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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.

 New for 2018-Jack Russel Races

See the cutest pups around race for the finish during the daily Jack Russel Races. Dogs from Central Virginia Terrier Racing will tear through the course to be crowned the fastest. Don’t miss this! 
Want to have your fido show off his speed, check back here for registration information. 

Date: March 23-25, 2018

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:
Kelli Warrington
Full Program (2 days gymnastics & simulator) – $325 per person
Gymnastics ONLY (2 days of gymnastics, no simulator) – $165 per person

Secretariat’s Birthday Celebration

The annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration at the Virginia Horse Festival March 23-25 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.”
  • An extensive selection of official Secretariat merchandise for purchase in the Farm Bureau Center

Special Events and Tours


  • VIP Tram Tours of Secretariat’s Birthplace

    Take a journey back to the heyday of Meadow Stable and enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes stories from acclaimed author and sports journalist Steve Haskin, former Meadow Stable groom Steve Jordan and other special guests.  The one-hour tram tour will include foaling shed, training barn, yearling barns and stallion barn.  Limit 40 people on tram.  Tram boarding at Farm Bureau Center.  $20 per person, including children.  Virginia Horse Festival admission required. Saturday only, 1:30pm and 3pm. 

  • Tours of Meadow Hall Mansion

    Tours showcasing the Chenery Collection of rare Meadow Stable memorabilia, including locks of Secretariat’s hair.  $5 per person, including children. Virginia Horse Festival admission required.
    Friday March 23 at 12pm, 1pm and  2pm
    Saturday March 24 at 11am, 12pm and 1pm.
    Sunday March 25 at 1pm and 2pm

  • New this year: Triple Crown Tribute

    Join author/speaker Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery; acclaimed author and sports journalist Steve Haskin; former Meadow Stable groom Steve Jordan and other special guests to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic Triple Crown.  This memorable evening will feature special tributes to Penny Chenery, the Meadow Stable grooms and a few surprises. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Historic Barn Restoration Fund.
    Saturday only, 5pm-7:30 pm. Must be 21 or older, $45 per person. Ticket deadline March 20th.

Parade of Breeds

The Parade of Breeds will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23, in the First Bank & Trust Company Pavilion. Come experience some incredible horses and witness a diversity of breeds.

Parade of Breeds Application 

Presented By:

EquiSmartz Competition


EquiSmartz is the Virginia 4-H Horse Program’s annual educational contest, comprised of Horse Judging, Horse Bowl, Hippology and the Communication Contests for enrolled 4-H horse project members, ages 9-19. Spectators are encouraged to observe the horse judging contest held on Saturday morning, beginning at 10am. Hippology tests their equine knowledge and skills in a variety of phases, including station identification, a written test, a slideshow identification test, horse judging, and an oral team problem.  Horse Bowl is a team quiz game with 4-5 players per team competing in a double elimination match. The Communication Contests highlights members speaking skills on equine-specific topics, and they are judged on their presentation skills and content of subject.  These four contests are the Qualifying events for the Regional and National level contests. For more information on the 4-H Horse Program go to our website. You can also visit the Hokie Horse Education Station at the Virginia Horse Festival for more information about 4-H. To find a 4-H club in your area, contact Sandy Arnold at