An international horse show is coming back to Prince George’s County, Maryland, this fall, pending final approval, after years of searching for permanent venue for the event, according to County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and the Washington International Horse Show.
The Washington International Horse Show applied to the United States Equestrian Federation and the International Federation for Equestrian Sports to change the venue for the event back to Upper Marlboro. For the last two years the event has been held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina because of the pandemic.
If both federations grant final approval for the change, the 64th edition of the show will be held from Oct. 25 to Oct. 30 at The Show Place Arena in Prince George’s Equestrian Center. The Washington International Horse Show is advertising the event on its website.
“For more than 60 years, WIHS has been known for its unique ability to bring the joy of horses and jumping to spectators and fans in the D.C. region who otherwise may not have a chance to experience these wonderful animals,” the show’s president, Victoria Lowell, said.
Prince George’s County will invest in the equestrian center to prepare for the show. With funding from the county and state government, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, improvements to The Show Place Arena will be made, including improved footing, updated and matted stabling and a covered schooling area.
The show will partner with the National Harbor to host attendees at the hotel. A news release from Alsobrooks said the exhibitors’ lounge and VIP dining platform will be back, as well as “new hospitality opportunities and special events at National Harbor.”
Capital One Arena hosted the show for nearly 20 years but after the arena could no longer accommodate the show, organizers had to look elsewhere for a venue in the D.C area.
Lowell said The Show Place Arena was selected because it “a provides a more cost-effective showing experience for exhibitors.”
“The Washington, D.C. area is our heritage and our home,” Lowell said. “We have moved several times in the past from our original home in D.C. at The Armory, to Landover, Md., to the Capital One Arena downtown. We believe Prince George’s Equestrian Center is the right destination for us at this time.”
Lowell also said the venue-changes comes with a “significant” increase to prize money.
In addition to the Washington International Horse Show, the Maryland 5 Star eventing competition will return to Elkton, Maryland, in mid-October. Gov. Larry Hogan designated October as Maryland Horse Month.