Prestigious Horse Show Chooses Prince George's County in Return to DC Area

The Washington International Horse Show will be held next October in Upper Marlboro, Maryland

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One of the world's leading horse riding competitions will be held in Prince George's County, Maryland, next year, marking a major boon for the county.

The Washington International Horse Show temporarily left the D.C. area due to COVID restrictions.

From its stables and young riders to it's champions and the Show Place Arena and Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro — the county is ready for the horses.

"There's a big rural aspect to this county. Wineries are popping up, other agricultural tourism events throughout county," Ross Peddicord, with the Maryland Horse Industry Board, told News4.

"Washington actually reached out to us because they were leaving D.C. and they were looking for a new home," said Sheila Curry, who works on strategic partnerships for the county.

Curry's son began riding at 3 years old so she said she jumped at the opportunity to partner with Washington International.

"It's an honor for us to host such a prestigious equestrian event. Washington International is revered," she said.

"It brings exposure worldwide. There'll be riders here from all over the world. Olympic riders. Hopefully, Jessica Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen's daughter. She won the silver medal at the Olympics this year in show jumping. Hopefully, she will be here competing," Peddicord said.

There's also the economic boom that comes with a week of lodging and feeding participants and spectators from around the world.

"With horse shows, come lots of people like the groomers, the farriers, the folks that braid the horse's mane. So all of those folks will fill up hotels up and down 301, all of the restaurants, Bowie, Largo. So, it's a huge economic impact for the entire Prince George's County," Curry said.

When the event was held in D.C., the city grossed about $11 million dollars during the six days of the competition.

Due to COVID restrictions, Prince George's County has lost a few of its horse shows to other states, but the news of Washington International's move is already encouraging some to plan a return, officials said.

"All horse shows want to be where the best is and Washington is the best," Curry said.

When the competition happens, there will be 600 horses at the Show Place Arena and Prince George's Equestrian Center for the event.

The 64th Washington International Horse Show is set for Oct. 25-30 in 2022.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has named October Horse month in honor of the event and the National Harbor will serve as the hospitality campus.

Show Place Arena is planning some major upgrades in the meantime.

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