EVE FOUT 1929-2007

(By: Arthur W. Arundel, Publisher, Fauquier Times-Democrat – 12/05/2007)

Eve Prime Fout of the Plains, a giant in open space land protection and horse sports in Virginia, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the University of Virginia Hospital after a brief illness. She was 78.

The mother of three and widow of the late horseman Paul Fout.

Mrs. Fout was a passionate lifelong horsewoman who was born in Connecticut but grew up in Warrenton, where she moved with her parents when she was 10 years old.
She had deep roots in fox hunting and equestrian sports, and rode in horse shows and cross-country racing events.

Fox hunting, Eve Fout once said, helped develop an equally passionate facet of her character: her love of the Virginia countryside and her fierce determination to preserve it.

An active supporter and the chairman over the past decade of the nine-county, Warrenton-based Piedmond Environmental Council, she is widely credited with saving thousands of acres of open land in this region from commercial development. She played an instrumental role in the successful battle to prevent Disney Corp. from building a huge theme park near the Manassas battlefield.

Paul Fout, who died in 2005, and his wife Eve were a formidable partnership in the steeplechase, horse show and foxhunting worlds. They settled in The Plains and formed a racing stable named Coosaw after a family plantation in Beaufort, S.C.

Mrs. Fout was an active rider until just days before her death. She won the North American Field Hunter Championship with Morning Pleasure in October. She hunted with the Middleburg Orange County Beagles several times a week. Mrs. Fout was the first woman trainer to saddle the winner of the Virginia Gold Cup, with Moon Rock in 1964.

Mrs. Fout was instrumental in supporting the local U.S. Pony Club chapter, the Middleburg-Orange County Pony Club.

She was also a renowned equine artist, co-founder of The American Academy of Equine Art, with works – drawings, oil paintings and, later in life, bronze sculptures – on display in the Sporting Library in Middleburg and in private homes around the world.

In addition to her role with the Piedmont Environmental Council, she was an active board member of a range of organizations involving conservation, equestrian sports and sporting art, including the Outstanding Virginian Board, Friends of Sporting Art of Virginia, and the Scenic Virginia Board of Trustees.

She was also on the board of Virginia Gold Cup Association. Among her many contributions, one of the most significant was her hand in the birth of Great Meadow Field Events Center near her home.

This included helping Great Meadow founder Nick Arundel arrange a gift of the classic 1930’s King of Spain and other race trophies from Pennsylvania’s Rolling Rock steeplechase meeting to the Great Meadow Foundation when it suddenly was evicted from its race course at the time the new Virginia Gold Cup race course was being established by Arundel in l984.

Mrs. Fout is survived by her three children, Doug, of The Plains, Nina, of Middleburg, and Virginia, now living in California.

Doug Fout has been champion steeplechase jockey and continues managing a public training operation at Coosaw, and has conditioned the likes of Eclipse Award winner Hirapour.

Nina Fout has been active in foxhunting, horse showing and three-day eventing. She was a member of the bronze medal-winning Olympic three-day event team on one of her father’s former racehorses, Three Magic Beans.

Virginia Fout grew up fox hunting and horse showing. She operates an event-coordination business in California, but is still active in the horse show world.

In addition to her children, Mrs. Fout is survived by her brother, Bill Prime of Warrenton; two grandchildren, Dunn and Caroline Fout; and her stepmother, Inga Prime.
Services will be held at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 9114 John S. Mosby Highway, Upperville.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to MOC Beagles, PO Box 346, Middleburg, VA 20118, or to Piedmont Environmental Council, 45 Horner Street, Warrenton, VA 20186.

(Photos by Douglas Lees, Famous Horsewomen of Virginia courtesy of Dr. Francis Bush)