I hope many of our readers where able to get to the Washington International Horse Show this year. I was there last Saturday evening. We had a table in the Acela Club overlooking the arena and the view of the events that evening, not to mention the great food, wine and conversations among friends, was fantastic. I will not bore you with a recount of the events as you can find an excellent write up on the WIHS web site (www.wihs.org/news). I thought the WIHS staff including the participants, sponsor, vendors all contributed to an excellent show as they do every year.
I have included a few photos below taken by myself and staff at this years show. I’m not sure how many of you are aware that Blackburn Architects has been providing pro bono services to the WIHS every year since it moved from the old Capital Center in Landover to the Verizon Center (former MCI Center) in 2001. In it’s first year we helped with the modification of the arena floor, modifying the side walls including removal of the penalty box areas and removing the end walls of the ice hockey rink to transform it into an indoor riding arena. What would have been a daunting task in 2001 turned out to be fairly simple having previously accomplished similar modifications at Madison Square Garden for the National Horse Show during the mid 1990’s.
The challenge came with trying to squeeze as many horse stalls inside the arena (under the grandstands) and in the streets surrounding the arena. Though the arena modifications remain relatively unchanged from year to year, the street scene around the Verizon Center changes every year. The requirements from the City, especially the fire department and EMT needs change plus there is always construction of some kind going on in that area which require revisions and modifications every year.
We are always pleased to offer our assistance as the horse show is a very exciting event in downtown DC. Even if you never attend the horse show (which is your loss by the way if you haven’t), it brings a special excitement to the streets of Washington. For me it reminds me of when the circus used to come to town and parade the animals through the town (yes, I’m old enough to remember it) and though they don’t do that with the horse show, the excitement and memory is still there. Having horses stabled on the streets of the city is a great introduction to the non-equine public to the sights, sounds and yes, the wonderful “aroma” of horses. If you haven’t experienced it, you are missing out on what is a unique Washington annual event.
Last year we were able to assist the WIHS with the design of additional VIP seating platforms on one end of the arena and this year they were able to add another VIP area to the opposite end. The success continues. So, if you missed the show this year, remember it comes around every October and next year there may be something special in the air. I hope to launch my new book, Healthy Stables by Design, at the WIHS next year. A very special event for me and I hope that you will attend and enjoy.