Central Virginia Horse Farms Continue to Thrive In Cold Weather Months

Here are pictures from a recent tour of thoroughbred horse farms in Central Virginia while checking on horses in the VTA’s lucrative Certified Residency program. Meet the farm owners below and check out their surroundings. This trip was made on a recent January day, probably the coldest of the season so far. The farms are located in Free Union (Ruxton Farm), Charlottesville (Big Lick Farm), Crozet (Braeburn Training Center), Somerset, New Canton (Southwoods Farm) and Palmyra (Byrd Hill Farm). A complete list of farms in the Certified program is available at vabred.org.

Ruxton Farm is in Free Union, about 15 miles north of Charlottesville.

Ruxton Farm owner Raleigh Minor with her “go-to” assistant Wilson Steppe.

Raleigh Minor with a 2020 Munnings colt at Ruxton Farm.

Horse owner William Dove II is based in Somerset and shares barn space with trainer David Bourke.

Attorney and horse owner William Dove II is with a 2020 colt by Palace Malice out of Southern Belle, who he nicknamed “Pigpen”.

Big Lick Farm is located in Charlottesville and currently houses 27 horses.

Virginia-Certified horses Graft and Lothario enjoy time at Big Lick Farm. The 2020 colts are by Gun Runner and The Factor respectively.

Big Lick Farm, owned by Reid & Sarah Nagle, features beautifully manicured grounds.

Braeburn Training Center in Crozet is owned by Patrick Nuesch.

Braeburn features a training track, two large barns and plenty of turnout areas nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Patrick Nuesch stays busy tending to 25-plus horses at Braeburn.

Owner Jeanette Reck and her son, trainer Chris Reck at Southwoods Farm in New Canton with Virginia-Certified Zitrone and Sara The Great.

Chris Reck comes back from Penn National to spend winters at the family farm in New Canton to help with upkeep. It is located just south of Fork Union Military Academy.  

A view looking out from the barn at Southwoods Farm.

Polly Bance of Byrd Hill Farm in Palmyra has four Certified horses on her grounds for Howard Brown of Brown Dog Racing.

The entrance to 350 acre Byrd Hill Farm in Palmyra. There is plenty of room on site to accommodate more horses in the Virginia-Certified program.

A 2019 Uncle Lino gelding, 2020 Hoppertunity colt and 2020 Hoppertunity filly enjoy a meal at Byrd Hill Farm.