Jenny Searles is a 15-year-old homeschooler from Gaithersburg. She is a member of the Maryland State 4-H Hippology team and she will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, in November for the Eastern National Horse Roundup. Jenny competes with her knowledge of all things pertaining to horses. She is also a Montgomery County Agricultural Fair princess. As a member of the fair royalty, Jenny took her horse, Samson, to libraries and other venues over the summer to promote the Montgomery County Agriculture Fair. She earned the distinction of being the first person to bring a horse “into” a Montgomery County library. This is Jenny's second year on the Junior Committee.
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the leading metropolitan indoor horse show in the U.S. This six-day event is held annually in October at Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
This year’s Washington International Horse Show will take place Oct. 21-26.
In 2009 WIHS introduced its Junior Committee and Youth Ambassador Program, which selects teens to represent the show’s youth perspective and support Washington International Horse Show staff while gaining hands on experience. Applications are due in April. Those who have been selected have the opportunity to be considered for Youth Ambassador by submitting a more extensive application.
All applicants for the Washington International Horse Show Junior Committee and Youth Ambassador must be students between the ages of 14 and 18. Applicants must demonstrate they are well versed in the horse world and be able to articulate when asked questions about the Washington International Horse Show or classes at the horse show. They should demonstrate they are comfortable with special events, the press, TV, radio, print and be active in social media. In addition, applicants for Youth Ambassador should demonstrate leadership experience as he or she will serve as chairman of the WIHS Junior Committee, a group of approximately 20 students.
In the months leading up to the Washington International Horse Show in October, the Junior Committee is encouraged to attend local horse shows, attend meetings and conference calls, and participate in other related activities. During the show, the Junior Committee helps manage Washington International Horse Show youth events such as Kids’ Day and Barn Night, give tours, present ribbons, assist with autograph and book signing sessions, take lunches to judges, escort VIPs to the platforms, help in the souvenir stand, meet with press and do interviews under the direction of the marketing team.
There are also opportunities to view and enjoy the show. During show week, the hours are very long and rather intense, but very exciting. School work and education are a priority for Junior Committee members and Washington International Horse Show is flexible of hours during the weekdays.