Steeplechase Racing in Charlottesville since 1977

Foxfield has been hosting nationally recognized steeplechase races in the heart of Virginia for over forty years, giving residents and visitors alike the opportunity to witness spectacular horse racing and enjoy the beauty of the countryside. In 1977, Mariann de Tejeda generously purchased the property for the Foxfield Racing Association and designed and built the race course.

Prior to 1977 the property was a local airport, as well as a well-known riding school under the guidance of Grover Vandevender. Mr. Vandevender was the huntsman for the Farmington Hunt Club which at one time adjoined the Foxfield property, making the land incredibly rich in equestrian heritage throughout the 20th century.

The races were directed by Benjamin Dick with assistance from Patrick Butterfield until Ben’s death in 2016. At that time his brother, Thomas J. Dick, assumed oversight and directed the races until a new management and governance framework was created. While working to place the property in easement to limit its development, Mr. Dick also worked closely with Dr. Reynolds Cowles, who with Garth Road Preservation created Foxfield Racing LLC, a subsidiary of Garth Road Preservation LLC – both of which are not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organizations – to assume oversight of the races and the property in June of 2020. Dr. Cowles, a noted equine veterinarian with extensive experience in Steeplechase Racing, assembled a Board of civic-minded community members dedicated to ensuring that the Foxfield Races continue, with an emphasis on providing financially stable, fun, and safe community events.

In 2019 Mr Dick placed the racecourse and surrounding land under conservation easement with the Albemarle Conservation Easement Authority, ensuring the future of the Foxfield Races, as well as several other community events throughout the year on the 178 acre venue.

Read more about Foxfield in Beth Sutton’s article “Foxfield and Farmington”


Moving forward, the Board of Foxfield is committed to exploring new ways to leverage the property, and the races, to benefit diverse members of our community.

The Mission of the Organization

To fulfill this mission and to launch Foxfield into its new era, the Board of Directors has prioritized the following strategic initiatives:

The Board sought two long-term partnerships that will generate financial support, visibility, and programmatic opportunities for non-profit organizations to more fully integrate Foxfield into the future of our community in a meaningful and authentic way. We are establishing a relationship with a social justice charity (Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville) as well as a medical charity (Camp Holiday Trails).

At the same time, these efforts can elevate the importance of maintaining Albemarle County’s commitment to open space preservation through experiential learning opportunities.


Preserve our future, leave a legacy, support our community

Foxfield Board