Hillary Dobbs Named Leading Open Jumper Rider Two Consecutive Years at the Washington International Horse Show
RELEASE: November 6, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Sydney Masters
Hillary Dobbs, last year's Leading Open Jumper Rider, returned to defend her title at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) and retained it for the second consecutive year. The 19-year-old equestrian did this by taking the blue ribbon in the $20,000 Gambler's Choice aboard Marengo, her horse that won two classes last year.
A rising star in the show jumping world and full time Harvard student, Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, and Palm Beach, FL, is the daughter of CNN reporter Lou Dobbs. Dobbs first took top honors at the WIHS by winning the $20,000 International Open Jumper class. The top three finishers in the class jumped without fault, but Dobbs won on Marengo in a time of 35.58 seconds. She defeated Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, who placed second on Pavarotti; and Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ontario, who placed third on Black Ice. Henselwood helped Canada to an Olympic Silver medal this past summer in Hong Kong.
Dobbs rounded out the week with her third win in the open jumpers once again aboard Marengo in the $20,000 Hit and Hurry class, an always exciting and crowd-pleasing jumper class. Her incredible success gave her the Leading Open Jumper Rider title for the second year in a row. The standing North American indoor Puissance (high jump) record of 7 feet, 7 1/2 inches was set at Washington in 1983 by Anthony D'Ambrosio and Sweet N' Low, also a crowd favorite, but the record has yet to be broken.
Dobbs finished Indoor Finals and then headed back to Harvard for midterm finals. She will be a feature at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington once again. She is the youngest rider ever to win the Hampton Classic $200,000 Grand Prix, stealing the title from Olympic veteran McLain Ward, who won it at 22. She also was the youngest to win the Swedish Derby, her first this summer, when she rode on two U.S. Nations Cup Gold-winning teams. She was the highest-placed rider at the Dublin Horse Show all while flying back and forth during the summer to the U.S. to compete at the Vermont Summer Festival, where she won numerous grand prix, and was given two prestigious awards by the United States Equestrian Team this year.
An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show brings top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic champions, to the nation's capital to compete for more than $400,000 in prize money and championship titles.
WIHS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is proud to partner with the National Capital Area Chapter of Autism Speaks, an organization working to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.
The Verizon Center has been the home of the Washington International Horse Show since 2000.