[Photo: Virginia Horse Center Foundation]
“There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man”
Sir Winston Churchill
I have been investigating “horsey” opportunities in this great state and (SHHHH!) travelling incognito.
I tried and failed to disguise myself as an expert in the field. But even though I don’t know the difference between a bit and a bite, folks in the virtual equine world were kindly willing to tolerate my questions.
“Where can a horsey person enter a competition?” I asked.
“Where can I go to buy a horse?”
“And where is there a great horse show?”
“Is there one special place you would recommend?”
The answer was and is the Virginia Horse Center Foundation in Lexington, Virginia, a world-class haven for horses and horse lovers that is at the forefront of the Commonwealth’s $1.2 billion equine industry.
Think about 600 acres of grounds and a 4,000 seat coliseum, eight barns for 1,200 horses, 19 show rings, cross-country and combined carriage driving courses, and campgrounds.
The facility serves over 500,000 people and 100,000 animals and offers an endless list of categories for events, including:
- Auctions and Sales
- Barrel Racing
- Breed Shows
- Therapeutic Riding
- Trail Riding
- Youth Programs
- And More
The center also hosts non-equine events like farmers’ markets, concerts, training clinics, and industry seminars.
I saw a great dog show there not long ago! And the Rockbridge Regional Fair and Farm Show is a yearly feature.
The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which owns and operates the Virginia Horse Center. The Foundation manages 115 events annually, most free and open to the public. Host to the Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center, the Foundation’s mission is to enrich lives with programs focused on recreation, education, and preservation.
Whether you own a horse, love one, or love looking at them, The Virginia Horse Center is an equine smorgasbord of endless fascination. There is also a Virginia Horse Center Online Store where you can find apparel to fit the horsey set! Did you think I would forget shopping?
To learn more, be sure to check the The Virginia Horse Center’s website or take a minute to view a sampling of upcoming events below.
‘Til we meet again… The Virginia Shopper!
Category: Breed Shows
8/29/2013 – 9/1/2013
Andalusian & Lusitano Breed Horse Show
Dressage Horse Show
8/30/2013 – 8/31/2013
An unforgettable evening of family entertainment, and a must see for all horse lovers.
8/31/2013 – 9/1/2013
This show offers a cross-country schooling day on Saturday and Start Horse Trials on Sunday in which riders compete in dressage, cross-country jumping, and show jumping.
Blue Ridge Horse Force sanctioned horse show featuring a variety of Hunter, Western, Gymkhana and Equitation classes. New this year is Games and Gymkhana in the Northern Arena.
Mountain Music jam session honoring our mountain heritage. Musicians welcome to play and audience encouraged to sing and dance along.
9/18/2013 – 9/22/2013
Halter and performance classes for Saddlebred horses and Hackney ponies.
Category: Breed Shows
10/1/2013 – 10/6/2013
Friesian Keuring & Grand National Horse Show
10/11/2013 – 10/12/2013
Show benefiting the Old Dominion Futurity will feature 3-gaited, 5-gaited, fine harness, park, pleasure prospect, equitation, academy, children’s, fun classes and more.
10/17/2013 – 10/20/2013
Amateur and professional riders and horses from over ten states compete during this four day championship dressage competition including musical freestyle and grand prix classes.
10/25/2013 – 10/27/2013
The only three day Hunter/Jumper horse show in the United States for Off the Track Thoroughbreds or those bred to race.
The Virginia Shopper (Dorothy) is always searching for the very best of Virginia when it comes to shopping, entertainment and places to visit.
For more of her fabulous finds and recommendations, follow her on Twitter @VAShopperDor.