Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (October 12, 2016) — Today, during an official ribbon cutting ceremony, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) joined Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding and other Central Pennsylvania leaders to celebrate the beginning of one of the nation’s most prestigious, premier equestrian competitions at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS) is one of the largest and most distinguished indoor shows in the U.S., hosting award-winning male and female Junior and Adult competitors who vie for eight national championships and over $500,000 in prize money. This year, Olympians are expected to join some of the country’s top contenders in the equestrian world.
“We are extremely proud to host and welcome the nation’s finest riders,” said Susie Webb, Executive Director of the PNHS. “This year’s spectacular showcase will feature exceptional competition, family-fun for all ages, and exciting special charity days. Also, we are thrilled to welcome home Sony Music Nashville’s Ben Gallaher to perform a wonderful country music finale presented by L.B. Smith Ford Lincoln following the Grand Prix on October 22,” she added.
“We are honored to again host the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and welcome Olympians, as well as some of America’s best competition horses and riders from a variety of disciplines all under one roof,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding. “The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center is our state’s premier agricultural events venue and our 71-year partnership with the Pennsylvania National Horse Show is evidence of that commitment to meeting the needs of the industry. We are looking forward to another successful show.”
A portion of the PNHS proceeds supports the PNHS Foundation’s therapeutic riding and rescue programs. Annually, over $30,000 is given back to communities and the Kiwanis Youth Foundation. Since inception, PNHS has donated approximately $1.68 million to Kiwanis programs supporting Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg, Ronald McDonald House, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and many more vital community organizations.
Hershey Harrisburg Sports and Events Authority and Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, along with Richard E. Jordan II, CEO and COB of Smith Land & Improvement Corporation (parent company of L.B. Smith Ford Lincoln) and Richard Franchella, Complex Manager of Morgan Stanley joined in commending the PNHS for their major economic impact and significant contributions to the Midstate.
“Approximately $40 million is infused into the Central Pennsylvania economy annually during the exhibition,” added Webb.
“Giving back to our local community is important to LB Smith Ford Lincoln, and we’re excited to support not only the world-class equestrians competing at the PA Farm Show but to join forces with the PNHS Foundation and the therapeutic riding programs through our sponsorship of Ben Gallaher’s concert after the Grand Prix,” said Richard E. Jordan II.
Morgan Stanley Complex Manager Richard Franchella joined in the excitement of the ceremony, and said, “Morgan Stanley is a proud sponsor of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and is pleased to highlight our local charities including the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.”
Other major attractions of the PNHS include charity themed days to fight hunger with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, promote breast cancer awareness alongside the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, and showcase therapeutic riders with some of the area’s local riding programs on Foundation Friday, over 70 vendors featuring gourmet food, antiques, and equestrian-related products, happy hour daily and free wine tasting with the Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey, a Family-Fun Day October 15 with mascots, carousel rides, story time with Award-winning author Cynthia A. Sudor, pony petting, and much more.
Sony Music Nashville’s Ben Gallaher echoed the sentiments shared by today’s ribbon cutting participants from his Nashville home. “I am so pumped to get back to my home state to play for the fans who have been with me from the beginning! Playing at the Farm Show Arena is always energizing, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to perform at such a prestigious event,” says Gallaher. “This is the first time a concert has ever concluded the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, so we are going to celebrate a spectacular week and close out the night with some rockin’ country music!”
The PNHS features the best in the sport of hunters and jumpers and is the launching ground for many future Olympians. In fact, this year alone, approximately eight Olympians from eight countries are competing in the Horse Show. More than 15,000 spectators and one million live feed viewers will be treated to ten days of outstanding competition as 1,400 top Junior and Adult competitors are expected to vie for eight national championships, including the prestigious Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Final and the Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual and Team Championships. It is also the only sport in the world where men and women compete equally and participants range in ages 5 to over 60 years old.
Ribbon cutting participants included, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding; Gregg Cook, Executive Director at Hershey Harrisburg Sporting and Events Authority; Susie Webb, Executive Director of PNHS; “Merlot” Mike Wilson, Vice President of Marketing at the Vineyard and Brewery of Hershey; Richard Franchella, Complex Manager of Morgan Stanley; Richard E. Jordan II, CEO and COB of Smith Land & Improvement Corporation (parent company of L.B. Smith Ford Lincoln); Sharon Altland, Executive Director of the Farm Show Complex; PNHS board members, Jennifer Pensinger, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition; Jennifer Powell, Director of Development at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and others.
For more information on the show, daily updates and schedule or to get tickets. visit panational.org or call (717)770-0222.