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Style · May 23, 2013

Hunt Country’s top stables open for weekend tour

Get up early Satuday if you want to visit the Middleburg Training Track, open 7 to 10 a.m. only the tour’s first day.
Trappe Hill Farm and other tour stops offer close encounters with horses.
Hunt Country Stable Tour
• What: 54th annual, self-guided, driving tour of top horse farms and training facilities

• Where: Around Upperville and Middleburg

• When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26. Middleburg Training Center open 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday only.

• Tickets:
$30 for adults; children younger than 12 free.

• Organizer: Trinity Episcopal Church, Upperville.

• To benefit: The church’s charitable work.

• Lunch: From Back Street Catering and available for purchase at church.

• Phone: 540-592-3711 for information or to order group, discounted tickets.

• Website:
This weekend’s 54th annual Hunt Country Stable Tour features estates and horse training centers around Upperville.

The tour offers behind-the-scenes looks at the plush life of some of Virginia’s most famous equines, with visits to breeding farms, competition farms and more. From newborn foals, to jumpers and polo ponies, and even horses swimming for exercise, visitors will see how equine athletes are bred, trained, fed and maintained.

The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26.

This year, the Hunt Country Stable Tour features Ardarra Farm, Hickory House Farm, Salem Stable, Windsor Farm, and Peace & Plenty at Bollingbrook among more than a dozen stops.

Ardarra Farm, dedicated to wildlife preservation and continuation of foxhunting, installed solar panels on the barn, making all stable operations fully reliant on the sun’s energy.

On Saturday, May 25, the Piedmont Coaching Club will provide a hunting demonstration there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hickory House Farm, originally part of a land grant from King George II to Lord Fairfax, is dedicated to raising and training sport horses. The farm will host a show jumping demonstration both days from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Salem Stable is a prime stop for history buffs as the site of the beginning of the Battle of Upperville. Re-enactors will take visitors back to the Civil War, giving guests a look at camp life during the war.

Windsor Farm, a breeding and early training facility for show horses, will provide a jumping demonstration, featuring young horses still in training each day at 11 a.m.

Peace & Plenty at Bollingbrook began as part of a 9,600-acre land grant from Lord Fairfax to Robert “King” Carter in 1712. In addition to being an equine and cattle farm, it also operates as a haven for rescued animals.

On Saturday only, at The Middleburg Training Track, visitors just might see the next Secretariat getting his early schooling. The track opens at 7 a.m., with coffee and donuts will be available. Many of the local racehorses and other competition horses train there.

The National Sporting Library will host a book fair that will feature four distinguished authors. Rita May Brown, Charles de Kunffy, Dorothy Ours and Jan Neuharth will be on hand to speak and sign books from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The library will be open Saturday and the museum on Sunday.

The Middleburg Agricultural Research & Extension (MARE) Center stands in the heart of Virginia’s horse country. The MARE Center will feature foal handling demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Heronwood’s yearling barn, open to the public only for this event, was featured in the book “Ultimate Horse Barns” by Randy Leffingwell. Heronwood is also home to a colorful herd of Alpacas. Visitors will be able to ask questions and see products made of Alpaca wool.

The Virginia International Polo Club at historic Llangollen will hold a polo match at 4 p.m. Sunday.

For a full listing and description of all of the stops on the tour, visit or call 540-592-3711. Maps and directions are available and farms are well marked for the drive.

Proceeds from the Hunt Country Stable Tour support Trinity Episcopal Church and its local, national and international charities and non-profit programs.

Tickets are available the days of the tour at the church in the heart of Upperville.

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