We are a community. Join us!

Investment in the Virginia Horse Center Foundation enriches the experience for every participant and visitor. The Foundation is a dynamic organization that supports the thrill of competition, the special partnership between horse and rider, and a vibrant community. Our competitions and educational programs promote the responsibility and leadership that shapes lives.

“The Virginia Horse Center is becoming much more than just a place to bring your horse to show. The magic
that I felt the first time that I stood on Mead Hill and looked out over the Virginia Horse Center is
very much alive, and we’re looking forward to the bright future ahead.”

—John Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer

About VHCF

The Foundation

Our story began over 30 years ago when Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr. and the Commission of the Industry of Agriculture commissioned a study about the horse industry in Virginia, focusing on ways to stimulate its growth. After visiting the Rockbridge site on June 6, 1984, the joint legislative subcommittee voted on June 8, 1984, to locate the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington.

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Our Mission and Vision

The Mission: The Virginia Horse Center Foundation provides a world-class facility hosting regional, national, and international equestrian events.

The Vision: The Virginia Horse Center Foundation envisions a unique, bucolic landmark to honor and celebrate the timeless, special bond between mankind and the horse through safe, fair and spirited equestrian competition.

More about the Foundation

Board of Directors and Advisory Board

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation's Board of Directors is a group of highly talented and committed individuals. Their expertise is vital to the management and oversight of the Foundation, and we thank them for their time and service.

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Thanks to our sponsors whose financial contributions make it possible for the Virginia Horse Center to cover the cost of operating and maintaining this our amazing equine center.

Scroll down to see our corporate sponsors!

Hall of Fame

In 2008, the Virginia Horse Center Foundation established the Hall of Fame to recognize exceptional service to the Foundation and its mission as well as the equine industry and the Rockbridge County community. Thousands of hours have been waged on behalf of the VHCF since its establishment in 1986.

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Our Staff & Volunteers

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation staff works diligently to maintain the beautiful facility, support riders and visitors to ensure enjoyable and well-run events.

Meet the Staff

Employment Opportunities


Chief Operating Officer – Overview of Responsibilities

Position Summary

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) is a senior member of the executive leadership team, and under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and in collaboration with other senior executive officers, will direct and supervise the daily operations of the VHC and provide leadership and direction to key departmental areas and staff to cause organizational success, which is defined as regional and national stature within the equestrian industry and profitability, for the VHC and the events it hosts and supports.

This position is located at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. Applicant should be prepared to live in Rockbridge County. Bachelor's degree preferred, but not required if candidate demonstrates 6-8 years' experience in similar role.  Salary will commensurate with level of experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manage all operational activities, including those activities the VHC has committed to for both owned and leased horse shows and other non-equine events with the goals of efficiency, quality and profitability.
  • Directly supervise departments having responsibility for maintenance, grounds, custodial activities and food and beverage.
  • Oversee and be responsible for the effective and profitable operation of all areas of food and beverage at the VHC, including concessions, catering and restaurant management, regardless of whether these functions are owned by the VHC or contracted to an outside entity.
  • Assure that all required licensing and documentation is executed with the appropriate governing body for equestrian events owned by the VHC.
  • Along with the CEO, create and execute business development strategies to attract competitions, seminars, demonstrations and other activities to the VHC that increase stature and improve profitability.
  • Liaise with horse show or event managers, whether contracted employees of the VHC, or those managing leased events, in a manner that maximizes the potential for success for the VHC and the event.
  • Execute the appropriate contractual agreements between the VHC and the events that utilize the facility.
    -Serve as the primary point person within the organization for all issues related to Information Technology maintenance and functionality.
  • Along with the senior leadership team, collaborate and cooperate with the Chief Development Officer on fundraising strategies and implementation.
  • As a member of the senior leadership team, provide detailed information as to performance and strategy with regard to the CFO's budgetary process.
  • Support the CEO's Ambassadorial role  within Rockbridge County and the City of Lexington, Virginia, in a manner that promotes the VHC's extraordinary contribution to the local, regional and state economy, and which serves to continue the public and political support necessary for the VHC's viability.


Please email a cover letter with CV to:
Mr. John Nicholson, CEO
Virginia Horse Center


Download pdf.

The Virginia Horse Center provides a stage for the reality of equine passions. Your dedication to our mission is greatly appreciated and needed.

Join our community of supporters!


Sponsors websites can be accessed directly by clicking on their logo. 

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487 Maury River Road, Lexington, Virginia 24450‐3374
Phone: 540‐464‐2950 / Fax: 540‐464‐2999 /Board Login

Copyright © 2017 Virginia Horse Center. All rights reserved.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Upcoming Events

  1. Winter Schooling

    February 19 @ 10:00 am - February 23 @ 4:00 pm
  2. Lone Star Rodeo

    February 22 @ 7:30 pm - February 23 @ 10:00 pm
  3. Spring Welcome Horse Show “A”

    February 28 - March 3
Virginia Horse Center, Lexington, VA
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