UPPERVILLE, Va., June 9, 2024– The 2024 Upperville Colt & Horse Show presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN™ hosted Governor and Mrs. Youngkin on the last day of the weeklong show on Sunday, June 9.
The First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne S. Youngkin, presented the “Spirit of the Horse Award” to Nancy Dillon of Philomont, Va. The award, in its third year, was established in partnership with the First Lady to recognize a woman and resident of Virginia who demonstrates exceptional service or dedication to, or promotion of, the equine industry.
Nancy Dillon is an equestrian legend in the Middleburg region. Having taught thousands of children to ride and introduced many to foxhunting, she has also brought along and trained countless ponies. Her students came to her farm after school and learned how to care for the ponies, learning full horsemanship as well as riding. In the summers, they spent all day at Dillon’s stable where they learned grooming, tacking up, washing off and mucking out.
Dillon started hunting at the age of eight in 1943 and later taught her own children to hunt. It was during a hunt that an impressed parent asked Dillon if she would give her children riding lessons and take them hunting. Dillon’s business took off from there.
The Spirit of the Horse Award is given annually at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show in celebration of Virginia’s robust agriculture and equine industry. The award includes an engraved bowl, a gift certificate to a Virginia Governor’s Cup award-winning winery, a reception for family and friends and a $1,000 donation to an equine charity of choice. UCHS leadership partners with Youngkin to help identify and champion unsung heroes and celebrate the fact that Virginia is for horse lovers.