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The Washington International Horse Show's Vendors Provide a Unique Shopping Experience for Exhibitors and Spectators
Jenny Ross of PMG
The 2005 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) serves as one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive indoor equestrian events, with prominent riders, Olympic veterans, and superstar equines competing for top honors and fabulous prize money. Located at the MCI Center in downtown Washington D.C., this annual show also offers a unique shopping experience for those who attend.
Specialty shops encircle the perimeter of the MCI Center Arena and offer an eclectic array of equestrian and non-equestrian merchandise. Those looking to find the latest trends for themselves and their horses can walk away with ever popular WIHS Souvenirs and take time to stroll the gift shops in the concourse or bid on items in the Silent Auction.
The WIHS Souvenir Shop offers official souvenir programs, posters, monogrammed polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball hats, and other keepsakes to take home. These souvenir items are wonderful mementos for those who experience the Washington International Horse Show.
A variety of artwork is available at vendors such as Anytime Tack, which offers equestrian bronzes and statues made of marble and granite. Christine George Design will display beautiful fine art, oil paintings, prints, tiles, mosaics, coasters, and other décor. Commissioned photography of you and your pet can be arranged through Petography, Inc., and watercolor paintings by Carol Ratafia will be exhibited for sale at Ratafia Studios.
For those interested in purchasing jewelry, shops such as Fox Run Ltd. and Horsefeathers will offer equine jewelry, while pearls imported from the Far East can be found at Grand Illusions. Silverado Jewels will market Native American silver jewelry with genuine turquoise, onyx, and opal stones. The similarly named Silverado Jewelry will display fashionable and stunning silver in their booth as well.
Fine gold and silver jewelry will be on display at the C.L. Sherman & Co. shop, as well as The Herd Collection, which includes watches from companies such as Rolex and Justin & Catewa. In addition, Vandermoore Designs Inc., the official jeweler of the American Grand Prix Association, will exhibit fine jewelry, original art, and antique statues.
Spectators can shop for equine gifts and accessories for their beloved dogs at Equine Impressions. Items include leather belts, dog collars, leashes, dog blankets, and breed specific socks. This unique store also offers select equestrian and fox hunt jewelry, silk ties and scarves, linens, needlepoint and tapestry pillows, and much more. Similarly, Ann Becker Gifts specializes in gifts such as horse pillows and Afghans for horse and dog lovers. Home Therapy Equipment and electronic massagers will also be available through Clark Enterprises.
Fashion-oriented spectators can explore fine clothing displays, sporting antiques, and jewelry at Ermilio Clothier & Specialty Shop, Ltd., PJ Huntsman & Co., Toad Hall, Pingo, and The Romantic Room. Claire V, a handbag and accessory boutique at WIHS, donates ten percent of their net proceeds to education and health initiatives for women and children in Southeast Asia. Leather products are available at Outback Survival Gear, SZ Argentine Leather, and I.T.S. Industries, which specializes in deerskin breeches.
The experts at Der-Dau’s booth design custom-made boots and shoes in both traditional styles and funky new trends, while Journeymen Saddlers measure custom chaps and belts for riders. Vogel Custom Boots & Shoes will also provide riders with custom made boots, shoes, and accessories at their WIHS booth.
Saddles and high end tack will be presented at the Sellerie de France and Devoucoux, Inc. vendors. Other horse products, equestrian wear, tack, and grooming supplies will be conveniently available at shops such as F. M. Brown’s Tack Shop, Ride to Win, The Rider’s Shoppe, Mortack, Inc., The Tack Box, and Netequestrian. Thin Line Saddle Pads will offer their line of ThinLine and sheepskin pads, while JMS Ventures, Inc./The Kenyan Collection display fine gifts from Kenya such as handmade beaded horse browbands and pet collars.
Information booths are also readily available at the Washington International Horse Show for organizations such as the Therapeutic Riding Association of VA, Purina Mills, Pennfield Equine Technologies, King Construction Co. LLC, Cross Country International, and Jump PVC. Lubrisyn will present the latest news on equine oral supplements, and Metro Golf Cart Rentals will discuss cart sales, rentals, and services.
Spectators interested in the equestrian industry can check out Primedia Equine Network’s booth display of Practical Horseman magazine. The Horse Illustrated/Young Rider booth will also provide equestrian publications available for subscription, and The Chronicle of the Horse, a WIHS sponsor, will host a booth with recent issues and subscription applications. This year WIHS also offers a “free magazine” table with complimentary local and national publications.
Lady Ann Candies will satisfy any sweet tooth with their selection of fudge, hand dipped pretzels, confection products, and nuts.
“The Washington International Horse Show is a great place for companies to start showing off their products and promoting their business to the horse world,” commented Ericka Schaefer, Administrative Director of the WIHS. “In between the classes of the show, the audience loves to shop and browse the vendor booths.”
The Washington International Horse Show is truly a community event that offers something for the entire family. Children can enjoy pony rides and face painting on Saturday afternoon at the Starlight Starbright Pony Pavilion while spectators shop for the always popular WIHS souvenirs and a host of other items in between watching the equestrian action going on in the main arena.
For more information on the Washington International Horse Show, please visit their official website at www.wihs.org.
ARTICLE AUTHOR: Jenny Ross of PMG
PHOTO CREDIT: Spectators enjoy shopping at the WIHS in 2004