Virginia Horse Shows Association

hosts annual banquet and awards dinner

 The 70th annual Virginia Horse Shows Association’s convention was held December second and third at the fabulous Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. The resort, founded in 1766 is located atop the Allegheny Mountain in the western part of Virginia, in the quaint hamlet of Hot Springs. Hot Springs was the home of the late professional golfer, Sam “Slamming’ Sammy” Jackson Snead, who rose to prominence in the 1930’s-60’s. Many have given him credit for  the popularity of the coconut straw hat that men of the time wore. Known for its popular hot spring baths, the area has drawn generations of visitors looking for rest and relaxation.


 The weekend consisted of various meetings, as well as the Presidents Hall of Fame dinner on Saturday and the Awards luncheon on Sunday afternoon. Both ceremonies were sold out. The Saturday afternoon meetings covered a myriad of subjects, with the ASB/Hackney portion being moderated by Carol Reedy and Nancy Peterson. Over the years the ASB division was quite strong, but sadly,  has waned in recent years. Board members have encouraged the ASB community to join, enter their horses in their respective divisions, and come to the fantastic convention. They stressed the need for more members, exhibitors and shows containing ASB classes. Said one member, “It is the Virginia Horse Shows Association, not the Virginia Hunter/Jumper Horse Show Association”. Member shows currently include, Bonnie Blue, Roanoke, and ASHAV. Although these are highly regarded shows, more affiliated shows are needed. Other items of merit were discussed, including some the the new USEF rules which will apply to all disciplines of horses. Peterson also acknowledged Carol Reedy and her well deserved success with the World’s Championship Horse Show and the American Royal with her horse, Lovely. Lovely is trained under the direction of VHSA members, Danny and Nancy Troutman of Roanoke, Virginia. Serving on this committee are Reedy as Chairman, Nancy Peterson, Jimmy Lee and the late Beryl Herzog.


 Also during the afternoon, there were activities offered by the Homestead, which many attendees enjoyed, including shopping, jogging and simply enjoying the ambiance of this grand resort.

 Saturday evening was the President’s dinner, proceeded by a cocktail hour in the beautiful Commonwealth room at the resort. Resplendent in Christmas decor, this event was well attended by some 175 members and guests, who were served a delicious dinner of filet mignon served in the Homestead tradition. President Jimmy Lee welcomed all and gave a re-cap of the season in a most festive way. A moment of silence was held in memory of two well respected members of the board and the equine community, Beryl Herzog and Barry Jackson. Hall of Fame inductees included the late Robert Morris Reel, Dr. Stewart Kohler and Sarah Marshall Irvine. Reel was the first executive director fo the Virginia Horse Center in 1982, and was at the helm until his untimely death in 2003. These long time members and supporters of the breed and association were honored for their many years of dedicated service to equines and their community as well. Equine awards were given to two of the greats of the show ring, Pandora, owned by Meg Malone Rhodes and Spanish Mint owned by the late Mrs. J. Dean Rucker. Lee reiterated at the ceremony the need for the ASB community to join this group in order to vie for points to be considered for these lovely awards.

 On Sunday afternoon, a second awards luncheon was held, with a variety of high honors being bestowed. Notable to the Saddlebred community are the awards given to Reedy, who received the Elizabeth Nelms Memorial Owner of the Year Award; Katherine Harrison, who received the L.M. Sandy Gerald Collegiate Scholarship; and Jordan Schneider, receiving the VHSA L.M. Sandy Gerald Memorial Riding Scholarship.


 The VHSA, which was founded in 1947, is a group that deserves much credit. The staff of the VHSA, officers and directors worked tirelessly in assembling this large group for meetings, the awards dinner and luncheon, which as always, was a superb event. All of this is in an effort in keeping with their slogan, “To improve the breed.”


VHSA 2017 Banquet photos by

TBH and Teresa Ramsay