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Hunt Country Stable Tour Returns for Its 65th Year

Hunt Country Stable Tour Returns for Its 65th Year

More than a dozen private properties open their gates to the public to provide a rare look at equine life in Virginia horse country.

UPPERVILLE, VA — After a brief hiatus, the popular Hunt Country Stable Tour returns this year for its 65th anniversary, taking visitors through the gates of historic and private properties to experience a variety of horses and equestrian activities. The event takes place on Memorial Day Weekend — Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — with special hours at some venues. The tour is self-driving and tickets are available online. The cost is $40 per person (plus taxes and fees) and tickets are for both days of the tour. There is no charge for children 10 and under.

Highlights of the tour include a chance to go behind the scenes at Kinross Farms and Poplar Grange Farm, private equine estates with an array of horses in training. At Kinross, horses are trained for three-day eventing and foxhunting, while Poplar Grange trains jumpers and steeplechase horses. Both properties possess incredible facilities and spectacular views of horse country.

At Oak Spring Stables, established by the late Paul Mellon, visitors can explore the renowned hunter and jumper barn. Mellon, a notable figure in the equestrian world, owned internationally acclaimed horses like Sea Hero, Arts and Letters, and Mill Reef. His Oak Spring Stables produced many champion bloodlines. Mellon’s achievements include winning the Kentucky Derby, Epsom Derby, and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe — a feat unmatched in international racing. Notable visitors to the Mellons’ stables included Jacqueline Kennedy, who often joined foxhunting outings with the Piedmont Fox Hunt.

The Piedmont Fox Hounds, part of the country’s oldest hunt, will be at Trinity Church in Upperville (9108 John S. Mosby Highway) on Saturday at 9 a.m. It’s an opportunity for all ages to mingle with the hounds and watch the huntsmen demonstrate working with the hounds using a horn and voice commands.

The venue at Old Denton provides a unique experience to gain a newfound appreciation for mules as visitors will see firsthand their abilities across diverse disciplines such as dressage, western reining, and foxhunting. A carriage drive will also be part of this stop.

Additional demonstrations will be held throughout the weekend at various times and locations. Polo matches will be held both days at Phipps Field. The Middleburg Training Center will open Saturday morning only from 7 to 9 a.m. for visitors who wish to watch jockeys and trainers exercise thoroughbred racehorses.

The tour also includes Stoke Farm and Welbourne Inn, historic estates dating back to the 1800s. Welbourne will host historical reenactors who will recount some of the property’s history, which includes famous guests such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, and others.

Horse lovers can visit mares and foals at Virginia Tech’s Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center, a 420-acre equine health and nutrition research facility. Salamander Resort will open its stables to showcase horses and students from local therapeutic riding programs, allowing attendees to engage with these special horses and volunteers. Learn more of the heritage of country pursuits with a tour of the rare book and art collection at the National Sporting Library & Museum.

Proceeds from the tour benefit Trinity Ministries, providing financial support to organizations that enhance and enrich the lives of people in need. Sponsors of the tour include Acre Investment and Holtzman Oil and Propane.

For more information on the Hunt Country Stable Tour and its exciting lineup of properties and experiences, visit

Photos courtesy of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Posted on: May 15, 2024

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