with Horse and Hound

Morven Park Clarifies its Future

Concerned horsemen were mostly mollified by the message from Morven Park officials in a pair of meetings held last week. While the plan is to make a wider public use of the Leesburg, Virginia property, it appears that the only equestrian casualty will be the steeplechase racecourse. Other equestrian facilities will be continued and even improved.

Park officials said that the steeplechase races never made money, and the decision to close the track was strictly economic. The Fairfax Hunt Point-to-Point Races, to be run in April of this year, will utilize the racetrack for the last time. Preliminary plans call for a grand prix course to be built in the infield area.

The Virginia Foxhound Show held each year over the Memorial Day weekend will continue, according to officials. The cross country schooling course will remain, and horse trial events will continue to be held. Horse show and dressage arenas will be relocated closer to the stables, and the indoor arena will be refurbished. The stable that was destroyed by fire last year will be rebuilt. The Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation will be allowed to expand to accommodate more users, and equine therapy for wounded servicemen may be introduced.

See Betsy Parker’s complete article in the Loudoun Times.

Posted February 11, 2012