The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is saddened to share the fixture of Fox Grape Farm, Peter Via, has passed. Peter was a man of many passions and a connoisseur in all of them. From his skill as a fly fisherman, prowess as a target shooter, relentless pursuit of collecting the best in watches and prized minerals, to his dedication to excellence in raising and showing American Saddlebreds he was brilliant. He will be long remembered for his contribution to the breed through his knowledge for breeding, knowing a good horse, and his extreme generosity toward the betterment of the industry.
A Saddlebred man for years he cemented his influence on the breed when Peter and his wife Lynn formed Fox Grape Farms in Roanoke, Virginia. They along with Lynn’s daughter Dr. Owen Hurt Weaver have made Fox Grape Farm a household name in the ring. They have had such great horses as CHCallaway’s Copyright (104228G), CHGarland’s Dream (BHF) (121415M), CHCourageous Lord (114423G), CHMy Chanel (127402M), Himalaya (130462M), CHOur Canary Diamond (121758M),CHKalarama’s New Sensation (128884M*), CHCallaway’s Forecaster (97701G), and Callaway’s Carnation (BHF) (125994M) are just a few greats the farm owned and showed.
Peter’s great eye for a horse and as one of the master historians of the American Saddlebred, breeding was an integral part of Fox Grape Farm. Peter had both World Champion Sires Deep Blue (106450S) and (SA) Dorian Wild Temper (112869S*) as a part of his breeding shed. Through these beautiful stallions paired with the fabulous mares of Fox Grape Farm, they have raised such show ring stars as CH Fox Grape’s The Tiger Lily (147543M), CH Fox Grape’s Dauntless (114547G), CH Don O’Neill (122129G), CHMr. Center Stage (113216G), A Rare Temper (123119S) and Fox Grape’s Sierra Madre (147561M) to name a select few.
Peter made an impact on the American Saddlebred worldwide. He was a prominent supporter of the South African breeding program and supported ASHA recognizing their registry. It was in his belief of the potential of the international breeding market that he found his stallion Dorian Wild Temper in 2002.
In addition to all of the accolades from the show ring and the breeding shed Peter Via was a great supporter who generously contributed to the American Saddlebred Horse Association, American Saddlebred Museum, and United Professional Horsemen’s Association for years. Both Peter and Lynn have been recognized with awards for their service by each organization. ASHA Breeders Hall of Fame, UPHA Sallie Wheeler Distinguished Service Award, and 2008 UPHA Associate of the Year are just several honors they have been given for all they have done.
We are all the better for the involvement and love Peter Via had for the American Saddlebred and the people of the industry. ASHA shares our deepest condolences to the family.