(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Thursday is opening day for The P-A National Horse Show. It brings in riders from all around the world. Eyewitness News Reporter, Anja Whitehead, went to Harrisburg to check it out.
It’s the 74th annual Pennsylvania national horse show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex one of the biggest horse shows in the country.
“There are about 1,400 horses that compete in this event. They will ride-the juniors will be this week… Monday we transition into our seniors,” said Sharron Myers, Executive Director Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex
The show brings in people from across the state and even the world. It boosts the local economy.
“This show brings in about 10 million dollars to the economy and commonwealth in general. Most focused here in Hershey/Harrisburg region. It’s huge” Myers added.
There is a lot of work that goes into putting on a show this size.
Brian Hurst and his family have done it for 4 generations.
“It’s just the legacy and the pride of it. I wish dad was still here so we could enjoy it a little bit more but now my daughter is here which really means a lot” said Hurst.
For a show with such prestige, riders have to be invited. One rider came with her horse Santa all the way from California.
“There’s a lot of early mornings and late nights but it’s definitely worth it if it comes outright. And there’s nothing like going to an indoor show. You’re here all day it’s just so cool,” said Augusta Iwasaki, Rider from California.
The horse show supports equine therapy programs.
“We find through some, many of the programs that perhaps a child with autism and they go and they ride and it gives them self-confidence. It helps with social skills. Or a veteran with PTSD or again someone with a terminal illness,” said Lucy Gnazzo, Pennsylvania National Horse Show Spokesperson
The 74th annual PA National Horse Show (PNHS) rides into the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, October 10-19. The Pennsylvania National Horse Show, one of the nation’s largest, most prestigious and historic horse shows features over 1,400 horses and many of the best hunter, equitation and jumper riders from across the nation, including some of the biggest names in the sport. They will vie for over $650,000 prize money and eight prestigious championship titles.
Junior Weekend, beginning Thursday, October 10 to 13, will again offer three sections of Pony Hunters, four sections of 3’6” Junior Hunters and two sections of Junior Hunters 3’3″, as well as the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individuals and Team Championships. Junior Weekend culminates on Sunday, Oct. 13 with the distinguished Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals, a prestigious national competition previously won by some of the sports all-time greats. The PA National Horse Show remains the launching ground for many young riders hoping to make their mark in the equestrian world.
Senior Week begins Monday, October 14 with Hunt Night, followed by exciting Professional and Amateur Hunters classes throughout the week. Jumpers compete from Wednesday to Saturday featuring Olympic and international riders. Don’t miss the $60,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump on Thursday with increased prize money, Therapeutic Championships and the $36,000 Keystone Classic on Friday and the 10-day event’s culmination on Saturday, October 19 – the $134,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
Highlights of the new Senior Week hunter schedule include:
- $25,000 Champion of Champions Winner’s Stake for the 5 professional hunter sections
- $25,000 Green Hunter 3’ & 3’3” Winner’s Stake for these 2 Green Hunter sections
- $25,000 A/O Hunter Classic (3’3” & 3’6”)
Highlights to the Jumper Classes include:
- The Pennsylvania Big Jump prize money will increase to $60,000.
- The Keystone Classic Speed Stake and the Harrisburg Sprint will each offer $36,000 in prize money.
- The Grand Prix de Penn National will offer $134,000 in total prize money.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show:
- benefits a 501(c)3 Foundation supporting area youth and equine programs such as therapeutic riding;
- brings over $10 million to the greater Harrisburg area over the 10 days of competition;
- has been a tradition in the community for 74 years.
- Each year, the Foundation Grant Money supports programs in various areas including:
- Therapeutic equipment
- Equine-assisted activity programs
- Rider scholarship funds
- Veterinary care
- Horse care and feeding
- Volunteer programs
- Employee support
SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY OVER THE 10 DAYS!
During the 10-day competition, 1,400 competitors come from across the country and abroad to showcase their talents and those of their horses. With approximately 15,000 spectators, shopping, special events and free fan appreciation days, PNHS is fun for the entire family. A full concourse of shops will feature 60 boutiques offering clothing, antiques, artwork, jewelry and a multitude of equestrian products for shoppers of every age and interest.
Special attractions abound for the duration of the show including TOP Competition/a Course Walk & Autographs with the Champions & entertainment by former “Voice” contestant Olivia Farabaugh, plus Family Fun Day events and FREE Fan Appreciation Days. The PNHS Foundation supports Therapeutic Riding which assists those with special needs and Equine Rescue Programs. Happy Hour featuring the “Peachy Pony”, shopping & much more are in store. For more details on all the scheduled events, tickets, vendors and more, visit our website www.PAnational.org. For additional information contact the office: 717-770-0222.
10/10 – 13 Jr. Weekend
10/14 – 19 Adult Week
Sat. 10/12 FREE Family Fun Day featuring many activities for families (1:00 – 4 PM)
Wed. 10/16 Pony Up for Pink Celebrity Challenge with PA Breast Cancer Coalition for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (7:00 PM)
Fri 10/18 Foundation Friday featuring special needs riders in the ring along with National Champions to present awards along with Therapy Horse of the Year (3:00 PM)
Sat. 10/19 Grand Prix featuring Olympians & National Champions, Hall of Fame, Autograph Session/Course Walk with Champions, Pet Adoption Showcase, Olivia Farabaugh performing & much more!