Back In The Saddle At The Washington International Horse Show | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Back In The Saddle At The Washington International Horse Show

Play associated audio
Horses get their breakfast on 8th Street NW outside the Washington International Horse Show.
Armando Trull
Horses get their breakfast on 8th Street NW outside the Washington International Horse Show.

Drivers and pedestrians might notice a curious phenomenon around the Verizon Center in Chinatown this week: what looks like horse stables set up along the sidewalks. That's because there are 500 horses competing this week at the Washington International Horse Show at the arena. 

Riders and their horses will compete in many events, but a lot of the action goes on behind the scenes. Teams of trainers, veterinarians and other support staff are all on hand to make sure all of the athletes stay in tip-top shape. 

Early this morning, horse came back to their stalls after practice in the ring to get their breakfast and be groomed. 

Hannah Powers, 15, is competing as a hunter jumper. "It has its roots in fox hunting and it is subjectively judged based on how pleasant your round appears," says Powers. 

Nearby, veterinarian Dr. Carole Holland moves through the stalls after checking in with several of her patients. 

"I checked some horses to see if they needed acupuncture or chiropractic treatments this morning before they show," says Holland. 

It may sound strange, but the acupuncture process isn't so different for horses as it is for people, she adds. "We check the body to see where there's a possible area of tightness or soreness and use regular acupuncture needles to relieve that tension," says Holland.

In a trailer parked on a nearby street, farrier Sandy Johnson does her part to make sure the horses are ready; she will put on between 30 and 40 horseshoes every day this week, and up to 200 shoes on Saturday, she says. 

Meanwhile, Bridget Kennedy is working on some of the more aesthetic aspects of the competition as she braids the mane of a stallion named Jasper. Kennedy and her team work overnight to coif the horses, braiding, combing and even adding extensions to some of their tails. 

The Washington International Horse Show runs at the Verizon Center through Sunday.

NPR

Marvel's New Hero Wants To Save The World — And The Citrus Industry

Captain Citrus was sponsored by Florida's orange growers, whose profits are being hurt by disease and declining consumer demand for orange juice. They hope the comic character will boost sales.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.