Horse sports fall under ‘outdoor recreation’ COVID rules 

At press time, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had specifically exempted outdoor horse sports from the “25 participant” rollback of limits on group activities. Language in his latest executive order specifically states that “outdoor recreational sports activities are permitted” without a 25-person limit. 

Morven Park trials attracts top competitors 

Some 337 horse and rider pairs overfilled 18 event divisions at the Morven Park Fall Horse Trials in Leesburg. The nation’s – and the world’s – best took part in the top-rated competition. 

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It was down to the wire at the National Steeplechase Association finale at Sunday's Steeplechase at Charleston in South Carolina. Last year's champion jockey Michael Mitchell, here leading at the Oct. 10 Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg, was nosed out by Gerard Galligan, who won four races at Charleston to capture his first rider title. 

Owner-rider Sharon White partnered Cooley on Show, notching the best score of the day to win advanced division A on 36.3. Megan O’Donahue won advanced B with her Palm Crescent in 40.6. 

Open intermediate division winners included Sara Murphy on Devil Munchin, Allison Springer on Crystal Crescent Moon and Ariel Grald on Caballe. Casie Sanger won junior preliminary on Born Ready, with open preliminary divisions going to Amy Ruth Boron on Vitalis and Dan Kreitl on Eezy Cruise Lad. 

Complete results are at morvenpark.org. 

Dressage series planned 

The Mitchell Dressage Series returns for its winter shows at Vintage Valley Sporthorses in Catlett. Show dates are Dec. 6, Jan. 10, Feb. 7 and March 7. Complete show rules, updates, class specifications and more are at mitchellds.com. 

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At the Orange County Hounds opening meet from the old Meredyth Vineyards near The Plains, huntsman Reg Spreadborough gathers the pack of world-famous red-ringneck American hounds.

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