The Board of Directors of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation has announced that Stephen Shank has been appointed as the new CEO of the Foundation, effective March 26, 2024. Steve succeeds Glenn Petty, who will leave his position at the Horse Center effective April 30, 2024, to focus on his own Triangle Farms and support his wife, Joan.
etty commented, “I am committed to making this a smooth transition and getting Steve started off on the right foot through introductions to the Horse Center staff and local community leaders. I believe the overlap in our positions will set the groundwork for a super transition.”
He continued, “I am so proud of the progress made by the Virginia Horse Center. The steady facility improvements we have made, and the new events, both VHC-owned and non-owned, have positioned the Virginia Horse Center as a crown jewel in the equine industry and is the pride of the Commonwealth.”
“My time at the Horse Center could not have been better,” said Petty. “I have made so many new friends in the Virginia horse community, and the staff has become like family to me. I have so many local friends now, including the Lexington Sunrise Rotary Club, and I will miss them all.”
Roxanne Booth, President of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation Board of Directors, said, “I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Glenn for his work during the last three years. He has positioned the Horse Center for success in many ways, and Steve is prepared to take the baton. To that end, Glenn and Steve will overlap, working together to ensure the smoothest transition possible. I know you all will join me in welcoming Steve to our Horse Center family in the coming days and weeks. We very much look forward to his leadership as we move ahead,” she added.
Shank most recently served Alfred University in Alfred, New York, as Head Coach and Director of the Equestrian Program since 2015. A western trainer with more than 40 years experience in training, showing, and horse show management, Shank has taught riding classes as well as courses in Equine Management Studies while serving as Head Coach of the University’s Intercollegiate Equestrian Team. Since 1982, Shank has owned and operated Shank Quarter Horses, a boarding, training, breeding, horse show management and showing operation in Wellsville, New York.
Shank is a nationally sanctioned horse show judge holding Judges’ Cards for the American Paint Horse Association, the Palomino Horse Breeders Association, the Pinto Horse Association, the Appaloosa Horse Club, the National Reining Association, and the National Snaffle Bit Association (Category 1.).
An accountant by profession, Shank earned associate degrees in math and science from Niagara County Community College in 1985, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Niagara University in 2003, and a Master of Business Administration in accounting from Niagara University in 2005. He also earned his professional certification from the IRS as an Enrolled Agent.
Shank commented, “I would like to thank the Virginia Horse Center Board of Directors for the honor of being chosen their next CEO. My life passion is the horse industry, so my excitement is beyond measure to start working with and for everyone at the Virginia Horse Center.”