A special gift to local horse show fans, the June 7 to 13 Upperville Colt and Horse Show will be open to the public and free to attend.
The show was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Show officials decided to offer free admission as a “thank you” for the patience and continuing support through the last year.
The 168th show is the oldest in the nation, founded in 1853.
Management reports they’re playing by the most updated Virginia COVID-19 rules, and those recommended by the sanctioning U.S. Equestrian Federation. Masks are “encouraged but not required,” and all spectator vehicles must enter via gate 4 on U.S. Route 50 each day.
Classes began Monday morning and continue all week, with classes in up to six rings simultaneously.
The showgrounds, on both sides of the highway east of Upperville, includes two distinct types of competition. The “hunter side” of the show, south of 50, features magnificent ancient oak trees dotting the rings, as well as railside, trees that were no doubt already mature when the first show was held prior to the Civil War.
The “jumper side,” or arenas north of 50, are framed by hand-laid dry-stack stone walls, built well before the Civil War.
So picturesque is the venue that the show has been voted Virginia Horse Shows Association and National Show Hunter Horse Show of the Year and is a designated World Championship Hunter Rider Show. Upperville was newly recognized as a “green horse show” for the group’s dedication to recycling, using a digital prize list, erosion control, local sourcing, composting and having the grounds in conservation easement.
Feature events include the $30,000 Upperville American Standard National grand prix Thursday evening, a $37,000 FEI CSI4* power and speed stakes Thursday afternoon, the $73,000 FEI4* Upperville Welcome Stakes Friday at 2 p.m., the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Saturday at 4 p.m. and the $213,300 FEI4* Upperville Jumper Classic Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Leadline classes, side-saddle and a Wall of Honor induction ceremony are in the main arena Saturday, with a Horses and Horsepower auto show planned Sunday.
The event is run under a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and proceeds go to local charities.
More is online, including a free livestream from all competition arenas: upperville.com.