Stay in the know! Sign up to get Fauquier County news updates delivered to your inbox.
Advertise on Fauquier Now!
Should Virginia raise the minimum wage, which stands at $7.25 an hour? Vote!
Free classifieds! Members can also post calendar events, news, opinions and more ... all for free! Register now!
Login · Forgot Your Password?
August 26, 2019

Warrenton Horse Show always about the details

Photo/Warrenton Horse Show Association
The popular Hunt Night competition will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, and will go well past dark.
The circa 1936 John Barton Payne Memorial Trophy, a 24-inch diameter sterling silver punch bowl, weighs 40 pounds.
Warrenton Horse Show
• When: Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 28-Sept. 1; gates open at 8 a.m. daily.

• Where: 60 East Shirley Ave., Warrenton

• Features: Horses and riders from up and down the East Coast.

• Also: Beer tent, food stand and clothing, gift and tack shops.

• Admission: $10 per person, free for children younger than 12.

• Proceeds: Benefit Fauquier SPCA, Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co., fire/rescue services and Experience Old Town Warrenton.

• Website:

• Phone: 540-347-9442
By Vicky Moon
For Fauquier Now

By this time of year, the Warrenton Horse Show president has tended to most of the details.

Helen Calvert Wiley has gathered donated clothing, horse accessories and antiques for a silent auction, ensured the grounds are in tip-top shape and collected the many trophies that will be presented during the five-day event.

Each Labor Day weekend since 1899, the Warrenton Horse Show has taken place on the historic grounds at 60 East Shirley Ave. This year’s 120th competition will take place Wednesday, Aug. 28, through Sunday, Sept. 1.

The show operates on a corner of land carved from the circa 1843 Monterosa-Neptune Lodge, the estate of state senator and delegate, Confederate major general and two-term governor, William “Extra Billy” Smith (1797-1887).

In May 1900, the purchase price for the then-eight-plus acres was $1,950. It remains the site of one of the oldest hunter shows in America and the oldest social corporation still in existence in Virginia.

Mrs. Wiley began her service as president of the show in 1984, had four years off until 1999 and returned to the job she’s held ever since.

Her interest evolves from her family’s involvement. Her late father, Alex Calvert, was a noted horseman and show exhibitor for many years. He also served on the board of directors and as president in the early ’50s. Her mother, the late Polly Howard, was a long-time exhibitor, board member and show secretary.

Mike Calvert, Mrs. Wiley’s late brother, was the affable ring announcer for several years. And finally, Mrs. Wiley’s late stepfather, local veterinarian “Fritz” Howard, served on the board and as president.

“Warrenton Horse Show is in my genes,” Mrs. Wiley said. “I’m happy to say how much I love this horse show and all that goes with it.”

She takes the collection of the Warrenton Horse Show trophies very seriously. It’s among the most spectacular arrays in the sport.

The circa 1936 John Barton Payne Memorial Trophy is a 24-inch diameter sterling silver punch bowl that weighs 40 pounds. It stands on a 30-pound tray of 40 inches in diameter. Mr. Payne (1855-1935), a prosperous lawyer and judge, served as secretary of the interior under President Woodrow Wilson and was chairman of the Red Cross under five presidents.

Mrs. Wiley and members of her family have been photographed sitting inside the massive punch bowl trophy. She was first photographed in the bowl around the tender age of 5, then assumed the same pose five decades later as a grown woman.

Other hand-engraved trophies include:

• The Alex Calvert trophy, named for her father, a large oval (30-by-18 inches), two-handled sterling silver tray, with a pie crust edge and engraved illustration c.1952.

• The Marshall Hawkins trophy, a 17-1/2-by-9¼-inch sterling silver tray circa 1931 from the estate of Liz Whitney Tippett.

• An intricate sterling silver tray made by Tiffany with snaffle bits and stirrups circa 1923.

• The Peyton Brittle Trophy, an 18-inch high tapered square vase circa 1931.

• The Castalia trophy, a 12-inch round sterling silver beauty, circa 1932.

“I admit, it is time-consuming and a lot of work,” Mrs. Wiley said. “Fortunately we have Diane Jones as secretary and Tommy Lee Jones as manager and an energetic board of directors to help make it happen.”

Warrenton Horse Show concession stands will include a beer tent, food stand and clothing, gift and tack shops.

The show starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday with the Virginia Horse Show Association Yearling Futurity.

Gates are open from 8 a.m. to closing each day and admission is $10 per person, free for children younger than 12.

“We’re fortunate to have sponsors who believe in us and support our efforts,” Mrs. Wiley added. “We’re most grateful to Miller and Warrenton Toyota, Adequan, Dr. Csaba Magassy, Karen and Michael Crane and American Regent Animal Health. I look forward to Labor Day weekend and reconnecting with friends.”

Proceeds will benefit Fauquier County Fire and Emergency Services, Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co., Fauquier SPCA and Experience Old Town Warrenton.

There are three new jumper classes on Thursday evening: the $500 Mason Lave Low Children/Adult Jumper class, the $500 Hogan Horse Transport Schooling Jumper class and the $1,500 Adequan/American Regent Jumper Classic.

Additional show highlights include the $5,000 Warrenton Toyota Scion and Miller Toyota Scion Hunter Classic at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The very popular Hunt Night competition begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, and will go well past dark.

The William G. Miller Tailgate Competition also will take place as part of Hunt Night, starting at 6 p.m. There is no entry fee for this competition sponsored by Farm Credit of the Virginias, but get out your best china, centerpiece and linen napkins. No horse needed to win.

As Hunt Night continues, there will be classes for fox hunters, pairs, ladies’ side saddle, horn blowing and hunt teams. And as part of the conclusion (sometimes close to midnight), the John Barton Payne Trophy will be presented to the winner of the Fox Hunter Corinthian Class.

For details, go to or call 540-347-9442.

Member comments
Please, be polite. Avoid name-calling and profanity.
For credibility, sign your real name; stand behind your comments. Readers will give less credence to anonymous posts.
To comment, please log in or register.
madisonhenry · August 31, 2019 at 8:15 am
The show was put in a remarkable way and because of the sponsors, the show was a big hit. I have recently found a new topic of HD cams interesting. You can view it
atinsdale · August 30, 2019 at 12:18 pm
Great story about the Warrenton Horse Show! Congratulations, Vicky Moon!
It brought back many happy memories!
Anne Tinsdale
Facebook comments
Enter your email address above to begin receiving
news updates from via email.
Friday, January 17
Antonia Ogburn, 18, remains a large, probably in Detroit area, according to authorities
Friday, January 17
Garbage trucks for sale, 2019 special exception permits, substitute teacher pay and a years’ worth of cakes
Friday, January 17
New owners of Trenis convenience and hardware stores plan to complete renovations by summer
More Fauquier news
© Copyright 2011-2018

50 Culpeper Street, Suite 3
Warrenton, Virginia 20187
Crime Log
Add Your News
The Big Picture
Ellen’s Kitchen
and Garden

Real Estate
For Sale
Legal Notices
Post an Ad
Terms of Service