Horse Shows in Wilmington, OH

World Equestrian Center’s state-of-the-art facility in Wilmington, Ohio is equipped to accommodate a variety of equestrian events. The facility is designed to offer the ultimate horse show experience for both horse and rider. Driven by a passion for horses and a commitment to supporting equestrian sports in the United States, the World Equestrian Center aims to return horse showing to its former grandeur, and to incorporate an element of fun reminiscent of horse shows of the past.

wilmington equestrian shows horse and rider clearing jump in competition

An Unforgettable Horse Show Experience

World Equestrian Center currently holds 32 USEF rated Hunter/Jumper horse shows each year. The majority of our Wilmington, Ohio horse shows are held in climate-controlled indoor areas. The Summer Series horse shows are staged in the outdoor rings.

Our prize lists feature a full slate of Hunter and Jumper divisions for juniors, amateurs and professionals. The majority of our horse shows feature classes from 2’ including divisions like Future Hunter and USHJA 2’ Hunter to more advanced classes for High Performance and Grand Prix. In the High-Performance classes horses are asked to jump a maximum of 4’ while at the Grand Prix level the fence heights can exceed 1.45m.

Weekly jumper highlights at the World Equestrian Center horse shows include a $7,500 Futures Prix, for horses and riders that aspire to the Grand Prix ranks. There is a $5,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday evenings. Then on Saturday evenings, the $25,000 Grand Prix is center stage. Spectators are welcome and entry is free and open to the public.

Hunter highlights at the World Equestrian Center include a weekly $2,500 USHJA National 3’ Hunter Derby. Each horse show includes a full slate of pony divisions held in the Roberts Arena, which is virtually dedicated to pony classes on the weekends.

Several top Quarter Horse shows call the World Equestrian Center home including the Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships, the Tom Powers Triple Futurity, the SOQHA Madness and The Tough Enough to Wear Pink Horse Show.

The World Equestrian Center has hosted many prestigious events including the USHJA Emerging Athletes training program in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The facility welcomed a Dressage Master Class clinic with two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Charlotte Dujardin in 2017. The facility hosted the USHJA Young Hunter Pony Championships in 2018 and a USHJA Gold Star Clinic in 2019.

What is the NSBA and WEC position of Safe Sport?

Safe Sport, World Equestrian Center and the NSBA will comply with all requirements for amateur sport as set forth in the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act and will refer all complaints to the United States Center for Safe Sport for independent investigation. World Equestrian Center shall uphold standards equal to those set forth in the Equestrian NGB’s Safe Sport Policy. World Equestrian Center shall give full reciprocity to any sanctions imposed by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport that are published on the Centralized Disciplinary Database.

Types of Horse Show Events at World Equestrian Center

World Equestrian Center hosts a diverse group of equestrian events in Wilmington, Ohio each year. Equestrian sports are part of the Olympics and are the only sports where men and women compete equally. Below is a guide to what types of horse show events spectators might attend at the World Equestrian Center:

wilmington equestrian shows horse and ride jump hunters competition


Hunter divisions originate from the hunt field. Most of the judging and rules criteria originate from the tradition of fox hunting. In the show arena, both the horse and rider are judged individually and as a team. Horses are judged on a variety of points, including hunting pace, style of jumping movement and manners.

Horses in hunter classes are stylishly presented with braided manes and tails. This is considered a throwback to the days in the hunt field when braids kept manes from getting tangled in the underbrush. The hunter’s tack, or saddles and bridles, are generally brown and very simple. The rider’s clothing is another nod to tradition with tan breeches, white shirts and tall black leather boots. Tailored jackets are dark in color. Any embellishments in the hunter ring are subtle.


Riders are judged on their position and the ability to communicate and control their mount with invisible aids and their ability to execute the questions posed on course.

wilmington equestrian shows showjumping


While show hunters have evolved in a unique way in the United States to become a uniquely American discipline, jumping is truly an international sport. Aside from horse racing, jumping is perhaps the most recognized equestrian sport in the World.

Showjumping is an international equestrian sport based on the horse and rider negotiating a course of fences against the clock. It is a thrilling spectator sport, which tests the sheer power and speed of the equine athlete. Showjumping also showcases the incredible relationship and communication between horse and rider. In top competition, such as the Olympics, fence heights can reach up to 1.60 meters.

Showjumping is based on an allotted time determined. Penalty points accrue when a horse knocks down a rail or refuses an element on course. The goal is to achieve a fast, ‘clean’ round, as each rail costs the pair four faults. If a horse refuses a jump or goes too slowly around the course, penalties with time faults affect their score. Two refusals or a fall of horse and rider on course will result in elimination. Riders ‘walk the course’ before the competition to count the number of strides between fences. Riders also create their strategy for the course during the course walk.

wilmington equestrian shows jump off competition

Jump Off

When more than one horse and rider combination goes clear in a showjumping competition, they qualify for the ‘jump-off.’ The jump-off consists of a horse and rider who went clear in the first round of the competition coming back to negotiate a shorter course in a compressed period of time. The jump-off keeps spectators on the edge of their seats, while horses and riders go for broke and try for the win.

To learn more about breeds and the types of sanctioned equestrian events in the United States, please visit the United States Equestrian Federation, or explore the Hunter discipline and the sport of Jumping from the United States Hunter Jumper Association.

wilmington equestrian shows western competition


The Western disciplines in the United States are dominated by the American Quarter Horse breed. Western disciplines include Pleasure, Trail and Halter, as well as Reining, Barrel Racing and Cutting.

The World Equestrian Center facility is also the venue of choice for some of the nation’s top Quarter Horse shows. These include The SOQHA Madness, the AQHA Level I Championships and the Tom Powers Triple Futurity. These are shows that feature the Quarter Horse breed exclusively.

Spectators can learn more about Quarter Horses and Western-style riding from the American Quarter Horse Association.

wilmington equestrian shows dressage


Dressage is an elegant equestrian discipline defined as the art of riding and training a horse in a manner developing obedience, flexibility, and balance. Many refer to it as ballet on horseback. Due to their size and layout, the World Equestrian Center arenas perfectly suit Dressage events.

In 2017, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Charlotte DuJardin of Great Britain gave an exclusive Dressage Master Class at the World Equestrian Center in Ohio. Auditors at the event enjoyed a VIP experience that included exclusive shopping, fine dining and a meet and greet /autograph session with the Olympian.

Spectators can learn more about the sport of Dressage by visiting the United States Dressage Federation.

wilmington equestrian shows after hours family fun

After-Hours Events

Family-friendly after-hours social and sporting events have become a hallmark of the World Equestrian Center. Once the horses are in their stalls, rings transform into beach soccer, volleyball or dodge ball courts. Popular movies headline drive-in movie nights where families can park golf carts full of kids and dogs to watch movies and enjoy fresh popcorn and snacks. Equestrians try their hands at various un-mounted competitions including horseless horse shows, volleyball tournaments, dog races and ‘ride and drive’ golf cart obstacle courses. The after-hours activities at the World Equestrian Center change each week. However, the theme remains the same and that is to have fun.

If you are searching for a horse show venue, consider the World Equestrian Center as the perfect location. Determine the timeline of the horse show and venue that suits you best. Take a few moments to complete our contact form for more information . Someone from our staff will contact you to answer any questions and schedule your Wilmington, Ohio horse show.