Faces of Fauquier: Horses take him all over the county
Tommy Lee Jones has managed the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, America's oldest, since 1985. The 161st show continues through Sunday.
I get to see parts of Fauquier County that some people never get to see when I go fox hunting. I don’t have one special place, just lots of special places.
The humble huntsman of Casanova manages several local horse shows.
Tommy Lee Jones has been involved in fox hunting since he can remember. A resident of Fauquier County for almost 50 years, he gained experience in foxhunting, steeplechase, showing and training horses at a young age on his family farm.
Now, he manages the Upperville Colt and Horse Show, the Warrenton Horse Show and serves as president of the advisory board for the Warrenton Pony Show.
As the Casanova huntsman for the past 44 years, he has covered much of the beautiful countryside in Fauquier County. He believes the future development of the county should be sensible.
“Hopefully it won’t be so developed that we won’t be able to foxhunt. Hopefully we can keep the county at a balance so we don’t tax the farmers out and they can maintain their land.”
Huntsman of Casanova since 1970, in charge of the hound breeding program and more. Manager of the Upperville Colt and Horse Show since 1985.
Manager of the Warrenton Horse Show for as long as I can remember. President of the Senior Advisory Board for the Warrenton Pony Show for 20 years.
• Why do you do the job?
When I was growing up, my dad worked for the government, but he was a horse dealer. In the barns, if it was winter, we had foxhunters, in the summer steeplechase horses, and the rest of the year show horses. So I had knowledge of all those different fields.
Our specialty was taking horses off racetracks and making them into other types of horses. Then, the European horse imports made that market disappear, so I started managing horse shows and matriculated into the management part.
With the Warrenton Horse Show, I wanted to give back to the community. I have fox hunted all my life and they asked me to be the huntsman at Casanova. I get paid doing something I really enjoy.
Wife, Diane; daughter, Beth Kearnes; son, Jason; sister Karen Settle; mother, Doris, and three grandchildren.
Loudoun County High School, 1965. Associate’s degree in accounting, Northern Virginia Community College, 1967.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 1965, forty-nine years.
• Why do you live here?
So I’m able to do these horse shows. Even though Fauquier County has grown, there are still rural areas to do foxhunting.
• How do you describe this county?
It’s a great place to live, friendly people. It’s close enough if you have to do something in town, you can. It’s big enough for us. It fulfills the things we need.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I would like to see it a little more business-friendly so the tax base doesn’t get so crazy. Like Marshall, let that little town develop. I’m not an advocate of more and more houses, but we need sensible growth around the towns that are here. Make it easier for those who are sensible who want to develop in those towns.
• What do you do for fun?
Go to Saratoga, New York, for a week. Visit the grandchildren. Laying out in the yard in a hammock is good for me.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
At home in my hammock. I get to see parts of Fauquier County that some people never get to see when I go fox hunting. I don’t have one special place, just lots of special places.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
Hopefully, it won’t be that much different as it is now. We have been pretty lucky. Hopefully, it won’t be so developed that we won’t be able to foxhunt. Hopefully, we can keep the county at a balance so we don’t tax the farmers out and they can maintain their land.
• Favorite TV show?
I’m a big “Game of Thrones” fan. “Fargo,” “True Blood” and “The Walking Dead”
• Favorite movie?
“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
• Favorite book?
Recently I have been listening to books, but the last one I actually read was “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere where you can put your feet in the sand and the water.
• Favorite food?
French fries and crabs, but not together.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Be yourself and know yourself” — from my dad.
• Who’s your hero and why?
Those who govern and spend time in the military. In general, the Army, Navy, Marines, all the U.S. Armed Forces are my heroes.
My mother is my favorite hero, because she is 86 years old and she still comes up here to the Upperville Colt and Horse Show to work the gate. She is always active and always there for advice.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I don’t think it would change me much. I’ve always done the things I wanted to do without $1 million, so it probably wouldn’t expand my horizons much. The nice thing about having money would be you don’t have to stand in line at the airport.
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Previous Faces of Fauquier:
• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.
• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.
• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.
• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”
• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.
• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.
• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.
• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.
• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.
• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.
• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.
• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.
• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.
• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.
• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.
• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.
• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.
• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.
• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.
• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.
• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.
• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.
• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.
• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native
• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.
• His job dovetails with passion for hunting
• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.
• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people
• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.
• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.
• He lives and works in a beautiful place.
• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.
• Pretty things everywhere she looks.
• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.
• One day, he might run the company.
• FISH volunteer likes to help others.
• She sees the community’s generosity.
• Cop patrols while most people sleep.
• Pastor a constant in Calverton.
• She keeps the courthouse spotless.
• He loves working working outdoors at the park.
• She sees “everyone” at Carousel
• Library assistant works in a “fun place"
• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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