This was SO helpful, thank you so much!! Nice to hear it isn’t impossible. Ive competed in eventing for a while at some of the biggest shows; I am still a Young Rider nice and brave:D so I’m not too worried about me being freaked out, and as for my horse, hes a fantastic show jumper, very honest.
I did the high adult classic last night (as opposed to the low jr/amateur owners, which have a couple classes). It was my first time at the Verizon Center. I did about 6 WIHS classics since May, when I started showing my new horse in the highs. I was ranked about 50th at the time the qualifying period ended in September, but like some people have said, it may be possible to get in with zero points.
The course was the biggest I’ve jumped on him, set pretty much at the maximum 1.15m (I think 3’9") high and almost 1.25m wide. And the poles were light, so my ex-event horse just tapped the fronts of a few oxers with his front toe and they came down.
For costs, I think the nomination fee is non-refundable and about $175, but not sure. If you get in and accept, the rest of the fees altogether come to about $1700. Then, you will need a place to stay overnight, so factor that in.
My horse actually handled the atmosphere well. I got to hack in the ring Tuesday at 11pm, and then on Wednesday morning at 4am. That is basically the only time your horse gets out of the stall besides being able to walk on the concrete up and down the street where the stabling is fenced off or up and down the ramp to the Verizon Center. And you get to “hack” with 20-30 other horses, everyone going the same direction and some people jumping the 2 schooling jumps in the middle of the ring (in the main ring).
As people have said, the schooling ring is probably not even 15m wide and maybe 6-7 canter strides long. My horse wasn’t happy in there when people started jumping, so all I got to warm up for the class was about 1-2 minutes of trotting and I cantered 2 fences.
In the ring, he was definitely more tense than usual, but being the wonderful boy he is, he never said “no.” My goal for this year was to get around and give him a good experience. I hope I can return next year and be more competitive because I think of competing at a new level in 3 stages: survival, consistency, then competitive. So, I expected us to regress.
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please ask or IM me.