Dear Friends of UCHS,
The New Year is here! It is time to celebrate the year gone by and welcome in the next one. For those of us at Upperville, this season marks the quiet time for the show grounds, while the head of steam builds for the June event to come.
2023 gave us much to celebrate at UCHS! Our 170th anniversary show was thrown a curveball with the smoke from Canada foiling our Thursday afternoon program. But the quick, expert pivot by our management and staff allowed most of our competitors to show in their postponed classes over the following days. The local ponies had a wonderful time showing in the grass ring on Friday!
We kicked-off the open phase of our Jump In! Capital Campaign with a very well attended champagne reception on Monday of the show. Thanks to many generous supporters, the Campaign is allowing us to update and build out a facility worthy of Upperville’s heritage and importance in the equestrian world. Additionally, we have started an endowment to help ensure the long-term success of the nation’s oldest horse show. We are extremely grateful to all who have embraced the campaign, from leadership donations to brick orders to service discounts. Thanks to their support we have already raised $4.7 million toward our $7.5 million stretch goal.
We have many exciting changes and additions to the show to look forward to in 2024; many enabled by the Capital Campaign. For the first time the International Hunter Derby will take place in the main hunter ring, now known as the Parker Ring, on Thursday afternoon. We will celebrate the move with an open reception in the Friends tent, adjacent to our newly renovated Grandstand, which now has a handicap accessible ramp and viewing deck, as well as options for boxes that can seat four or eight people. Be sure to get your reserved box seating early!
On the jumper side, we are marking 50 years of jumpers on the Salem showgrounds. Thanks to generosity of Theodora Randolph and the Bonnie family, the Salem showgrounds have seen a remarkable evolution into one of the country’s premiere show facilities. With help from the Capital Campaign, Upperville will continue to fund updates and improvements to the infrastructure on Salem as well as Grafton; a benefit shared by all the shows that utilize the wonderful facility there.
Please get involved! This year, we are encouraging supporters to become UCHS Members by adding designated box seating both in the Grandstand and by the Grand Prix Ring for Members only. We have also designed a nifty car decal you can display to show you are a UCHS Member! All previous benefits still apply.
Finally, please help us keep our information up to date by sending any changes of address or email to [email protected]. Let us know if you would like to receive the annual “Invitation to Sponsor” mailed in February, if you haven’t been receiving it. We are happy to expand our list!
May you all feel the joy of the season. Happy New Year from all of us at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show!