Special Guests and Events
Austin Anderson and the Texas Trick Riders
Austin Anderson is a third generation entertainer having performed with his parents’ shows since the age of four. He is backed by The Texas White Horse Ranch, the leader in equine entertainment for over 40 years. Created in 2004, the Texas Trick Riders cater to state fairs and expos. Only the best acts are part of an action packed show. A movie stunt man, horseman, and entertainer, Austin draws from his vast experience to help produce the show. Austin Anderson will be appearing all three days of the Virginia Horse Festival. This unique show is not to be missed.
Did you know that there are key techniques and tools that you can apply today to reduce your risk of injury?
Introducing LandSafe – a revolutionary new training program designed to teach the best practices of fall prevention and response. Join the sport’s top equestrian safety experts Danny and Keli Warrington for this life-changing opportunity to learn and apply key fall safety techniques for using a one-of-a-kind proprietary fall simulator.
Date: March 24-25, 2018
Register: For more information or to regsiter contact:
Full Program (2 days gymnastics & simulator) – $325 per person
Gymnastics ONLY (2 days of gymnastics, no simulator) – $165 per person
Check out highlights from 2017
Secretariat’s Birthday Celebration
The annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration at the Virginia Horse Festival March 24-26 promises to be another memorable gathering for “big fans of Big Red.” Here are highlights of the preliminary program:
- Celebrity appearances and autograph signings by the Secretariat Racing Team
- Meet and greet with Groundshaker, our resident Secretariat great-great granddaughter, and her new companion, Mia the mighty mini, who will be decked out like a “little Big Red.”
- New this year: Tours of Meadow Hall mansion showcasing the Chenery Collection of rare Meadow Stable memorabilia, including locks of Secretariat’s hair
- New this year: a special “pre-Derby” dinner with a guest chef, craft beverages and the Secretariat team
- Back by popular demand: a showing of the Secretariat movie with commentary by the Secretariat Team.
- An extensive selection of official Secretariat merchandise for purchase in the Exhibit Hall
Thoroughbred Makeover Rematch
Top-placed horses from the 2016 $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover will demonstrate the skills that they developed in preparation for the ten-discipline competition in Kentucky. Each will perform and the crowd will select a winner. The purse for this rematch is $1,000.
Horses and Riders below:
Tom Mansmann and David L
A with a background in Dressage and Eventing, Tom now spends most of his time in the hunt fields as a professional with four Virginia hunt clubs and running Pacific Farms with his wife, Claire. As a North American Field Hunter Champion, it made sense that Tom entered “Chris” in the Field Hunter division at the Makeover. However truck problems kept them from getting to Kentucky on time and they switched to the Eventing at the last minute, still producing a 10th place finish with no previous show experience.
Sarah Davis and JJ’s Local Law
You may recognize this familiar face from last year’s Virginia Horse Festival, where Sarah showed JJ’s Local Law in the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover Preview. With experience in Eventing and exercise riding, Sarah has made a name for herself transitioning Thoroughbreds into second careers. JJ and Sarah have been together since Sarah was her exercise rider throughout most of her racing career. Sarah and JJ return to Virginia Horse Festival this year as your 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover Field Hunter Champions.
Michelle Craig and Youmightbearedneck
Michelle and “Rory” were supposed to be at last year’s Virginia Horse Festival with RRP but were involved in a frightening crash with their trailer en route. Rory fractured his upper jaw in the accident though miraculously was un-phased mentally. As part of his recovery Rory was not able to use a bit but Michelle knew she had a smart young horse on her hands, so she learned to ride bridleless. Michelle chronicled their progress all spring and summer and they quickly became a fan favorite, earning the Thoroughbred Ambassador Award at the Makeover for their inspiring journey.
Julie Nelson and Riding the Tide
Julie is an amateur rider who grew up riding in Pony Club and has had a number of OTTB projects over the years one of which carried her to the CCI** level of Eventing. “Rodney” is affectionately named after his race trainer and former Grand Prix show jumper, Rodney Jenkins. They say great things come in plain brown wrappers and Rodney is no exception. He and Julie had impressive results in the Dressage and Eventing divisions, taking home 11th and 9th place respectively as well as the Top Amateur award in each division.
Parade of Breeds
The Parade of Breeds will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 24, in the First Bank & Trust Company Pavilion. Come experience some incredible horses and witness a diversity of breeds.