there. I was lucky to have a horse that's pretty easy going, so he didn't get too stressed out. I monitored his water intake closely, and took a "groom" so that someone was with him constantly while he was "in the city" because I'd heard security could be a bit lax. I am glad I did this, as there are a lot of night clubs/drunken fools out on the streets of DC late at night, and having someone who knew my horse there with him the whole time allowed me to get at least a little bit of rest.


                                • #17
                                  In 2006, it was in reverse order. In 2007, it was a random draw. I don't know about 2008 as my horse hurt himself.

                                  We stayed at the Red Roof. It was fine.

                                  My horse was underground in 2006 and on the street in 2007. No problems either year.

                                  He's a laid back dude as well. Even with that, we made sure we were at PG early so that he was on one of the earlier trucks to the Verizon Ctr. That way, we were able to hack once we got there. They also had a few jumps set up. Then, we hacked again in the wee hours (4:00 am?). I took him out to the outdoor postage stamp area for a brief hack -mostly stretch his legs - in the afternoon before showing LATE that night. (Adult here, so after Childrens)

                                  I parked in the area under the movie theater/mall adjoining the Verizon Center for the couple of days so that my stuff would be convenient. I dropped off my bag at the hotel before parking and schlepped it over the morning of the evening I showed, after checking out. (After going back to the hotel to catch a few winks after the wee hour hack.)

                                  Do plan on buying extra shavings, even though you're only there for a night.

                                  The first year, manoman, that jumbotron was intimidating! And yes, I tried to let my horse take it in and he DID notice it, (but probably not as much as I did ) But, that was just from just outside the gate. As soon as he went in, he didn't notice it.

                                  The jumping warm-up area was a little dicey. They had padded wrappings on some of the pillars, but not all. We did ok in there.

                                  Both were great experiences and I'll do again if my horse comes back and we qualify again!

                                  Good luck to all showing this year!!!!!!!!