Over 200 entries are expected for the Virginia Walking/Racking Horse Owners Association show, set for 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25 at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex.
Show manager Henry Adkins said the show will feature Tennessee walking horses, racking horses, and spotted saddle horses.
“We’ve have horses from Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. This year we are expecting horses from Kentucky,” Adkins said.
Entrants for the show are spending countless hours feeding, grooming, riding, and training their horses according to Adkins.
“It’s a constant thing to break, train, and care for them. Those that are showing are spending time daily riding, at least five to six times a week,” Adkins said.
Horses are being shown Saturday in 56 classes, 14 of which are youth classes. Adkins said some of those entering the show are showing in multiple classes.
The final nine classes Saturday are the championship classes, which include open spotted saddle horse stake, open speed racking stake, open plantation stake, open trail racking stake, open trail walking stake, open racking stake, open pleasure horse stake, racking horse stake, and walking horse stake.
Prize money is up for grabs in classes 2 through 54.
The judge for the 2019 show is Keith Becknell of Kingsport, Tennessee.
“Keith is a walking horse trainer by profession, and well recognized within the industry as one of the best,” Adkins said.
For someone interested in entering shows, Adkins said commitment is key.
“You’ve really got to love the sport in order to show. You’ve got to know and love your horse. The horse has got to be well maintained and groomed. The gaits have to be perfected in order to show in these classes,” Adkins said.
In addition to the show, Adkins said the association wishes to thank their sponsors and the Old Dominion Agricultural Complex for use of their facilities.
“It wasn’t too long ago we were holding shows outside in the rain and mud. Now we can have shows and be comfortable inside. As well, the spectators have comfortable seating to view us,” Adkins said.
The Virginia Walking/Racking Horse Owners Association formed in the 1960s according to Adkins. They are currently seeking new members.
“You don’t have to own a horse to join, but you must be willing to participate and help out,” Adkins said.
Tickets for Saturday’s show are $6 at the door, and free for children under 12.
A portion of the proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Last year we raised $2,000 for the Ronald McDonald House,” Adkins said.
For more information, contact Adkins at (434) 334-2304.