Life of the Party: Saddling Up at the Verizon Center

by Editorial

Horses, kids and a Formula One race car driver, all gather for a weekend of fun at the Verizon Center.

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By Sheila Mulhern

Rodrigo Pessoa and Palouchin de Ligny receive first prize at the Washington International Horse Show for the Gambler’s Choice Costume Class from Tony Hughes (center) of Qatar Airways.  Also pictured are ringmaster, John Franzreb (left) and WIHS CEO, Eric L. Straus (right). Photo courtesy of Diana De Rosa.

The Washington International Horse Show recently came to the Verizon Center, celebrating its 52nd year of equestrian competition. Choice horses from around the world gathered to compete for over 0,000 in prizes in areas of jumping, hunter classics, dressage and sidesaddle among others.

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Many family-friendly events also center around the event with contests and crafts for kids.
One crowd-favorite tradition is the Gambler’s Choice Costume Class where entrants compete over a jumping course dressed in a costume. Rodrigo Pessoa who rode Palouchin de Ligny took home this top prize of $20,000 as he earned the most points while dressed as a Formula One race car driver. The award was presented by Tony Hughes Senior Vice President of The Americas for Qatar Airways, event sponsor. Pessoa later also placed in first for the Open Jumper while riding HH Ashley.
Additional prestigious jumping awards went to Phoebe Weseley of Bedminster, NJ with Just Ask Me for the WIHA Adult Hunter Championship and Bailey Boyland of Potomac, MD with Movado for the WIHA Children’s Hunter Championship, each receiving $10,000 in winnings.

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