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SAP Creates Innovative New Fan App to Judge WIHS Equitation Finals

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2015--The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) is excited to announce an innovative new app prototype, created by SAP, the official Technology Sponsor of WIHS, which will allow audience members to judge the 2015 WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP, live from their seats at Verizon Center and as they watch the live stream.

The 57th annual WIHS runs October 20-25, 2015, featuring six days of world-class competition in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. The 2015 WIHS Equitation Finals will host a hunter phase on Friday, October 24, and a jumper phase and final work-off on Saturday, October 25. The WIHS Equitation Finals is a dynamic showcase for precision, performance and sporting achievement seen at the highest level of equestrian competition. The Finals is an opportunity for 40 of the nation’s top junior talent to compete at a prestigious national event which has consistently served as a proving ground for future Grand Prix and Olympic riders.

One of the most exciting new additions to this year's event, the WIHS Audience Judging App prototype, is a fun way for anyone to be involved with the competition by judging along on the WIHS Equitation Finals. The app is a user-friendly, forward-thinking technology that has previously been introduced as a co-innovation by SAP and the CHIO Aachen in Germany for Dressage and Vaulting to further engage and educate audience members in the sport.

The audience in the stands at Verizon Center or at home through the WIHS live stream can judge the WIHS Equitation Finals hunter phase, jumper phase, and top ten work-off, giving their marks and scores to see how they compare with the esteemed judging panel at the show in real-time. The app then shows the official standings and the audience as well as each fan’s individual standings of the class as users follow along.

“We are excited to progress with the future of equestrian sport and feature this innovative new app that will greatly enhance the experience of our spectators,” said WIHS President Vicki Lowell. “SAP has brought audience engagement to a whole new level in the equestrian world, and we hope this app will be a fun addition for all of our fans. I hope that viewers will be more invested in the results of the competition as they personally rate the rides and learn more about rules, judging and scoring. This app will be the forefront of a whole new way to experience equestrian competitions, and we are proud to lead the way with this modern advance in the United States.”

As the competition takes place, spectators can simply hold their smartphones and type their own numerical score into their mobile device rating the equestrian performances like the judges do. Immediately after each ride they can see how their rating compares to that of the judges and the overall audience. This is an opportunity for viewers to learn about and participate in the sport more than ever before, making it more hands-on – and thus more exciting – for the fans!

In addition to judging, fans using the app can click on the entries to see biographical information on the riders and horses, get a quick "how to" guide, and access the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Rules and Judging Criteria for Equitation to brush up on their skills. Sharing thoughts and following us #WIHS is easy using the Twitter link on the app.

As a Technology Sponsor of the FEI European Championships 2015 and the CHIO Aachen, SAP helps to enrich the fan experience at equestrian events and looks forward to partnering with WIHS for the first time this year.

“The Washington International Horse Show is a landmark in the Equestrian Sports Calendar and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” said Torie Clarke, Head of SAP Global Corporate Affairs. “It presents a perfect opportunity for SAP to put fans in the center of the action and simplify the Equestrian Sports experience powered by SAP HANA.”

Julie Winkel has judged the WIHS Equitation Finals in the past and now holds chairs on several different committees that brought her into the development process of the WIHS Audience Judging App. Winkel is Chairman of the Judges Committee for the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and Chairman of the Continuing Education Committee as well as Co-Chair of the Licensed Officials Committee for the USEF.

“It is certainly innovative,” Winkel said of the app. “What I am most excited about is that it is going to be an educational tool for the general public to follow along with the class, to understand scoring, and to be able to watch and compare the riders. It will help the audience gain further knowledge and understand the scoring.”

“I have been a judge in the past for the WIHS Equitation Finals, and I think it is an exciting app to bring everyone together,” Winkel added. “I think it really helps with the interest of the class, understanding what the judges are looking for, and also sometimes how difficult it is for the judges to make a decision when you have so many good riders.”

The 2015 Washington International Horse Show looks forward to hosting the nation’s top junior riders for the WIHS Equitation Finals, presented by SAP, on Friday, October 23, and Saturday, October 24.

Come out to Verizon Center to cheer on your favorites and judge live – tickets are available for purchase at www.Ticketmaster.com. Tune in to the WIHS Live Stream at www.wihs.org if you can’t make it to the show. The show schedule is available at www.wihs.org/schedule.

The “WIHS 2015” app for iOS or Android will be available for download with the start of the show. Get ready to judge – we look forward to the audience rankings!

About WIHS, www.wihs.org
Established in 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is one of the most prestigious equestrian sporting events in the U.S. More than 26,000 spectators attend the six-day show, which includes Olympic-level competition along with community and charity events. More than 500 top horses and riders come to D.C. from all over the globe to jump for more than a half a million dollars in prize money. Event highlights include the $125,000 Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, for the President's Cup (Saturday night), The Boeing Company Puissance high jump competition on Military Night (Friday) and Kids' Day (Saturday), a free, fun and educational community event. The Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and is recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group. WIHS is rated CSI4*-W by the Fédération Equestre Internationale, the world governing body for horse sports.