Founded in 1853, the Upperville Colt & Horse Show has failed to take place only twice — once during the Civil War and again last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Vicky Moon For FauquierNow
The Upperville Colt & Horse Show, which began in 1853, is the oldest horse show in the country. The historic show once again will come alive with horses and riders near and far on both sides of Route 50 in Northern Fauquier from Monday, June 7, through the $213,300 FEI 4* Upperville Jumper Classic finals on Sunday, June 13.
During the 168 years since it was founded by Col. Richard Henry Dulany of nearby Welbourne Farm, the show has been canceled twice — once during the Civil War and again last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of the original one-day show was to inspire improved breeding of horses. Although the show is following all COVID-19 protocols as outlined by the governor, more than 2,000 horses and riders are expected for the nationally-recognized event.
A decision on how many spectators will be allowed will be announced by mid-April.
“We’re looking to the remarkable recovery of the horse show that’s known many points of strife in its long history, but will continue in a very positive and wonderful way for the community,” said Betsee Parker of Middleburg, a show vice president. “Upperville is just strong as ever and we have great support.”
Visitors to the venerable venue will observe various improvements since they last visited. On the south side of what is known as the hunter show grounds, there are updated water and electrical systems as well as new footing in the main warm-up area.
On the jumper side at Salem Farm, a new $37,000 Upperville Power & Speed Stakes CSI 4* will be contested on Thursday at 1 p.m. along with a Welcome Stakes on Friday at 2 p.m.
The Upperville Colt & Horse Show is sponsored by Mars Equestrian, Buckeye Nutrition, Nutro, Ethel M Chocolates, Lugano Diamonds, the Gochman Family, B&D Builders, Salamander Hotels & Resort and many additional individuals, companies and organizations. It’s a 501(c)3 charitable organization that raises funds for The Churches of Upperville Outreach Program and other area charities.