Horse shows take place all around the world, but the U.S is home to some of the most prestigious hunter/jumper competitions that attract top horses and riders from many different countries. The list of horse shows is long, which makes it even harder to decide which horse shows to compete at or spectate this year. If you’re looking to attend top AA or A rated shows, we broke down the top horse shows for 2019.
Date: January 9 – March 31, 2019
Location: Wellington, FL
Venue: Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
The Winter Equestrian Festival has been the pinnacle of equine competition in South Florida for more than four decades, welcoming enthusiasts and athletes annually to contest one of the most competitive shows in the world. This year’s circuit will offer more than $9 million in prize money throughout the duration of the season and will feature many of the world’s top internationally ranked riders.
The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home of WEF, is open to the public and offers free general admission throughout the season to all events. Competition each week begins on Wednesday morning and continues through Sunday afternoon. The highlight “Saturday Night Lights” competitions, featuring major international Grand Prix competition under the lights in the iconic International Ring, will begin at 7:00 p.m. each Saturday of the circuit. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. for spectators and fans and include carousel rides, face painting, family entertainment and more.
Dates: Various (See PDF)
Venues: Balmoral Park, Illinois – AON HITS Desert Horse Park, Thermal, California – Post Time Farm, Ocala, Florida – Commonwealth Park, Culpeper, Virginia – HITS-on-the-Hudson facility, Hudson Valley, NY – HITS Arizona, Pima County Fairgrounds
HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since then, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Virginia and Illinois.
HITS produces three of the richest grand prix in the world with the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal, California, Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida and Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5* in Saugerties, New York – all forming the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping. The HITS Championship, held each September at HITS-on-the-Hudson, hosts the HITS $250,000 Jr/A-O/Am Jumper Prix, the Stal Hendrix Pre-Green Futurity, and the crown jewels of the hunter discipline: the Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final and the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix Final. HITS is a fantastic show to compete at or watch some of the top junior and professional riders in the U.S.
Dates: February – October 2019
Location: Calgary, Canada
Venue: Spruce Meadows
Spruce Meadows offers an incredible experience for fans and riders alike. From novice riders to the Olympics, Spruce Meadows supports show jumping like no other facility in the world. Starting in February with their first Classic Series event, through to our Oktoberfest tournament, there’s over $6 million in prize money to be won for the 2019 season. See the schedule below:
|Tournament||2019 Dates (tentative)|
|February Classic I||February 02 – 03|
|February Classic II||February 09 – 10|
|February Classic III||February 16 – 17|
|February Classic IV||February 23 – 24|
|Winter Farewell||March 07 – 10|
|Spring Welcome||March 14 – 17|
|May Classic I||May 04 – 05|
|May Classic II||May 10 – 12|
|‘National’ CSI 5* presented by Rolex||June 05 – 09|
|‘Continental’ CSI 5*||June 12 – 16|
|‘Pan American’ CSI 5* presented by Rolex||June 25 – 30|
|‘North American’ CSI 5* presented by Rolex||July 03 – 07|
|‘Masters’ CSIO 5*||September 04 – 08|
|Oktoberfest I||October 09- 13|
|Oktoberfest II||October 16 – 20|
Location: North Salem, NY
Venue: Old Salem Farm
Old Salem Farm, one of the most iconic horse-show venues in the country, has fostered dreams, both large and small, for more than half a century. Located in North Salem, New York, only an hour from New York City, the beautiful, 120-acre property graced by a magnificent 85,000-square-foot barn set on the top of a hill has served as a base for a long list of famous—and infamous—trainers.
In addition to the various “A” and “C” rated shows Old Salem hosts from January-June, Old Salem hosts The American Gold Cup in September, home of the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM. View the full show schedule here.
Date: May 23rd – June 2nd
Location: Devon, PA
The Devon Horse Show & Country Show is not one to be missed by riders or spectators. The show is the largest outdoor multi-breed horse show in the country and is recognized as one of the premier equestrian events in the country. Devon is not just known for the hunter classes, equitation and jumper classes but is also well known for carriage pleasure driving, coaching and roadsters. Spectators can also watch the $250,000 Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, which McLain Ward has made history with his tenth career win in 2018. You can view the full schedule here.
Date: July 2nd – August 11, 2019
Location: East Dorset, VT
Venue: Harold Beebe Farm
Vermont Summer Festival (VSF) runs for five weeks from the beginning of July to the middle of August. VSF includes various horse shows, including Vermont Summer Special, Manchester Summer Festival, Manchester Classic Horse Show, Valley Classic Horse Show, Manchester & the Mountains and Vermont Summer Celebration. You can view the full schedule here.
Date: July 2019
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Venue: North Elba Showgrounds
Scenic Lake Placid is a great show for both riders or spectators and is home to two of the nations most prestigious equine masterpieces, The Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows. At the show, you’ll see world class riders and horses participate in championship hunter and jumper competition. The show offers a wide range of classes, from USEF “AA” rated hunters to Jumper Classics. Lake Placid also has two Grand Prix classes with purses of $75,000-$100,000. View the time schedule here.
Date: August 25 – September 1, 2019
Location: Bridgehampton, NY
As one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States, and a premier destination for horse people, the Classic is a much-anticipated stop on the summer tour. Now well into its third successful decade, The Hampton Classic Horse Show is in a class all its own, both in the minds of spectators and horse people alike. At the Classic, you will see some of the top jumper riders from around the world compete for some of the richest prize money offered in the country. The Hampton Classic Horse Show is a grand way to end the summer. Held in high regard by the horse community, famous for its Hamptons Celebrity sightings, and second to none in high end shopping boutiques, it earns its nickname The Classic.
Date: September, 2019
Location: Upper Marlboro, MD
Venue: Prince George’s Equestrian Center
The Capital Challenge Horse show has drawn people from around the country to watch or compete in the unique combination of the Show Place Arena and large outdoor ring and experience the elaborate championship presentations. The Capital Challenge offers a limited number of entries in each division, which are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. This system has proven to be very successful and limiting entries has created a more exhibitor-friendly time schedule, kept class sizes manageable, and has ensured proper functioning of the facility. Classes include the Ariat Adult Medal Finals, the Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals and the World Champion Hunter Rider Finals and year-end presentations.
If you’re looking to attend horse shows in 2019, these competitions won’t disappoint.