Local Teen Equestrian Picked as Advisor for Prestigious DC Horse Show
Davidsonville teen Natalie Wachowiak was recently selected to serve on the exclusive Junior Committee for the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), a premier equestrian event held annually at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
The event draws leading horses and riders from around the nation and the world as well as tens of thousands of equestrians, non-equestrians and celebrity spectators.
Natalie was one of fifteen teens selected from throughout the Washington metropolitan area to serve on the committee. As a member, she will advise show organizers on how to reach the younger equestrian audience.
To say Natalie loves horses is an understatement. She had her first pony ride at the age of seven. Since then, Natalie has been taking lessons at local barns, spending summers as a camp counselor, participating in local shows, helping with Maryland Therapeutic Riding and spending every free moment trying to find a way to ride even more.
“I love horseback riding,” Natalie said. “It’s a challenging sport that requires focus and commitment. Plus I love animals.”
Earlier this year, Natalie, along with 40 others, submitted applications to serve on the WIHS Junior Committee. In June, Natalie got a call from WIHS’ Marketing and Community Relations Director Diana Hosford saying she had been selected.
“I was so excited,” Natalie said. “This show is a really big deal. The best riders from all around the country will be there and I get to be a part of it. It’s a dream come true.”
Hosford said this is the third year the WIHS has hosted a junior committee. Responsibilities include running Kids Day, volunteering at Barn Night (a night for locals to show their spirit), helping with local media opportunities and acting as ambassadors to generate excitement for the show.
Hosford said she was drawn to Natalie’s application because of her commitment to the equestrian world and her experience with video production. Natalie has a video production “company” called Natalie Rose Productions.
Hosford plans on having Natalie shoot footage and conduct on-camera interviews throughout the four-day show with the hopes of sharing it through social media outlets.
“Our junior committee members are the future of the equestrian world,” Hosford said. “With Natalie’s help we will continue to build excitement and enthusiasm for the horse show world and the WIHS.”
Natalie’s trainer Alice Frazier at Enticement-Obligation barn in Davidsonville, said being part of such a prestigious show is a big deal.
“This is a blue-ribbon gig,” Frasier said. “We are all very proud of and excited for Natalie.”
For Natalie, being part of the junior committee is just one more way to spend even more time around the sport and animal she loves.
“I hope to ride at the WIHS one day,” said Natalie. “It would be a great honor.”
WIHS events include show jumping, dressage, hunter and equitation competition, plus Kids’ Day, Barn Night and special exhibitions.
The Washington International Horse Show runs from Oct. 23 to 28. Barn Night is on Thursday and Kids Day is on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.