The Virginia Horse Center Foundation’s call to post for their third season of Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows once again attracted full fields on March 18-20, 2011. This unique hunter/jumper horse show series which features Thoroughbred ex-racehorses and those bred to race now boasts three energetic days of competition in the all enclosed East Complex of the Virginia Horse Center.

Pickin N Singin (Danny Young/Action Shots Photography)
Notable sires of some of the March competitors included: Holy Bull, Two Punch, Tapit, Lionhearted, Quiet American, Cox’s Ridge, Waquoit, Richter Scale, Unbridled Song, Smoke Glacken, Dynaformer, Wayne County and Thunder Gulch. A former $500,000 Saratoga Select Yearling Sales graduate, Pickin N Singin, and his owner Christina Welker of Versailles, Kentucky, received many honors at the show. Pickin N Singin won the Fasig-Tipton Model Class, was Reserve Champion in both the Suffolk & Santa Anita Hunters, and received a beautiful leather halter, donated by Horse Cents, Inc. of Kentucky for the coveted Hunter Style Award.

The $1,000 After the Finish Line Hunter Stake, sponsored by Dawn Mellen of California in honor of After the Finish Line, was won by Fins Up, a Pennsylvania bred son of Lyracist. Fins Up formerly raced as Strong Tower when competing at Delaware Park, Penn National and Philadelphia Park.  Current owner Susan Sisco of Sunfield, Inc. and Fins Up were also Monmouth Hunter Champion, Blue Horse Charities Pleasure Reserve Champion, as well as securing the blue ribbon in the Delaware Park Handy Hunter.

Top honors in the $1,000 William E. Croll Memorial Jumper Stake, sponsored by his friends, went to a horse that is no stranger to the event’s spectators. Cold Cat, a son of Skip Trial, who had 40 starts in his former career and has been in the money at previous Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows, and on the “A” circuit, was ridden to the win by his owner Rebecca Smith of Virginia. 
Fins Up (Danny Young/Action Shots Photography)
Cold Cat also received the Jumper Style Award, an embroidered quarter sheet which was donated by North Shore Designs, Tom & Nancy Ginaven of Virginia. The late William E. Croll’s daughter, Billie Rae Croll of BRC Stables, was the trainer brought the largest stable to the show. BRC Stables claimed three Championship honors throughout the weekend as well as ribbons in both Stake classes.

“Soar to New Heights by Adopting a Thoroughbred” was a creative display featuring two dozen adoptable horses from successful transitioning facilities that included New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, CANTER Mid-Atlantic, Illinois Equine Humane Center and Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue. 
Spectators were delighted to watch several graduates of these programs compete at the March show, including Quintyne, Sugar Hall, No Halo, Old Charade and Night Sky, formerly known as R. Faithful.

The silent auction raised more than $1,500 for After the Finish Line. This non-profit organization funds and assists Thoroughbred rescues and re-homing facilities. 
The Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows’ partnership with After the Finish Line is impacting the lives of Thoroughbred ex-racehorses across the United States. Additional silent auctions will be held June 10-12, 2011 as well as November 18-20, 2011. If you are interested in donating items for the silent auction, please contact Sue Simon, Coordinator at or call (804) 314-1354.

Cold Cat (Danny Young/Action Shots Photography)
The next Thoroughbred Celebration horse shows will be held on June 10-12, 2011 and November 18-20, 2011. 
Find them on Facebook: Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows, to keep up with the show series and Virginia Horse Center Foundation, to keep up with all that is going on at the Virginia Horse Center.

For more information:  Show Manager — Chris Kelly or (540) 460-3390. For Sponsorships/In Kind Donations, contact the Outreach Coordinator, Krista Hodgkin or (540) 293-7994.