The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS), one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events, is honored to announce Elizabeth Kruse of McLean, Va., as Youth Ambassador of the 2013 show.

Elizabeth Kruse with Chablis. Photo Credit: Diana Hosford

Elizabeth Kruse with Chablis. Photo Credit: Diana Hosford

Kruse, 16, is a rising junior at Langley High School in McLean, and competes often. She showed at WIHS last year for the first time and competed at the WIHS Regional Horse Show in 2009. She has attended WIHS for many years with her friends and family and was on the WIHS Junior Committee in 2012. Originally from Minnesota, Kruse has been riding for many years and brings knowledge and excitement along with her love of horses and horse sport to the role of WIHS Youth Ambassador.

“I’m so excited to be able to work with the Junior Committee and everyone at WIHS to put on the most successful horse show yet! This is a highlight of the horse world, and is so special being held in our nation’s capital. I can’t wait to share all that these amazing equines and equestrians alike can do with our area’s youth,” said Kruse.

The role of the WIHS Youth Ambassador, this year and since the program began in 2009, is to be a voice for young equestrians in the Washington D.C. metro area. Kruse will oversee the WIHS Junior Committee and continue to build youth programs and special opportunities for the Junior Committee and the show to engage in the community from young rider events to Barn Night and Kids’ Day.

The Junior Committee consists of students from public, charter and private schools in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and as students graduate and go to college, a new class of members comes on board. The 2013 Junior Committee includes 20 members, 11 of whom are returning members, who will mentor the new class. (See attached 2013 WIHS Junior Committee Member list.)

“It’s great to see how interest in the Junior Committee and Youth Ambassador program has grown over the past five years,” said Bridget Love Meehan, WIHS Executive Director. “It’s terrific to see the kids working together throughout the summer and fall, and the incredible energy, great ideas and enthusiasm they bring to the projects they take on.”

WIHS received many applications from very qualified students in the D.C. metro area and beyond. Kruse will serve as the fifth WIHS Youth Ambassador following Jamal Brown, Anna Rossi, Shannon Miglarese and Hanna Powers.

The 55th annual Washington International Horse Show will be held October 22-27, 2013 at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

2013 Washington International Horse Show Junior Committee:

Mary Elizabeth Cordia, 15, St. Stephens & St. Agnes School, started riding on her 7th birthday. She won the Laura Pickett Trophy for Excellence in Horsemanship in 2012.

Terry Daniels, 16, attends KIPP DC: College Prep. He started riding three years ago and also loves trying new foods. This is Terry’s third year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Jessica Diaz, 17, attends The Keystone School. She has been riding her whole life and is originally from California. This is Jessica’s second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Miriam Dupree, 15, attends The Potomac School. She started riding at 3 years old, and loves hiking and traveling.

Emily Lunsford, 16, Tuscarora High School, started riding when she was 8, and she also loves photography.

Olivia McCarren, 13, goes to Westland Middle School and started riding when she was 7. This is Olivia’s second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Caroline McGranahan, 16, attends Langley High School. She started riding about age 10 and is a huge Washington Nationals fan.

Rachel Michael, 14, attends The Madeira School. She started riding when she was 6 and this will be her third year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Alexis Mozeleski, 16, attends Washington International School. She began riding at age 7 and she loves writing. This is Alexis’ second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Madeline Poss, 16, attends Poolesville High School. She started riding at age 5 and she loves to go to the beach. This is Madeline’s second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Hanna Powers, 16, attends The Madeira School and is excited for a second year on the WIHS team. Hanna was the 2012 Youth Ambassador.

Natalie Ralston, 15, attends Langley High School. She started riding at age 7 and has been playing the flute since the first grade.

Gaby Ruff, 16, attends Thomas Edison High School. She started riding at age 12 and she loves macaroons. This is Gaby’s third year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Casey Schmitz, 16, attends Stone Bridge High School. She began riding at age 5, and likes to go fishing and anything chocolate!

Jenny Searles, 14, is a homeschooler. She started riding at the age of 7. In November she will represent the state of Maryland in the 4-H Eastern National Horse Bowl competition in Louisville, Ky.

Chace Simmons, 14, attends Colonial Forge High School. She started riding at 5 and also likes art and architectural design.

Isabel Stettinius, 14, attends Foxcroft School. She started riding at 5, and also enjoys playing tennis.

Erin Suidikas, 17, attends WT Woodson High School and has been riding for ten years, working and training with professionals in several disciplines. This is Erin’s second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Natale Wachowiak, 15, attends South River High School. She started riding at age 6, competes at local shows and loves to make videos. This is Natalie’s second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

Madeline Zehner, 18, graduated from South River High School. She began riding at 4 and loves dogs. This is Madeline’s second year on the WIHS Junior Committee.

The Washington International Horse Show will be held this year on October 22-27, 2013 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. For more information go to WIHS.org