VTA Director George Rowand and his wife Rita and son Michael have packed up from their home in Fauquier County and headed off to the United Arab Emirates – specifically Ras Al Khaimah, which is in the 7th Emirate, bordering on Oman.

Rita has a job there with George Mason University, and George will also be working on campus as a writer in residence and director of the writing center. We suspect he will also be looking for economic and journalistic opportunities related to horse racing in the region. We expect a complete report from the upcoming Dubai World Cup to say the least.

Rowand fell in love with Thoroughbred racing thanks to a horse called Secretariat. He endeavored to get involved in the industry and set about doing so via family partnerships. While, by his own account, the initial results were dismal – the partnership won one race in six years – the group ultimately bred four graded-stakes winners, including two Grade 1 winners. They won 17 stakes races across America, and gave trainer Barclay Tagg his only two G1 winners prior to Funny Cide.

Rowand has recently written a racing column for a local Virginia paper and eventually was hired as a reporter, first covering local schools and their issues and then as the business editor where he wrote about 1,000 articles about local businesses. While doing that, he also wrote and had published his story about his time in the thoroughbred business: “Diary of a Dream: My Journey in Thoroughbred Racing.”

Rowand has been married to his wife, Rita, for almost 25 years, and their son, Michael, is now 19 and is a sophomore at Virginia Tech. Michael will hang out with mom and dad for two weeks before heading back to Blacksburg for the spring semester.

Get the scoop daily at: http://www.georgerowand.com/index.cfm

(Photo by Raymond Thompson/Fauquier Times Democrat)