Another venue lost - Virginia Horse Trials

It was announced today that Virginia Horse Trials at VA Horse Center will no longer run after this November. The social media posting sounded as though there may be plans to run it at another venue at some point, but it was left very vague.


Wow. I’ll be interested in details about this, kind of shocking.


Whaaat??? That’s SUCH a popular event! And at a state facility, so it’s not like the land is a problem. Are they losing the organizers?

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The FEI calendar for next year lists another event, Shenandoah Horse Trials, with the exact same FEIi levels as VAHT for both spring and fall. Could they have already set up the new venue and be ready by May?

The intercollegiate championships were scheduled for VAHT for spring. I wonder how this will affect them.

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No!!! I’ve been to so many dressage shows at VHC and always eyed the XC course wistfully. Now that I’m actually eventing I haven’t made it down though. Trying to think if I could possibly go in Nov, but it’s only 2 weeks after the 3-Day…

I hope this isn’t happening because the state is developing the land into something horrid. It’s a bit irritating that it’s so mysterious!

They recently expanded the VHC facilities to hold a CDI so it doesn’t seem the facility itself is struggling? Maybe XC is just too much bother/liability. :cry:


I wonder if they’re selling off the part of the property the XC course is on, or using it for some other non-horse-related activity, and keeping just the core facility with the barns and arenas.

That facility is always struggling, though. One minute they are expanding, they next minute there are rumors of it shutting down. I can’t even count how many times they have allegedly been at risk of closing.

I don’t think that’s what’s happening this time around, though. It seems like this is something with VHT specifically.

I tried to play detective last night but I couldn’t find any info on the “Shenandoah Horse Trials” listed on the calendar.


No, according to Andy Bowles, the horse trial is simply moving to a new venue. The horse trial has not been lost.


I wonder if Shenandoah Horse Trials will be held at an existing venue, or if there’s something new in the works? It’s hard to imagine they have a brand new venue that’ll be ready to go by next spring at all the levels VAHT offered and have managed to keep in completely under wraps in the days of social media, but stranger things have happened I guess! It sounds like they’re waiting a while (maybe til November?) to tell us where it’s moving to though.

Still kind of sad to lose the VA horse center, but at least the event isn’t going away!

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Andy Bowles and the Virginia Horse Park are 2 different entities.
From what I understand, the November Horse Trials will be the last one at the Center organized by Andy Bowles.

Virginia Horse Park (I believe) may be running their own Horse Trials, and Andy Bowles has the option of taking the current dates to a different venue as his name is the one on the USEF contracts.


It’s very unclear from what was posted whether this will be the last VAHT at the horse center or the last event at the horse center. I’m guessing they are meaning to run at the Shenandoah Horse Park but it seems like it is not yet built?


I have read VAHT has applied to USEA/USEF to run the event at TIEC for the same dates.

I wonder if the Virginia Horse Park has applied to keep their same date and rename it Shenandoah Horse Trial but with a new organizer.

It’s going to be interesting to see what is going on in the next couple months.


As I understand it, it is the old organizer who is keeping the dates and moving the competition to the new Shenandoah Horse Trials in West Virginia. The old organizer owns the contract + dates and is leaving VHP for the new facility which is being built to do more/other things, as well as horse trials.

VHP will need to apply for new dates, is what I’m understanding.

I may not be correct, though.


I wonder if they are trying to move temporarily to TIEC to run next year until the new facility is complete?

Following the link above …

The address of the new facility – and it’s not clear what is there now – is
3823 Shepherd Grade Road
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

For those that know the area, Google maps shows that this is in northeastern West Virginia very close to the Maryland border. It is a beautiful hilly area between Interstates 81 and 70, south of Hagerstown, MD, and just west of Antietam Battlefield / Sharpsburg, MD. A little over 70 miles northwest of Washington DC.

Also near the National Conservation Center which is located just on the WV side of the border, if that matters.

It looks well-located for the area, it’s not far from the Leesburg, Loudon County and Great Meadows areas of Virginia. For the purposes that is a horsey & Area II part of the eventing world.


Sounds like another venue lost to a bigger fancier multi show facility?

So as I’m understanding it, we are “losing” a willing venue chiefly because of USEF date drama yet again. The organizer is taking their competition date elsewhere and it sounds like the venue would be happy to continue hosting if they can get a date. Is that a correct assessment of the situation?


No. The VA Horse Center is also a big fancy multi show facility. It hosts A HJ shows, recognized dressage shows etc.

It’s really impossible to know from what’s been publicly posted what’s happening. It’s possible the VA Horse Center will hire someone else and get its own dates for at least the national levels. It’s possible they’ve decided they don’t want to hold events/ aren’t making enough money from holding events and let the organizer know and he moved on.


is it actually a Real thing? everything that I can see is nothing has progressed beyond a study, the organizing group was formed but has not filed any supporting documentation…zero.

nor have filed any 990s

Shenandoah Horse Park Inc is 465331188 . EIN is also referred to as FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) or FTIN (Federal Tax Identification Number).

PF Filing Requirement No 990-PF return
Accounting Period December
Income Amount (USD) 0
Revenue Amount (USD) 0


The flip side of course is that there are already multiple FEI venues in that area (Morven and Loch Moy both ~40 mi away and Great Meadows ~60 mi away), whereas people for whom VHC is convenient would have to go either 140+ mi north or 300 mi south to Tryon.