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Virginia Dressage Association Donates $12,000 to Virginia Horse Center 

Donation To Allow for Renovation of New 'Blue Hen' Restaurant

Lexington, VA - August 8, 2014 - The Virginia Dressage Association (VADA) has long been a supporter of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation, and now, in recognition and support of the direction that the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) is heading, VADA members have voted in favor of a $12,000 donation to the Horse Center.

The generous donation has been allocated for use toward the refurbishment of the new Blue Hen restaurant. Formerly the Winner's Circle, the restaurant located next to the Wiley Arena will provide all VHC attendees with high-quality and delicious food and beverage options.

"The Horse Center was on our list of things that we would consider, but we just wanted to see how things were progressing before we made a commitment," VADA president Alison Head said. "After the Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting that I attended, I felt that enough progress had been made that it was time for us to step up and express our faith in the path that the Horse Center was taking by making this donation."

The opportunity to make the donation specifically for the refurbishment of The Blue Hen was an ideal fit for VADA, as it will directly benefit all members of the organization that utilize the VHC facilities throughout the year. 

Blue Hen

The future home of The Blue Hen restaurant, formerly the Winner's Circle located next to the Wiley Arena

"VADA as a whole does two big things each year: a clinic and a championship show at the Virginia Horse Center," Head said. "That show is how we bring in income, and it's also one of the things that defines VADA as an organization. There's no place else that we could run that. We really need the indoor, and we need a big facility. Because of that the Horse Center is really, really important to us. We couldn't run our big championship without the Horse Center."

Just as the use of the facility is vital to VADA, the support of such organizations is vital to the livelihood of the Virginia Horse Center.

"VADA and it's members play key roles at every major dressage event at VHC, so we are delighted by their ongoing support of our mission to create a customer service environment that sets us apart from other similar facilities," Glenn Petty, interim executive director of the Virginia Horse Center said.

The Blue Hen is already being readied for initial opening within the next week. The top-quality new food service operation will be run under the direction of John Blackburn and Stephanie Wilkinson, co-founders and co-owners of award-winning Lexington, VA based restaurant The Red Hen.

About the Virginia Horse Center

The Virginia Horse Center (VHC) hosts over 100 equine events a year. In 2013, VHC provided 51,455 stable nights with an estimated 205,000 guest days and a combined local economic impact estimated at over $53 million statewide and $37 million in Lexington and Rockbridge County.

The VHC is situated on a 573-acre site with 8 barns to accommodate 750 horses in permanent stabling. Indoor stabling can be increased to 1,200 horses with the use of temporary stalls. VHC hosts 19 show rings, including two large arenas and a five mile Olympic cross country course. Four of the VHC barns are winterized with close access to the 4,000 seat indoor coliseum. VHC is recognized for the excellent footing of its show rings and the durable construction of the concrete stalls. VHC also offers camping facilities and on-site food and beverage services.

The  VHC plays a key role in the Shows and Competition component of the Equine industry's economic impact estimated at $95 million+ in 2010 and an overall state and local tax impact of $65 million ($37 million+ state taxes and $28 million+ local taxes). An important part of the industry's economic impact includes the tax dollars of $2.3 million+ for Rockbridge County and the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista.  Much of that tax revenue is attributed to the VHC.

(Economic impact estimated by the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center For Public Service) 

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