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Keep up with all the news, special programs and events at the Virginia Horse Center Foundation here!

Contact Emily at emr@phelpsmediagroup.com or by phone at (561)753-3389 for more media inquiries, to be added to our press release list, for photography credit information or with any additional questions.

Virginia Horse Trials: Upholding Tradition and a Focus for the Future

On Halloween weekend I took my first trip to the Virginia Horse Trials, anxious to see for myself what everyone had described as a gorgeous venue with a 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I intentionally left my camera at home, however, because for the first time in a long time, I would be attending a competition as a rider instead of a photographer.

VHC Sports Fields Concept Presented

A conceptual plan to develop youth sports fields at the Virginia Horse Center and a capital improvements plan to address the VHC’s maintenance needs were both approved Monday by the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors.

VHC Plans Shuttle to City

It looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The city of Lexington will continue to provide more funding to the Virginia Horse Center through an additional lodging tax. At the same time, in a gesture of reciproc- ity from the horse center, the city could benefit from a new shuttle service provided by the center to transport horse- show participants back and forth to area hotels and the downtown.

Buy a Trailer and Win $15,000 While Supporting the Virginia Horse Center

For those looking to purchase a new trailer of any kind, the time to buy is now. For a very limited time only, buyers purchasing a trailer from Blue Ridge Trailer Sales could also walk away with $15,000 cash. For every new, tandem axle trailer purchased through Blue Ridge Trailer Sales, located in Ruckersville, Virginia, the buyer will also receive an entry into the Virginia Horse Center raffle for their chance to win a brand-new 2015 Platinum Coach Bumper Pull 2 Horse Trailer or $15,000 cash. Only 500 total tickets are available, increasing entrants odds of winning, and less than 200 tickets remain and will go quickly.

Virginia Hunter Championships Award $60,000 in Successful Inaugural Year

Nestled across the state of Virginia in beautiful venues are some of the country's most historic, traditional horse shows, but in recent years, many of these stand-alone shows have seen a decline in participation. Keeping Virginia horse shows thriving and rewarding the riders and trainers who participate in them is the concept behind the all-new Virginia Hunter Championships, held for the first time on Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the Virginia Horse Center.

Mary Elizabeth Cordia Tops VHSA/EMO Medal Finals at Lexington National Horse Show

Mary Elizabeth Cordia has been competing in the Virginia Horse Show Association (VHSA) Finals for several years, leaving nearly every time with an impressive second place finish. However, until this year a VHSA Finals victory had escaped the young rider.

Winn Alden and Attila Top $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at Lexington National Horse Show

Betty and Ernie Oare just purchased Attila a month ago, and Winn Alden only sat on the gelding for the first time on Friday, but following the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Lexington National Horse Show, the owners, rider and talented gelding seemed every bit the veteran winning team.

Sarah Boston is Best in VHSA Children's Hunter Seat Medal Final

Sarah Boston, 15, worked hard throughout the year to qualify for the Virginia Horse Show Association (VHSA) Children's Hunter Seat Medal Final, so when she broke her foot a few weeks out from the final, she was not going to let that stop her.

Betty Oare Featured in Chronicle of The Horse

"On a sunny day 50 years ago this summer, Betty Oare jumped in her first, and only, grand prix on a grass field in Ohio. The day wasn’t just significant for Oare and Navy Commander, who was a wedding gift from her husband Ernest M. Oare and a consistent winner in the working hunters; it was also the first grand prix in the United States, attracting 10,000 spectators. Betty’s remained an integral part of the sport’s history since that memorable day in Cleveland, and this summer she and Ernie returned to the Chagrin Valley Horse Show (see p. 78) to serve as hunter judges for the same event."

Virginia Hunter Championships Debut August 4 at Virginia Horse Center

The state of Virginia is home to some of the nation’s longest standing and most historic hunter horse shows. And now the Virginia Hunter Championships offer an added incentive for riders and trainers competing at these notable shows within the commonwealth.

A Fine Fair For All

Beautiful weather, great music (and enthusiastic dancing), more vendors and food, an ideally self- starting and reliable fair committee − and above all, better attendance. In short, according to director Deborah Work, this year’s Rockbridge County Fair − more prop- erly, the Rockbridge Regional Fair and Farm Show − was a resounding success.

Equestrian Gardy Bloemers Pays It Forward With Philanthrophy - and Boots on the Ground

If you spend any time at the Virginia Horse Center (VHC), you're bound to come across Gardy Bloemers. She may be competing in the dressage arena, advising the management on a fundraiser or helping sell raffle tickets, but one way or another she is sure to be engaged in an activity that benefits the center.

Nicholson Announced as Course Designer for Virginia Horse Trials

Virginia Horse Trials, a long time destination event for East Coast eventers, announced Monday that international course designer John Nicholson will take over as the new FEI cross country course designer, beginning with the event’s staple FEI competition set to take place October 30 – November 1, 2015.

Harold Chopping and Evan Coluccio Earn Major Victories at Lexington Spring Encore

Harold Chopping's spring schedule has him traveling up and down the east coast, but this year he made sure to add a stop at the Virginia Horse Center - a stop that he is glad he made. During the Lexington Spring Premiere, Chopping rode to the win in the $25,000 George L. Ohrstorm Jr. Grand Prix and finished second in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

Brooke Kemper Claims Victory in $25,000 Rockbridge Grand Prix at Virginia Horse Center

When Brooke Kemper first started showing at the Virginia Horse Center, it was aboard ponies in a ring on top of a hill. The Horse Center did not yet house its large Anderson Coliseum, and Kemper was not yet clearing the five-foot fences that she so easily sails over today. Both Kemper and the Virginia Horse Center have come along way since the childhood days that Kemper fondly recalls spending there.

Sallie B. Wheeler/US Hunter Breeding National Championship Heads to Virginia Horse Center

The Sallie B. Wheeler/US Hunter Breeding National Championship - East Coast showcases many of the highest quality young horses in the country, and this summer they are coming to the Virginia Horse Center.

John Nicholson Named CEO of Virginia Horse Center

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation Board of Directors has ratified John Nicholson as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Virginia Horse Center. Following his highly successful 17-year tenure as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, Nicholson joined the Virginia Horse Center management team in May 2014, first as a consultant and most recently as the interim CEO, before officially assuming the CEO office.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Speaks at Virginia Horse Center

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made his first visit to the Virginia Horse Center on Monday, April 6. McAuliffe arrived by helicopter on Monday afternoon to address a crowd of more than 100 visitors gathered in the Horse Center’s Appomattox Mezzanine overlooking the Anderson Coliseum.

Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors Vote Unanimously in Support of Virginia Horse Center

Lexington, VA - March 25, 2015 - In June 2014, the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of allocating an additional one percent of the local occupancy tax to the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) for a two-year period. On Monday night, March 23, 2015, the Board of Supervisors again unanimously voted in the Virginia Horse Center's favor, this time extending the term of the additional one percent occupancy tax from two years to five years.

Virginia Horse Center Names New Chief Operating Officer, Leigh Anne Claywell

After conducting a thorough search, the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) has named Leigh Anne Claywell as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Horse Center.

Support the Virginia Horse Center and Win a Horse Trailer or $15,000!

Imagine donating $100 to the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) and in exchange receiving $15,000 or a brand-new horse trailer for you. Thanks to the work of a committed group of VHC supporters that is exactly what could happen.

AQHA Novice Championship Moves to Virginia Horse Center!

In a major announcement from the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) has officially been awarded the bid for the 2015 AQHA Nutrena East Level 1 (Novice) Championships. The AQHA East Level 1 Championships will make the move from Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Lexington, Virginia for the 2015 edition of the show, to be held September 30 - October 4.

VHC Getting Out of 'Intensive Care' - EDA OKs Conservation Easement for Property

The Virginia Horse Center cleared one hurdle last week in its bid to place in a conservation easement 77.6 percent of the VHC campus, or 445 of 573 acres. The Rockbridge County Economic Development authority gave its approval for the easement, expected to generate $1,980,000 in proceeds from tax credit sales through the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit program. If all of the necessary approvals for the easement can be secured, the nearly $2 million that would be gained would be used to pay down the principal of an $11.5 million loan the horse center took out several years ago with the USDA to consolidate the center's various capital debts. Paying down the principal by this amount would lower the annual debt payments on the USDA loan from $604,555 to $501,219.

Trainers compete in dog competition in Lexington

LEXINGTON, VA - LEXINGTON, Va (WSLS 10) - Hundreds of dogs and their handlers competed in the 5th annual Dog Agility Trial in Lexington this weekend. The trial chairman says two clubs hosted the event, the Star City Canine Club and the Dog Owners Club.

Phillip Dutton Among Top Riders Competing Beginning TOMORROW at the Virginia Horse Center!

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Fall Virginia Horse Trials at the Virginia Horse Center, and the event, to be held Fri., Oct. 31 - Sun., Nov. 2, is on track to be one of the biggest competitions to date. "We have 570 horses coming in for Beginner-Novice level through the CIC2*," said founder and manager ofthe Virginia Horse Trials, Brian Ross. "We have quite an international field of riders. Phillip Dutton is coming in and a few other top riders such as Lynn Symansky."

Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding to Hold Screening of Award Winning Film “Riding My Way Back”

Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center is pleased to announce a screening of “Riding My Way Back.” The new award winning, short documentary about the powerful healing of therapeutic riding for a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury will be screened at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. in the Horse Center’s Mezzanine. Tickets are available for $5.00 at the door with proceeds benefiting Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center. Light refreshments will be provided.

Virginia Horse Center to Host Dressage Championships This Weekend – PLUS Doggie Costume Show and More!

The Col. Bengt Ljungquist Memorial (CBLM) Championship is one of the oldest, most historic dressage championships in the United States, and this weekend, the annual show returns to the Virginia Horse Center for its 32nd year.

$1,000 Virginia Horse Center Hunter Classic THIS WEEKEND!

Hunter competitors could be riding away from this weekend’s House Mountain Horse Show at the Virginia Horse Center with more than just a beautiful ribbon and a positive show experience. For the first time, the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) is pleased to present the $1,000 VHC Hunter Classic.

Virginia Horse Center Foundation Names New Board Members

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Joining the Board as the Horse Center continues to expand its team of top-notch industry professionals and leaders are Bill Heizer, Tim Jennings and Brian Ross.

Virginia Horse Center Partners With PhelpsSports.com to Bring Extensive WEG Coverage!

In just three days, Normandy, France will transform into a hub of the world's best horses and riders in all eight of the FEI disciplines as the equestrian world ushers in the start of the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG).

Virginia Dressage Association Donates $12,000 to Virginia Horse Center

The Virginia Dressage Association (VADA) has long been a supporter of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation, and now, in recognition and support of the direction that the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) is heading, VADA members have voted in favor of a $12,000 donation to the Horse Center.

Turn Up the Lights Campaign - Team Winner!

We are pleased to announce that the Middlebrook General Store team raised the most money for the Turn Up the Lights campaign!

Hurricane Sandy - VHCF Evacuation Site

The Virginia Horse Center is an evacuation site for horses. Please call 540-464-2966 for reservations and more information.

Members' Choice - Lexington Spring Premiere!

The VHCF's Lexington Spring Premiere voted Members' Choice show.

Manager Update - Thoroughbred Celebration

Krista Hodgkin is named manager of Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show series.

Interview with Olympian Nina Ligon

Q&A with Nina Ligon of Esmont, Virginia covering her career and her experiences at the London Olympics.

Trailer Safety Seminar

Participate in this unique informational and hands-on trailer safety seminar on September 23 from 1-4pm.

2012 Barn Tour

Enjoy ten area farms while supporting the Virginia Horse Center through the VHCF Equestriennes 2012 Barn Tour!

New Sponsor - Cool Spring Organics Market & Cafe

The VHCF is pleased to announce a new sponsor partnership with our neighbor - Cool Spring Organics Market & Cafe

New Sponsor - Devils Backbone Brewery

We are thrilled to welcome Devils Backbone Brewery to the VHCF family!