The final stop of my spring show journey that also took me to Old Salem, Kentucky Spring and Tryon was the historic Upperville Colt & Horse Show, in northern Virginia. After going to Kentucky and experiencing first-hand what true “horse country” is like, I assumed it would be difficult to find something so authentically horse-centric anywhere else. Little did I know that three weeks later I would be visiting Middleburg, VA, another horse lover’s paradise. For more about the town of Middleburg and the beautiful Salamander Resort, check out my previous post on it. Also, here are the previously posted Horse Show Faces: Upperville–there were lots of interesting people and stories behind all the unique classes at Upperville and it was one of my favorite series yet.
After Upperville I headed back home to Wellington, FL, where I’m now preparing for my next tour of summer shows for all of July and the first part of August. It’s been fun having time to look more closely through the photos of my travels so far, and I’m now excited to finally share with you the sights and scenes of the 162nd Upperville Colt & Horse Show!
The Upperville Colt & Horse Show dates back to 1853.
The show is directly off the busy highway 50 between the town of Upperville and Middleburg.
For those who have never been before, when you search for the show on Google it actually gives you the wrong address that leads you in to someone’s backyard. The address that will take you there is 8300 John Mosby Hwy, Upperville, Virginia 20184.
The parking lot also doubled as a grazing field.
The show takes place on both sides of the road, with one side having two jumper rings and one side having two hunter rings. This led to many true “horse crossings” like this, and many overheard comments like, “We’re going over to the dark side now.” or “We’re going over to the fun side now!”
The hunter rings had beautiful oak trees that contributed to the “fox hunt” feel more than any fake birch jump at another show could.
Tori Colvin, pictured above effortless as usual, continued her dominant final season as a junior with wins in the $25k Welcome Stake, USHJA Hunter Derby, Handy Hunter Classic, WIHS Equitation Classic, Hunter Medal and USEF Talent Search. She also got a 100 in a Large Junior Hunter class.
There have been many star junior riders in the past–when I was a junior Brianne Goutal made her winning Equitation Finals run. However, Tori’s success in all three divisions across the board gives her junior season a feeling of historical significance.
There are many unique classes that draw a large crowd along the ring, like the leadline and side saddle.
There is a cool older structure with private boxed seating on the first rows and benches in the back for the public.
Taylor St. Jacques, competing here in the WIHS Hunter Phase, finished first in the Maclay. Taylor is one to keep an eye on, as she has been rising quickly in the ranks of top juniors with a lot of success since winning M&S Pony Medal Finals last year. She recently joined Andre Dignelli and Heritage Farm.
At the hunter ring they have VIP parking for people so they can pull up right next to the ring and watch from their cars.
Horse people are often also dog people, as evidenced by this intricate hood ornament that was on a ring-side vehicle.
The very green view from the in-gate to hunterland.
They had lots of logs and stumps around the ring that gave the place a natural feel, and doubled as a place to place your tack before the jog.
The stumps also served as mounting blocks.
The first few days were rainy and it got a little muddy, so all hands were on deck to make the hunters look pretty.
Hunt Tosh making sure Cold Harbor looks picture perfect before collecting several blue ribbons in the Conformation Hunters.
The collection of ribbons hanging on this oak tree by the in-gate changed throughout the show week.
This guy’s shirt was cool and I kind of want one.
Dominating the trot jump.
There was a film crew on site to capture the action all over the show grounds.
One of the highlights of Upperville is the rainbow leadline ribbon. They actually give 1st through 8th place ribbons for the leadline classes, and everyone else that doesn’t place gets a rainbow ribbon. I think this is one of the few times I would prefer not to place.
There were tons of vendor tents on either side of the show with lots of shopping options from traditional equestrian brands to local collections.
They had many different food vendors, including one in this permanent structure near the main hunter ring. Make sure to bring your wallet though, as most places were cash only.
This guy had a long day making sure the classes ran on time.
The Lemonade/Lime Fizz/Orangeade vendor from WEF was here!
The Exhibitor Happy Hour each day during the week also had carrots and milk-bones on hand.
Favorite socks spotted at the show: these colorful corgi socks!
It got a little too wet for the jog in the ring, so they did one with these ponies between the two rings.
One of these faces is not like the others.
Sometimes pony hunters have to get down ‘n dirty.
This future leadliner might have been the cutest little one I met all weekend.
Another view of the second hunter ring.
The locals had especially impressive tent stable setups complete with their own mini-gardens.
Barn friends are the best friends. It was so nice meeting this group from VA.
Getting some instructions on which ring to drag next.
Saw this Sweet Briar car in the parking lot–so glad to hear about the recent decision to allow them to reopen this year.
A few horse-related license plates I spotted throughout the show week.
I met Angus and his “NC Ribs” truck–you could smell his food cooking in the smoker from very far away.
The jumper rings had beautiful views of the mountains in the background.
The entrance to Upperville’s 1853 Club.
The VIP club, which is on the south side of the main jumper ring.
Watching the historic triple crown in the 1853 Club. They also were showing it on the big scoreboard at the main jumper ring. This was a moment I’ll remember forever and it was special to be surrounded by fellow equestrians during it.
Another view of the main jumper ring.
They had a hospitality party over by the main jumper ring on Saturday night before the Hunter Derby.
This guy was on standby to answer questions about the daily social events posted on his booth.
How’s this for a grazing area?
Pictured here on the right, the Charles Owen Riders’ Lounge on the jumper side.
The other jumper ring.
At the in-gate.
At some places, Upperville felt a little more like Signville.
The best backdrop was in the jumper schooling ring.
Another view of the schooling ring, this time on a cloudy and foggy day.
Tori Colvin makes adjustments before getting on to school.
There was lots of boot cleaning during the rainy first few days.
Overlooking the second jumper ring. Previously it had been grass, but it was replaced this year with footing that was well received by many riders.
Yes, there was a funnel cake vendor.
There were also lots of special breeding classes for foals, thoroughbreds, and more. I’ll be writing about those along with the leadline and side saddle separately.
On Saturday night the Hunter Derby was held in the Grand Prix ring on the jumper side.
On Sunday before the afternoon’s Grand Prix there was an impressive car show, and most of the hunter side vendors moved over to the jumper side.
There were lots of local vendors with all sorts of cool things to buy including this miniature fox hunt.
The hunter derby had this crazy hay bale jump. Luckily, none of the horses refused and instead tried to eat the jump.
Even the hay bale had a sign.
Everyone coming in with picnics and refreshments for the Sunday afternoon Grand Prix. The ring had reserved seating almost all the way around it.
Many dogs tagged along to tailgate with their owners.
A sunset to close out a week of pretty scenes and talented riders at the historic Upperville Horse Show.