Past, Present, Future
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.
- Foxfield has been operating since 1977.
- The Foxfield Races are hosted bi-annually.
- The spring races often host 15,000 attendees
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.
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 foster the conservation of open space and our countryside.
- To foster and celebrate the traditions of Virginia steeplechase racing.
- To use these functions to support benevolence in our community.
To fulfill this mission and to launch Foxfield into its new era, the Board of Directors has prioritized the following strategic initiatives:
- The Race: Establish the Foxfield Races as one of the premier races in the National Steeplechase Association
- Safety: Create a race day that is safe, accessible and community oriented
- Infrastructure: Invest in property infrastructure improvements
- Sponsorships: Expand and improve sponsorship opportunities through the creation of a higher level experience
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.
Dr. Reynolds Cowles (Chair)
Reynolds’ professional career has been devoted to equine health and events. He is the founder of Blue Ridge Equine Clinic (BREC), a leading equine veterinary practice.
Jack Sanford, Jr. (Vice Chair)
Jack is owner and President of Faulconer Construction Co., Inc. and has served as a board member of National Steeplechase Association and has been a licensed Steward with the Association for over 30 years.
Ann Horner (Treasurer)
Ann’s business career has been with DuPont Pharmaceuticals and Bourne Leisure Group. She currently serves on the board of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Locke Ogens (Secretary)
Locke is the Virginia State Director for The Nature Conservancy. She serves on The Salvation Army Board and was previously a trustee and chair of The College Foundation Board at UVA.
Steve is President of Faulconer Construction Company. He has served as Vice President, Marketing and Communications for Apex Clean Energy, and Director for United Way of Greater Charlottesville, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, Piedmont CASA, Local Food Hub, and Computers4Kids.
An avid sports woman, Cynthia founded Ragged Mountain Running Shop in 1982 with her husband, Mark. For over thirty years, she has directed the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler, the area’s largest foot race and one of Charlottesville’s largest fundraisers. The event is held at Foxfield every Labor Day Weekend.
John is Founder and Managing Member of Arrochar Management LLC. Prior to founding Arrochar, he was Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Tudor Investment Corporation and Treasurer and Managing Director of Salomon Brothers Inc. He currently serves as a Director on the boards of a number of prominent institutions focused primarily on higher education and environmental conservation.
Nora is the Director of Advancement of the Piedmont Environmental Council. She was formerly the Chief Advancement Officer at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and has held positions at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello) and the Montpelier Foundation. Nora currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation Council.
Kenny Wheeler, Jr.
Kenny is CEO of Virginia Eagle Distributing, distributors of Anheuser Busch products as well as national, regional, and local crafts. Kenny currently serves on the boards of The Virginia Horse Center, The Devon Horse Show, and The Keswick Hunt Club.
Zach is the founder and CEO of Timbercreek Farm and Land Management. He is a former steeplechase jockey and presently a licensed trainer of flat and steeplechase horses.
Executive Director Foxfield Racing Ex-officio Member of the Board
Marketing and Sales Manager Foxfield Racing
Preserve our future, leave a legacy, support our community