What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Fun Bustin’ Muttons at WIHS

November 18, 2011 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Sure, the 53rd annual Washington International Horse Show (October 23-28, 2011 at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.) may have been home to such prestigious competitions as the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI3*-W, the WIHS Equitation Classic Finals and the $25,000 Puissance, but what folks really came out to see was the tough as nails riders who braved the fiercely competitive mutton-busting class. That’s right, Mutton Busting! Show us a rider who will don a full-face helmet, wind their fingers through the rough wool of a writhing sheep and hang on for dear life as said sheep runs for its own, and we’ll show you a true champion.

Hats off to all the 2011 WIHS Mutton Busters, and especially to this year’s Mutton Busting Champion, 8-year-old Marissa Jones of River Chase Farm.

Out of the gate they came, in a fast-moving blaze of thick wool and hooved fury. . .

. . . Some riders kept their eyes bravely forward, determined to tame their mutton by ring's end.

While others thought it best to ride blind, and pray for the ride's end.

Parting ways with their mutton was easier for some rather than others, but every brave rider emerged unscathed.

It was all in a days work for these steeds. As for the riders, they were back at the barn, hugging their ponies with new appreciation!