Brooke Kemper rides Classifed to win in $25,000 Grand Prix of Roanoke

Brooke Kemper on Classified

The Grand Prix of Roanoke had a new venue and a new champion for 2016, as Brooke Kemper rode her 12-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred gelding Classified to the top spot for the $25,000 prize Saturday, June 26, at the Virginia Horse Center.

Brooke Kemper on Classified

The 12-time winner of the Grand Prix of Roanoke, Aaron Vale, was not part of the field of 11 at the show’s new venue at the Virginia Horse Center.

As a large crowd of spectators looked on, Kemper, of Shadow Pond Stables in Culpeper, Virginia, was clear in her first ride and then clear again in the jump-off with a time of 37.258. She just barely edged out Maryann Charles and FVF Sailorman, who jumped a double clear with a time of 37.279.

Also in the jump-off round was Tyler Smith riding Soho D’Ermisserie, who had a double clear with a time of 41.763, and Gavin Moylan riding Pernod, who had four faults and a time of 35.411.

Brooke Kemper also rode Classified to a win in the Rockbridge Grand Prix at the Virginia Horse Center in 2015. She was third in the George L. Ohrstrom Grand Prix at the horse center in May. Kemper grew up on her parents’ Kemper Knoll Farm near Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her mother, Darlene, is a riding instructor, while her father, Whit, is a full-time farmer.

Tyler Smith and Soho D’Ermisserie were third in the Grand Prix of Roanoke

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Roanoke Valley Horse Show just 2 weeks away at new location


The Roanoke Valley Horse Show has found a new home at the Virginia Horse Center, and the horseman’s association is excited for this year’s competition from June 20-25. Highlight events during the multi-discipline event for exhibitors and spectators will include the $25,000 Grand Prix of Roanoke on Saturday, June 25, and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by Chatham Hall on Friday, June 24.

“We’re excited to be moving to the Virginia Horse Center because it gives us the ability to offer more classes, and it also helps our great staff of volunteers in not having to actually build a venue as we did at our previous location,” Roanoke Valley Horse Show chairperson Stacey Wright said.

“A new addition this year will be all-day barrel racing on Monday with $2,500 added prize money instead of an invitational, as it has been in the past,” Wright explained. “We are hopeful that our move to the Virginia Horse Center will allow us to grow some of our other classes in the future such as our Arabian division, our Racking Horse division, our Saddlebred/Hackney/Roadster division as well as our Quarter Horse and Hunter/Jumper divisions.”

The Roanoke Valley Horse Show is a nonprofit organization and event, and the funds raised from the annual horse show are donated to health and human service organizations in the region. While the horse show will be moving to Lexington, the event will continue to benefit the Roanoke Valley and to uphold the show’s longstanding traditions of Southern hospitality.

“We are really looking forward to moving to the Virginia Horse Center and feel that it will be a great improvement in safety for our horses and our exhibitors as well,” Wright said. “It will allow us to grow our profits so we can contribute back to the charitable organizations that we support such as the Bradley Free Clinic 4-H and the Virginia Maryland Equine Program at Virginia Tech. It’s still the same great horse show, just in a new location. We are there for the benefit of the charities in the Roanoke Valley and that’s where our profits go, back to the Roanoke Valley,” Wright emphasized.

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

Aaron Vale, 12-time winner of Grand Prix of Roanoke, loses home to fire

house fire
Aaron and Mallory Vale lost their Florida home to a fire on Friday, June 3.

On Friday, June 3, Aaron and Mallory Vale of Morriston, Fla., lost their home to a fire. While no people were injured, they lost their beloved dog, Roo, and many priceless items such as photos, trophies and heirlooms.

Aaron Vale has been a fixture at the Roanoke Valley Horse Show for many years, winning the $50,000 Grand Prix of Roanoke 12 times. Vale has more than 170 Grand Prix wins and over $3 million in prize money throughout his illustrious riding career.

A GoFundMe account has been created to help raise money for the family.