Upperville Horse Show Celebrates Virginia Equestrian Tradition

Experience Upperville Colt & Horse Show, a Virginia tradition since 1853.

By Emily Rust

Upperville Colt & Horse Show
Upperville Colt & Horse Show. Photo courtesy of Janet Hitchen.


This weekend, Upperville will be home to a dog, horse, and auto show, only one of which is the nation’s oldest.

The horses may have the historic edge with the 161st Upperville Colt & Horse Show, but auto and dog lovers take note. Among the equestrian affairs, the show will also host canine and car events.

From June 2-8, at Grafton Farm along Route 50, the Upperville Colt and Horse Show will not only showcase Olympic-caliber horses, but also will display Basset Hounds. The floppy-eared dogs will parade around a ring just like nearby horses. On Sunday, Jack Russell terriers will get their turn in the canine competition as they shoot out of  starting gates in a dog race.

For car buffs, an antique auto show will be on Sunday afternoon prior to the horse show’s premiere event, the Jumper Classic.

Other animals will be on display on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pedigree County Fair where children can try saddling up as well, with pony rides.

Established in 1853 by Richard Henry Dulany, the Upperville Colt & Horse Show first started as a way to promote good health among horses. The first show’s trophies were made in New York the famous stained-glass artisan, and son of the founder of Tiffany & Co., Louis Tiffany.

In the main rings, international and national horse greats will take center stage during this week-long event. Both jumper and hunter classes will be competing from riders ranging from children to amateurs to professional adults. 

Horses compete in two classes: hunters and jumpers. Hunter judging is based on the horse’s style while smoothly jumping over obstacles at an even pace and is more subjective. Jumper scoring focuses on speed and accuracy when getting over the jumps with less emphasis on style points.

This event continues to be a high point of Virginia’s rich equestrian history.

Upperville Colt & Horse Show
June 2-8
Grafton Farm, 8600 John S Mosby Highway

Upperville, 20184

540-687-5740; upperville.com
Tickets: $10 and children under 12 are free with an adult.