Time’s running out to save on horse festival tickets

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Advance discount tickets for this year’s Virginia Horse Festival March 23-25 at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County can be purchased online through March 22.

Adults can save $3 off the gate admission price. Visitors also can pre-purchase three-day passes for $20 through March 21; the gate price for the passes is $25.

This year children 12 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult admission. Children will need tickets for entry, but those tickets can be ordered online at no cost.

The festival includes an exciting line-up of clinics, demonstrations and seminars representing every aspect of Virginia’s horse industry. Because it’s located at the birthplace of thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat, there also will be birthday celebration events honoring “Big Red” throughout the weekend.

New this year is a Triple Crown Tribute reception and program. Guests can commemorate the 45th anniversary of Secretariat’s historic Triple Crown, in which he won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Special guests include author Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of the late Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner; sports journalist Steve Haskin; and former Meadow Stable grooms.

Today is the last day to buy tickets to the reception, which will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdy, March 24. A portion of the proceeds from the $45 tickets will benefit The Meadow’s Historic Barn Restoration Fund. Ticket purchasers must be 21 or older.

Festival entertainment this year includes Austin Anderson and the Texas Trick Riders. Anderson is a third-generation stuntman, horseman and performer.

A featured clinician at the festival is Ken McNabb, an American cowboy. McNabb grew up in a traditional ranching family in the mountains of Wyoming. He creates a unique teaching environment where each horse is trained using gentle methods and riders are coached to achieve their personal best.

Dog lovers can bring their canine companions this year and watch the Jack Russell races going on all weekend long. Furry friends are welcome at the festival when owners present a valid rabies vaccination receipt and sign the event’s dog waiver prior to admission.

No retractable leashes are permitted, and dogs will need to wear a special collar tag while visiting the festival. Pet stations will be located throughout the grounds to provide water and cleanup supplies.

In addition to the clinics, demos and seminars, festivalgoers will have access to an abundance of indoor and outdoor shopping, including vendors of boots, saddles, tack and trailers. Youth and adults also can visit the Hokie Horse Education Station, which offers horse-related craft activities like horseshoe painting and Kentucky Derby hat-making.

For a complete list of clinics, demonstrations and challenges, or to purchase tickets to the event and special Secretariat celebrations, visit VirginiaHorseFestival.com.