Charlottesville, Albemarle and the surrounding area is the perfect location to live the equestrian lifestyle. Whatever aspect of the sport interests you, the opportunity to practice it is here.
The area has a long tradition of fox hunting and the enthusiast could hunt five days a week if desired. The Keswick Hunt is located on the east side of Charlottesville; hounds go out Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The Farmington Hunt located in western Albemarle goes out Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The two hunts also offer hunter trials, hunter paces, summer trail rides, and put on point to point races.
For those who enjoy hunting and hound work but don’t ride, there is the option of beagling. The Farmington Beagles are a subscription pack of foot beagles which meets on Sundays from October through March.
If your interest lies in the hunter-jumper world, the area abounds with good stables at which to board your horse offering quality instruction. There is an “A” horseshow within a two hour drive of Charlottesville almost every week of the year. There are also many associate level shows to choose from as well. In addition there are thriving dressage and eventing communities.
Polo is also a popular activity. The University of Virginia has a competitive college level team and a facility south of town. There are also opportunities to play on the club level as well. A tailgate picnic while watching polo is an enjoyable way to spend a summer evening.
On beautiful spring and fall afternoons, Virginia has a full calendar of point to point and steeplechase meets. The challenging Foxfield Race Course, located 6 miles outside of Charlottesville, has spring and fall race cards. For the flat racing fan Colonial Downs Race Course is an easy commute and has thoroughbred racing for two months in the summer.
Not to be forgotten, there are plenty of opportunities for the aspiring young horseman. Several area stables have summer day camps and many stables offer instruction for beginners of all ages. There are many local horse shows which include “short stirrup” divisions for aspiring young riders. The Hoof And Woof 4H Club has many activities for children and teens ranging from horse shows, gymnkanas, horse bowl, horse judging competitions, hippology, and community service projects.
The pleasure and trail rider has plenty of opportunities to enjoy cammeradery while enjoying the scenic Virginia countryside.
Whatever equestrian activity you enjoy the Charlottesville-Albemarle area can provide it. Make your new home in the heart of Virginia horse country.