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Belmont Horse Show celebrates 75 years

Posted on Friday, August 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Approximately 70 contestants in the annual Belmont Horse Show competed in a wide variety of classes.

Approximately 70 contestants in the annual Belmont Horse Show competed in a wide variety of classes.

The Belmont Horse Show in Orange celebrated 75 years of tradition on Saturday Aug. 15 with their annual horse show.

This year’s horse show boasted roughly 70 contestants fully dressed and trained to participate in the show—a far cry from the shows of the past according to Willie Wood Biscoe.

“The farm kids were just riding horses,” Biscoe said. “They knew nothing about the proper way of riding.”

The horse show originated in 1936 out of a need to raise funds for a county nurse. According to Biscoe, the [Orange] County Health Association contacted the Home Demonstration Club asking for a $50 donation toward the nurses $1,000 salary.

One of the members suggested starting the horse show with a cover charge of 15 cents per head.

After rounding up volunteers to judge the exhibits and sell some baked goods, the ladies collected $147.50—well above their goal of $50.

During this year’s show, Secretary of Administration Nancy Rodrigues read a letter written by Govenor Terry McAuliffe congratulating the heritage of the show.

“The Belmont Club personifies what is great about Virginia,” Rodrigues said. “Who wouldn’t want to live here and offer the opportunity to have all of this?”

This year’s show boasted 20 different rider classes for the 60-plus riders in attendance.

Criteria for the classes range from the age of the rider to the age of the horse or pony, what style saddle the rider and the breed of the horse.

See the aug. 20 edition of The Central Virginian for the complete story.