March 2011

Houston's Pin Oak Charity Horse Show
Houston's Pin Oak Charity Horse Show
adds new breeds, events, and prize money

Presented once again by BBVA Compass, Houston’s historic Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will be held March 23 – 27 and March 29 – April 3 at Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX. The 66-year-old equestrian event, one of the oldest Open shows in the U.S., has become one of the top venues in North America for Hunters, Jumpers, American Saddlebreds, Andalusian and Lusitano horses, Welsh ponies, United Mountain horses, and new this year, Irish Draught horses. The show benefits Texas Children’s Hospital and Houston’s Ronald McDonald House, Family Rooms.

This year, Pin Oak’s two week show forms the first two legs of a powerhouse triumvirate of high-level hunter and jumper competition—the Texas High Performance Series, which with the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show, also at Great Southwest, runs through April 11.  Together, the two shows will offer over a half million dollars in prize money.

This is the kind of innovative thinking that Pin Oak has implemented to update its Hunter / Jumper offerings, in lockstep with the USHJA’s recommendations on how to better serve the needs of its members.  Pin Oak added a $15,000. 3’6” – 4’ USHJA International Hunter Derby, Presented by Valobra Jewelry and Antiques two years ago, which has been a hugely successful event for both riders and show sponsors.  For 2011, a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby joins the roster, with fences from 3’ 0” to 3’ 3”.  These competitions are structured in the format that the USHJA commission said would be ideal—i.e. higher fences equal higher prize money with the addition of the 4’ High Performance Hunters and the 3’6”-3’9” Performance Hunters. With $120,000 in Hunter prize money from Pin Oak, and $190,000 from Spring Gathering, the Texas High Performance Series should have no problem pulling nationally ranked riders from Florida and California.

According to Pin Oak President Lynn Walsh, the facility infrastructure behind these new events is newsworthy as well.