Equine events to bring plenty of horse power to State Fair

state fairAn exciting new schedule of equine events promises lots of “horsepower” at the State Fair of Virginia this year. There will be reining, rodeo and ranch-working events. Minis, Morgans and mighty draft horses will parade in the ring. A daily breed display will entertain and educate, and there will even be a “Salute to Secretariat,” who was born on the very grounds where the fair takes place.

“Horses have played an important role in the State Fair of Virginia since it began in 1854,” said Glenn Martin, equine and livestock programs manager. “This lineup really showcases the diversity of breeds in Virginia, as well as the many ways horses can be used in work, sport and recreation.”

In the Equine & Livestock Complex, the events will include:

  • Virginia Cowboy Mounted Shooting clinic, demonstration and state shoot:Sept. 26-28
  • Virginia Reining Horse Association competition – Sept. 26-28
  • Horseshoers competition – Sept. 27
  • Draft horse show – Sept. 28 and 29
  • Draft horse pull – Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Professional rodeo – Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.
  • Assorted daytime equestrian demonstrations such as dressage and jumping – Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
  • Miniature horse show – Oct. 1-3
  • Morgan Futurity Horse Show – Oct. 3
  • Team penning competition – Oct. 4
  • Ranch sorting competition – Oct. 5
  • 4-H drill team and ranch horse competitions – Oct. 4 and 5

This year marks the return of team penning to the State Fair and the introduction of ranch sorting. Both events grew out of the skills needed for ranch work and are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. In team penning, teams of three riders separate specific cows from a herd and move them into a penning area in under 60 seconds. In ranch sorting, teams of two riders move a herd of 10 cattle from one pen to another—in numerical order, in less than 60 seconds.

On the north side of the fairgrounds, the Showcase of Breeds sponsored by the Virginia Horse Industry Board will take place in the paddock by The Meadow Event Park’s historic barns. The following horses and horse breeds will be highlighted:

Sept. 26 – Virginia Paint Horse Club
Sept. 27 – “Salute to Secretariat,” featuring a descendant
Sept. 28 – “Salute to Secretariat,” featuring a descendant
Sept. 29 – Old Dominion Morgan Horse Association
Sept. 30 – Gypsy Vanners
Oct. 1 – Virginia Quarter Horse Association
Oct. 2 – Dreamcatchers Therapeutic Riding Program (walking horse or draft horse)
Oct. 3 – Old Dominion Rocky Mountain Horse Association
Oct. 4 – “Salute to Secretariat,” featuring a descendant
Oct. 5 – “Salute to Secretariat,” featuring a descendant

The 2014 State Fair of Virginia will open Sept. 26 and run through Oct. 5. Information is available at StateFairVa.org.

The State Fair is held each fall at its permanent home at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County. The fair’s mission is to increase agricultural and natural resource awareness and interest through educational programs, exhibitions and competitions in a fun, family-friendly setting.

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