Photos by Elaine Wessel, Lenore Phillips, and Emma Miller, Phelps Media Group.
The 2018 edition of the National Horse Show met all expectations as a horse show that maintained its historical significance while show casing the best of today’s competitive equestrians. As the oldest indoor horse show in America, the National Horse Show is firmly established as a major fixture on national and international sports and social event calendars. This year’s event ran from Oct. 27–Nov. 4 and celebrated its 135th anniversary showcasing professional, amateur and junior competition of the highest caliber at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena
This year’s event debuted new equitation championships, including the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) NHS 3’ Adult Equitation Championship and the Boggs Hill NHS KHJA Equitation Championship, as well as a day dedicated to age-group equitation classes. Back by popular request was also the Hamel Foundation NHS 3’3” Equitation Championship.
The inaugural $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic delighted hunter riders and fans as junior, amateur and professional riders were able to qualify for the new class after earning the championship or reserve championship in their respective hunter divisions during the week. The highlight class of Friday night, saw Scott Stewart and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador earn the coveted prize, while Stewart was also gifted a one-year lease of an Audi Q5 from Audi of Lexington, presented by Samuel A. B. Boone and Audi of Lexington, as well as a Leading Professional Hunter Rider Bonus.
Saturday evening hosted the week’s main event: the thrilling $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W, which was won by crowd favorite and American equestrian icon Beezie Madden aboard Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt in front of a packed and enthusiastic crowd.
In total, the evening attracted athletes hailing from eight countries and four continents to battle it out in the premier show jumping contest of the event, which is the eighth part of 14 in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League schedule.
The ever-popular ASPCA Maclay National Championship, which has been hosted by the National Horse Show for 85 years, was presented by Chansonette Farm on Sunday, the final day of competition, to close out the 2018 event. Sam Walker of Ontario, Canada, made history after he earned the top spot in the championship aboard Waldo
Next year’s National Horse Show will take place from Oct. 26–Nov. 3, 2019 and promises to be an action-packed week filled with top-notch equestrian competition, generous prize money, VIP hospitality, gourmet cuisine, endless shopping and family-friendly activities.
For more information, visit nhs.org.