By Rebecca Walton of Phelps Media Group
The Virginia Horse Center Foundation (VHC) entertained members of their Board of Directors, advisory board, and guests during an evening of conversation and cocktails on Feb. 21. Hosted by Gardy Bloemers, a member of the Foundation’s Board Executive Committee and Vicky Castegren, an Advisory Board member, the event helped educate members of the broader equestrian community about recent challenges and improvements made to the facility as well as the opportunity to further establish the facility as one of the premier multi-discipline and multi-breed competition facilities in the mid-Atlantic.
During the two-hour event, Bloemers, CEO John Nicholson, and Board of Directors President Ernie Oare addressed the guests, who reside throughout the United States.
“The Virginia Horse Center has such a large group of supporters including equestrians who love to compete at the facility throughout the year, and friends of the VHC continues to grow,” Bloemers said. “One of the reasons we wanted to gather in Wellington is because it is a a center for equestrian excellence. The purpose of the Advisory Board is to strive to take the VHC into a new era of excellence, much like what we see here.”
The sentiment of progress and continued improvement was echoed when CEO John Nicholson, the former executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, explained what makes the VHC special.
“There is an incredibly energetic community of people that love the VHC and with that energy I believe that we are going to build and do great things,” Nicholson explained. “I believe that our strategic plan is incredibly effective and we are consistently moving forward with a cutting edge comprehensive plan that promotes environmental sustainability, green space and equestrian initiatives.”
Nicholson also took some time to educate guests on what he saw as the eternal bond between Virginia and the history of the horse in the United States. “We understand that the heart of what we are doing is celebrating the eternal bond between the mankind and the horse because Virginia is where it all started,” Nicholson commented. “At the VHC, we realize that we are honoring the heritage that Virginia has earned as being the mother of our relationship with the horse dating back to the colonies.”
Nicholson concluded his remarks by calling on all of the participants to submit suggestions of events that would be appropriate to hold at the VHC to help them continue to grow and improve.
Located in Lexington, Virginia, the Virginia Horse Center is a premier horse show and events facility in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It features eight barns, nineteen show rings, a 4,000 seat coliseum and a state of the art cross country course all nested in 600 acres of rolling hills.
To learn more about the Virginia Horse Center, their strategic plan and a full list of upcoming events, please visit www.horsecenter.org
Photography courtesy of the Virginia Horse Center, Lenore Rees Phillips