Not all good horse shows can be great horse shows, however much we might want them to be. It’s not just about the prize money, the crowds, or the ability to bring in A-list riders—though all of these things help. For a “good” horse show to become a “great” horse show, though, there’s even more to it than that.

A great event usually requires a long and storied history; a loyal, longtime following among riders and spectators; and a location that befits the size and scope of the show it’s hosting. On top of it all, there has to be that certain something… a shared enthusiasm, an ongoing sense of excitement and—dare we say it?—fun.

If, after all of that, the stars align in perfect harmony, you might end up with an event as great as the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS).

Since 1958, the WIHS has been the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show, made famous in recent decades by its multi-round junior equitation final and its specialty show jumping competitions, including a Halloween costume class and Puissance competition.

Add to that this year’s $130,000 Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Washington Grand Prix and fun-for-the-whole-family entertainment such as Jack Russell terrier races, miniature horse demonstrations, and those beloved Shetland pony steeplechases, and you can rest assured that a good time will be had by all.

It’s no wonder the WIHS is renowned, not just for drawing top international competitors from around the world, but for its special place in the hearts of many of this country’s best riders, who return to the Washington year after year—many since they were first competing in the pony divisions.

If, like us, you’re already missing the WIHS, never fear: 2017 dates have already been announced (October 24-29, 2017). So mark your calendars—we’ll see you there!