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Discover Fauquier August 2018
18
It's no secret that we live in horse country--take any major
artery out of the Town of Warrenton, and you'll soon fi nd
yourself surrounded by fi elds that are often dotted with
grazing horses. Did you know that there are more horses
than public school children in Fauquier County? And
yet, until fairly recently, there were no public equestrian
facilities here.
RideFauquier is moving toward change. Founding
president Mary Page explains that this grassroots nonprofi t
organization was launched more than a decade ago, when
area equine enthusiasts responded to an ad in a local
newspaper. Hundreds of people,
including huntsmen, veterinarians,
horse show organizers, trail and
pleasure riders, and more came
together to discuss creating a
group that would tend to equine
community needs, in particular
establishing a public equestrian
facility in the county.
Originally known as Fauquier
E q u e s t r i a n F o r u m , t h e
organization soon simplifi ed the name to RideFauquier.
In addition to serving as an advocacy group, it went through
the many steps to become an offi cial 501(c)(3) nonprofi t,
eventually issuing a formal Memo of Understanding to
create Meetze Station Horse Park, a facility on 200 acres
of county-owned land. Previously belonging to private
landowners, the site, located at 8428 Meetze Road in
Warrenton, already has a temporary parking lot, trail head,
and four miles of bridle paths in place, but the organization
has been raising funds to add an arena and additional paths.
The facility is open to RideFauquier members, which
charges a modest annual membership fee of $30/person
or $50/family, but you don't need to reside in Fauquier
County to be a member. RideFauquier has conducted a
variety of fundraisers over the years, including trail rides,
pony rides at areas festivals, and winery outings, as well
as outreach efforts to spread the word about their cause.
Mary is quick to point out the importance of horses' economic
role in our community. Virginia boasts a $6 billion equine
industry, and Fauquier tops the list for the largest horse
population in the Commonwealth, pumping more than
$54 million annually into county coffers. "Our economy
depends on the horseman working hand-in-hand-with the
blacksmith and the veterinarian, buying hay and grain from
local farmers, and keeping tack shops and fencing yards
in business," she says.
But there's more to it than the bottom line. "RideFauquier
is the front line to keeping open land and conserving
our natural resources--all the
wonderful things that have
drawn people to the area,"
Mary adds, noting that until the
facility opened, equestrians had
to commute to Rappahannock
or other surrounding counties
to ride. "The equine industry is
a huge economic engine here
in the county, but it also keeps
Fauquier looking like Fauquier."
RideFauquier is on its way to seeing through its eventual goal
of a covered arena, additional bridle paths, and permanent
cross-country jumps, as well as a comprehensive network
of shared-use trails that will connect many of the county's
historic, recreational, and natural resources. But ongoing
funding is needed, and you can help!
C o n s i d e r
attending their
p r e m i e r g a l a
event on Saturday,
A u g u s t 2 5 ,
beginning at 6
:30
p.m. Dress up in
Roaring Twenties
garb and head to
the Black Horse
Inn (coincidentally
located just across
the road from the
Meetze Station
Horse Park) to
enjoy fi ne dining,
an open bar, live raffl e, and of course dancing to the tunes
provided by Peter Pavone, who will also provide a tribute
show to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jack Benny, and
others. Tickets are $175/person or $1,950/table for 10 and
must be purchased by August 15, either online at
www.
ridefauquier.com or by picking up a registration packet at
Black Horse Inn or Horse Country in Warrenton.
If you can't attend, you can still make a secure donation
to RideFauquier on their website. To learn more about
the gala or RideFauquier, visit the website or call Mary at
(540) 229-7600.
jar 0818
DiSCOVER FAUQUIER
~ Nancy Griffi n-Bonnaire
RideFauquier Takes the Reins on
Providing a County Equine Facility
RideFauquier Takes the Reins on
Providing a County Equine Facility
Trail Ride Fundraiser
RideFauquier Dedication of Bridle Path
Black Horse Inn
For more than a quarter-century,
Compassion Animal Hospital
has striven to live up to its name.
Owners Dr. Lisa Gibson and her
husband Don, who serves as
office manager, are delighted to
have welcomed Dr. Tyler Barnes
to their staff in July. Raised in
Fairfax County, Dr. Barnes grew
up with various pets, including
cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, and
rabbits. She recalls setting her
sights on becoming a veterinarian
at the tender age of just four years,
eventually taking animal science
classes in high school and working
at a kennel during the summer. Dr.
Barnes received her undergraduate
degree in biology with honors,
graduating as salutatorian of her
class at Roanoke College and
earning her Doctor of Veterinary
Medicine degree from Cornell
University this past May. Her
interests are working with both
companion and farm animals,
and to date, she has already had
opportunities to work with all the
species for which the animal
hospital provides care. To learn
more, call
(540) 439-9016.
~ Nancy Griffin-Bonnaire
Dr. Tyler Barnes
Joins Compassion
Animal Hospital
FOCUS
ON BUSINESS
Dr. Tyler Barnes