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October 27, 2016

What’s That Grand Prix Rider Doing In A Clown Outfit?

Andy Kocher looked plenty focused on his way to the best costume title.

Washington, D.C.—Oct. 27  

When you see big-time jumper riders walking around downtown D.C. wearing capes and grease paint, it can only mean one thing: it’s barn night–and the costume class!—at the Washington International Horse Show.

Skip right to the awesome photos here.

Packs of equestrians from stables in the greater D.C. area found their way to the Verizon Center for the annual tradition to watch grand prix riders ride in costumes, cheer on the mini-racers in the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship and show their barn spirit based on this year’s theme Major for President. (Major is the Washington International Horse Show mascot: a patriotic—but non-partisan—horse, whose hobbies include throwing T-shirts to the crowd.)

Serene Acres, in Bluemont, Va., showed off the best group spirit, winning a clinic with Callan Solem. Harmony Ridge in Dunkirk, Md., won best group banner and Meadowbrook in Silver Spring, Md., and Memory Hill, in Waynesboro, Va., won best video. 

Mariah Smith took over the ride on reigning WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship winner, Knight’s Taffy (Lee-Land Chile—Royal Piping Hot), to win that race by several lengths, while Oscar Fuery also took home a Charles Owen helmet as the winner of the safest ride of the day.

In the past top jumper riders have competed in a gambler’s choice class during barn night, but this year they competed in a $35,000 International Jumper Costume Accumulator class, won by Laura Kraut and Andretti S. More importantly, Andy Kocher and Ciana, who looked fairly terrifying as clowns, won best turned out. Perhaps the most creative outfit was McLain Ward, who went as himself on HH Carlos Z.

Don’t miss the photos.

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Want more Washington International Horse Show? No problem—we have you covered.  And don't miss the Nov. 14 issue of the Chronicle of the Horse magazine for full analysis of the competition.

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