The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), a major equestrian event based in Washington, D.C. since 1958, generates nearly $7 million in economic impact to the District of Columbia annually, according to a study conducted by Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D., Dwight Schar Faculty Chair and Director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
“During these difficult economic times, it was important for the show to evaluate its spending and its positive financial impact on the city. We want to ensure that the show not only continues to thrive but also contributes to Washington, our home for fifty-two years. We are very happy with Dr. Fuller's findings,” said Juliet Reid, President, WIHS.
“The direct spending by WIHS to stage the show annually and the spending by vendors, exhibitors, competitors and attendees while in the city participating or attending the show generates significant economic benefits for the District of Columbia economy,” said Fuller.
“The impact of the show also underscores the interdependence of the region. The show’s unique offering, a competition including Olympic and professional riders, attracts visitors from the suburbs, who attend the show and in so doing, rediscover the benefits of the District and then return again and again throughout the year.”
The study examined total outlays for the six-day horse show, which included staging the show, outlays by more than 50 vendors and 1,500 exhibitors and competitors, and on- and off-site spending by 20,000 attendees for consumer goods and services. The total value of goods and services generated directly and indirectly was $6.7 million for the 2008 event. The show's economic impact also included $730,000 in new personal earnings benefiting workers residing in the city and supported 36 full-time, year-round equivalent jobs locally and elsewhere in the broader economy.
“The Washington International Horse Show is a cornerstone of equestrian competition in the U.S.,” said Tony Hitchcock, Chief Operating Officer of WIHS. “For decades, this year-end indoor horse show has been the engine driving horse show competition from coast to coast. Horse trainers and riders work hard each year to qualify to show in this prestigious event,” he said. “Our immediate goals for 2010 are to continue the event’s proud traditions while reaching out to the city and community to build new business relationships that will benefit both the horse show and the greater Washington region.”