Roanoke Valley Horse Show will save by using venue made for horse shows

The Virginia Horse Center will host the Roanoke Valley Horse Show in 2016.

The Roanoke Valley Horse Show will return in 2016, but this time the historic horse show has found a new home in the Virginia Horse Center, the horse center confirmed in a news release Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.

After 43 years, insufficient funding for the charitable show caused the event to be canceled in 2015. For 2016, the popular horse show will be held from June 20-25 at the Virginia Horse Center, about 40 minutes north of Roanoke in Lexington, Virginia.

The show is a nonprofit event, and the funds raised are donated to health and human service organizations in the region. While the horse show will be moving outside of the area, the event will continue to benefit the Roanoke Valley.

“Unfortunately, we had to cancel last year because we were unable to cover costs,” Mark Hartberger, president of the Roanoke Valley Horseman’s Association said in the news release. “The cost of the Salem venue was just far too expensive. There is nothing wrong with [the Salem Civic Center]; it’s a perfect location, and we made a beautiful horse show. It is just very expensive to hold a horse show on grounds that are not made for horse shows.”

Photos from June 19's afternoon classes at the Roanoke Valley Horse Show
The Roanoke Valley Horse Show was held at the Salem Civic Center for more than 40 years.

Previously, the Roanoke Valley Horse Show was responsible for both the time and expense of installing footing, tent stabling and much more in order to make the horse show a reality. Now, the ability to utilize the Virginia Horse Center facility will not only allow the horse show to continue, it will save event organizers and volunteers time and will enable more money to be given back to the charities which the Roanoke Valley Horse Show supports.

“All of the maintenance, putting up tents, getting the asphalt parking lot ready to put horses on – it is all very time consuming and expensive,” Hartberger said. “The Virginia Horse Center is cared for every day so that we don’t have to worry about any of those things.”

Virginia Horse Center Foundation President Ernie Oare wanted to see the Roanoke Valley Horse Show continue, and he was instrumental in facilitating the move to the Horse Center.

“The historic and traditional volunteer charity horse shows like Roanoke are the kind of horse shows that are very sadly going by the wayside,” Oare said in the news release. “That’s why we’re so happy that we can hopefully help keep it going for years to come. The Virginia Horse Center operation is turn-key for them, which will allow their expenses to be much, much less than they were.”

The horse show is an all-breed horse show offering hunter, jumper, racking, roadster, Saddlebred and western divisions. To learn more about the Roanoake Valley Horse Show and supporting the event in 2016 visit


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