Friday, September 28, 2012

It's Capital Challenge Time!

Early October means that it's time for Capital Challenge, probably my favorite horse show now in it's 19th year.  Founded by Billy Glass and Oliver Kennedy, it brought a whole new light to high level horse showing and today outshines all of it's much older rivals: The National (now in KY), Harrisburg and Washington.  While you don't have to qualify for CC like you do the others I just mentioned, it is entirely just as competitive if not more so.  Entry fees are high and at one time they limited the number of entries so it was hard to "get in" unless you entered early like in July.  The only other show IMHO that is just as tough is probably the WEF in Palm Beach.  

Why is it so special?

Well, for one, it's the best run horse show IMHO.  They do things totally right.  It's outdoors in the fall so the weather is usually good. There is one indoor ring.  The judging is good.  The rings are good.  There are flowers everywhere.  The stabling is good.  There are little touches - exhibitor breakfasts, lunches. When you win a class you get special recognition.  The trophies are unique.  There is a live feed so you can watch on line (they were the first to do this).  There is money in all the hunter and jumper classes even for the amateurs.  It is uber competitive.  There are several equitation finals (where the rider is judged) and the World Championship Hunter Rider Finals are here (classes for top riders in the amateur and professional ranks).  You have to qualify for those. 

I have not shown here in a few years. When Alfie and I get up to speed maybe we will go back. Sega had some great days here in the World Championship Hunter Rider Finals.  We competed in the class three times and came home with ribbons twice (my fondest memory with her is our last time there where she was fourth). 

If you love watching the hunters and happen to be in Maryland (just outside the Washington, DC Beltway) in Prince George's County you should go watch. You'll see the very best of the very best.  The show runs Sept. 29th through October 7th at PG Equestrian Center in Upper Marlborough, MD.  

The poster above is this year's artwork by Michael Tang. The horse is Small Affair (he is CA-based) and the rider is John French, also from the West Coast.   All photos are from the CC Facebook site and most are from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.  Thank you!  There is great information on their Facebook site.  Just look for "The Capital Challenge Horse Show."  Happy Friday!


  1. Love the poster [I wish more shows would sell their posters online] and I LOVE those jumps- birch rails! *sigh*
    I also miss the field hunter classes they used to have out in the open over natural obstacles... maybe they still have those at some shows and I am just outta' touch?


  2. Ang, the outside courses are starting to come back but I think it will take a while. I kinda remember those days. Now we're in rings mostly, pretty easy stuff, sigh!


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