Foxfield Spring Steeplechase Races in Charlottesville

Date: April 30, 2022

Foxfield has been hosting nationally recognized steeplechase races in the heart of Virginia for over forty years, giving residents and visitors alike the opportunity to witness spectacular horse racing and enjoy the beauty of the countryside.

In 1977, Mariann de Tejada generously purchased the property for the Foxfield Racing Association and designed and built the race course.

Foxfield Races will be held April 30 in the second of three NSA sanctioned jump meets in Virginia in 2022.

Prior to 1977 the property was a local airport, as well as a well-known riding school under the guidance of Grover Vandevener. Mr. Vandevener was the huntsman for the Farmington Hunt Club which at one time adjoined the Foxfield property, making the land incredibly rich in equestrian heritage throughout the 20th century.

The races were directed by Benjamin Dick with assistance from Patrick Butterfield until Ben’s death in 2016. At that time his brother, Thomas J. Dick, assumed oversight and directed the races until a new management and governance framework was created. While working to place the property in easement to limit its development, Mr. Dick also worked closely with Dr. Reynolds Cowles, who with Garth Road Preservation created Foxfield Racing LLC, a subsidiary of Garth Road Preservation LLC – both of which are not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organizations – to assume oversight of the races and the property in June of 2020. Dr. Cowles, a noted equine veterinarian with extensive experience in Steeplechase Racing, assembled a Board of civic-minded community members dedicated to ensuring that the Foxfield Races continue, with an emphasis on providing financially stable, fun, and safe community events.

Zanclus wired the field in a three mile maiden race April 30th, 2016 at Foxfield. Photo by Ryan Kelly.

In 2019 Mr. Dick placed the racecourse and surrounding land under conservation easement with the Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority, ensuring the future of the Foxfield Races, as well as several other community events throughout the year on the 178 acre venue.

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