The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), a leading equestrian event in the U.S., celebrated its 53nd year in the nation’s capital, Tuesday through Sunday, October 25-30, 2011. This championship event, drawing leading horses and riders from around the nation and the world, is one of the few remaining major metropolitan indoor horse shows and is the pinnacle of the annual equestrian season. The show takes place each October at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., attracting the attention of tens of thousands of equestrians, non-equestrians, celebrities and politicos alike with events such as show jumping, dressage, hunter and equitation competition, plus Kids Day, Barn Night, special exhibitions, shopping and hospitality. This year, about 500 horses performed in the competition. More than $400,000 in purses was awarded to the top riders. The highlights of this week’s competition were Friday night’s $25,000 Puissance class and Saturday night’s $100,000 President’s Cup grand prix. In Friday's Puissance, horses jumped the great wall until only one horse remained without knocking it down. The Washington International is the only remaining show in the US to offer this class. Riders also gained valuable points to qualify for the World Cup Finals in April.