The Pennsylvania National Horse Show brought over 1,400 horses and 10,000 spectators to the annual event hosted at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg from October 10 to 19. Riders contended for their share of $450,000 in prize money throughout the nine days of competition, drawing top competitors from across the country and far corners of the world. The competition was highlighted by the crowd-pleasing $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
Unlike most shows, proceeds from the Pennsylvania National are donated to equine and youth programs in the Harrisburg area, an amount that has surpassed $1.5 million since the inception of the program, according to Pennsylvania National officials. “The horse show started out for the Kiwanis Youth Foundation, and then they recently added Pennsylvania Nationals Foundation,” said Seirra Lesny, Youth Ambassador for the horse show.
Additionally, the show largely impacts the Harrisburg community through the large amount of hotel, restaurant and other local business patronage during the annual event. It is estimated that the event has returned over $36 million to the local community throughout the years, according to officials.
Riders of all ages and levels love showing at the Pennsylvania National and continue to return year after year due to the quality of competition and venue. “This is the first indoor show I ever went to, so it’s always sentimental to me. And it’s a nice venue for the horses.” said Lauren Tisbo, who trains out of Wellington and competes in the open jumpers.
Additional attractions this year included behind the scenes tours, exhibitions from the Canadian Cowgirl Drill Team and a visit from Joey the War Horse puppet, among other extras.
Next years show is scheduled for October 9-18 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.