Don’t miss your chance to save on horse festival tickets

virginia horse festivalAdvance ticket sales for this year’s Virginia Horse Festival end May 2 at 11:59 p.m., so don’t miss out on the savings.

This year’s festival will be held May 3-5 at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County and will coincide with the May 4 running of the Kentucky Derby.

Adult advance tickets are $12, which saves $3 off gate pricing. Children 12 and under will be admitted free, but a ticket is still required. These can be added to online carts or obtained at ticket booths during the festival.

A three-day festival pass is available online as well, and through May 1 at 11:59 p.m. the pass is just $20. After that, festival passes good for all three days can be purchased during the event for $25.

To mark Derby Day, an inaugural Derby Dash 5K and 1-mile walk will be held at 9 a.m. May 4. Participants can register on race day, and registration includes a commemorative T-shirt and admission to the festival. Proceeds will go toward rebuilding the recently burned Beaverdam Equestrian Center and to projects of the newly announced Secretariat Heritage Center. First-place winners in each category will receive a dozen roses in honor of Derby Day.

For those interested in watching the Derby, a free viewing party presented by the town of Bowling Green will be offered in the Farm Bureau Center exhibit hall from 2:30-7 p.m. Saturday. Derby fans will be treated to pre-race coverage and the Kentucky Derby race on two 65-inch HDTVs. Derby themed food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Secretariat lovers will be able to take tram tours of the historic grounds where the famous racehorse was born. There also will be official Secretariat merchandise available in the exhibit hall.

Entertainment this year includes the Canine Stars, an international dog show that features rescue dogs. One of the group’s dogs and its trainer, Sara Carson and Hero, made it to the finals of America’s Got Talent in 2017. Canine Stars dogs will give three performances each day.

Featured entertainment also includes the Aurora equestrian circus of Legacy Family Entertainment. The three daily performances will feature trick riding, singers, dancers, comedy and aerialists.

In addition, the festival will host a wide variety of equine clinics covering topics like horse rider yoga, equine psychotherapy and trailer loading, as well as demonstrations of draft horses, dressage, barrel racing and more. Competitions include the JTO Trail Challenge. Participants in this trail obstacle course will compete on Friday and Saturday, and the finale will be held Sunday.

See a complete schedule of entertainment, events and presenters at

This year’s horse festival is presented by Your Local Ford Dealer. The Canine Stars are sponsored by Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance.

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