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Coalition of Equestrian Organizations

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Oct. 25, 2008
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eNewsletter - October 2008

In this issue:

“The Great Escape” Ultimate Trail Challenge

The NVCEO, in partnership with Fairfax 4 Horses and the Fairfax Co. Park Authority, has developed and planned what we feel is the “crown jewel” of trail challenge competitions for the Mid-Atlantic region, to be held at the site of the future Laurel Hill Public Equestrian Center. This top-notch event was scheduled to occur on November 8. However, we have reluctantly decided to postpone the “Great Escape” Trail Challenge at Laurel Hill until Spring ‘09.

I am sure everyone is aware these are very difficult economic times. Not only have our 401Ks, IRAs, and savings in general suffered a tremendous financial downturn, but many businesses are also trying to weather this slowdown in business and uncertain financial hardships. The businesses that we had spoken with and had counted on as being sponsors of our event are reluctant to commit to any significant sponsorship funds at this time. Likewise many interested ride participants have expressed that they are reluctant to pre-register due to the uncertain economic situation. Many riders and businesses have expressed an interest in both supporting and participating in the event but are hesitant to do so at this time. We feel that it is in the best interest of having a successful fund raising event for the Laurel Hill Public Equestrian Center Fund that we must make the decision to postpone our event until Spring.

We are confident that both potential riders and sponsors support the Fairfax County Park Authority efforts to begin improvements to the public equestrian facility at Laurel Hill, and that they will be able to participate in this event as soon as the economy turns upward. We expect that to be not to far into the near future

As a means of showing an equestrian community support for the Laure Hill Public Equestrian Center we would like to host a charity trail ride and tail gate event on November 8th. There is no set fee for the charity ride. We are more interested in sharing this property with the horse community than we are with raising funds through a ride fee at this time. We want you to come out and experience this beautiful site, the initial trails that are being developed, and the vision of the future Laurel Hill Public Equestrian Center. Pitch a dollar into the hat when you get there or save your dollar for the rescheduled Spring “Great Escape” Trail Challenge, it’s your choice. The only requirements are that you show up and bring a tail gate dish to share. I think everyone will be very impressed with the new trails that the Fairfax County Park Authority has completed. We are working on a course map and a parking area and will distribute that shortly with more details of the Nov. 8 Charity Tail Gate Ride.

We hope that you will support this November 8th event even if you don’t plan to ride. Come out – show your support and be impressed with what has already been accomplished.

NVCEO Executive Committee Elections

The Northern VA Coalition of Equestrian Organizations (NVCEO) was formed as an association of equestrian organizations dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the equestrian community in Northern Virginia. The member organizations of the NVCEO can vary from equestrian social groups to riding clubs, breed clubs, youth groups, service groups and other equestrian organizations, such as therapeutic riding organizations, based in Northern Virginia. In addition to creating a conduit for sharing successes and building essential relationships between the member organizations, a functional goal of the Coalition is to demonstrate the vitality of our region’s equine community and educate the non-horse community of the importance and value of horses in Northern VA. Our member organizations do this at the local level day in and day out through their activities. However, it was recognized that for our equine community to continue to be recognized this must also be done regionally from the top down as well.

The successes of the NVCEO are dramatically enhanced by the participation of the member organizations in the Coalition. The Coalition is not just another club. The NVCEO is YOU. Your organization IS the NVCEO.

Each year we ask that you appoint up to 3 persons to represent your organization on the Board of the NVCEO. This is your VOICE. The NVCEO is yours. From these Board representatives, an Executive Committee, comprised of President, 1st and 2nd Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are elected to direct the activities of your Coalition for the upcoming year. It is that time of year again. We need you to submit your names, of up to 3 people, to represent your organization on the Board of the NVCEO. Secondly, if any of those folks would like to volunteer to serve on the Executive Committee for the upcoming year please let us know.

Please email the names of your organization’s representatives to the Board of the NVCEO (up to 3 names) to our current Secretary, Anne Wohlleban, at by Tuesday, November 18. Please also let us know if your representatives would like to sit on the Executive Committee for the upcoming year.

3rd Annual Educational Trail Ride

One of the great successes of the NVCEO has been the Annual Educational VIP Trail Ride. The purpose of this event is to share the love of horse back riding that we all enjoy with very special invited guests. Your organization invites influential persons from your community to enjoy a trail ride with your organization’s leadership at the Marriott Ranch in Hume. Typically NVCEO member organizations invite their County Supervisors, key Parks and Planning staff, Park Authority Board representatives, Economic Development, Tourism directors, etc to spend a day with the leaders of your organization at the Marriott Ranch. This is a great opportunity to get some of these key individuals and their family on a horse, maybe for the first time. We have found this event essential to building those necessary relationships between the horse community and folks in our local governments that make decisions that affect us. At last year’s ride, a Planning Commissioner for Prince William County said, “after today, it is really starting to make sense”.

Our invited guests spend time with you to learn more about horse and our activities. They see us trailer in, tack up and get our horses ready for a ride. The Marriott Ranch provides the gentle broke hoses for the VIP guests, again, most who have never ridden before. After the ride we enjoy a fabulous lunch prepared by the Marriott Ranch staff. The NVCEO provides a guest speaker to have a open Q&A discussion about horses and our community.

This year’s event is tentatively planned for Spring ’09. Please consider making this event another success by pledging funds to pay for the event and plan on participating. If your organization has particular guests that you want to make sure are invited please send those names to Anne Wohlleban, at

New Commercial Members to the NVCEO

Our horse community is made up of, you, the horse owner and the businesses that are necessary to a vital horse community. We encourage businesses to become commercial members of the NVCEO to support the mission of the Coalition and help us further our goals.

We would like to thank Leslie Gottesman of “Miles of Smiles Training” for becoming a new commercial member of the NVCEO. For more about Leslie and her training program, go to and click on the link at the bottom of the home page.

We would also like to thank Anne Clark of Keller Williams Realty of Manassas and Donna Martin of Blue Ridge Trailers for their continued support of the NVCEO. For more information for Anne or Blue Ridge Trailers, go to our website at and click on “Business Directory” from the menu.

Fairfax 4 Horses “Entertainment Books”

Once again Fairfax4Horses is selling the “Entertainment Book” to raise money for the Laurel Hill Equestrian Center. This is a great money-saving set of coupons. The book costs $25 and it’s easy to save $200 or more. The general format of coupons in the book is “buy one get one free” coupons. There are many restaurants from Arlington to Leesburg to Manassas, and all points in between. Also included in the book are lots of discounts to area activities and attractions. Papa John's and Domino's pizza both have coupons in the book, as do retail stores --$10 off a $50 purchase at Dick's Sporting goods, 10% off the total at Modell's etc. In the entertainment department, you can get tickets at reduced prices, or a free ticket to George Mason Center for the Arts, valued up to $54. Coupons for Potomac River cruises and Washington tours are also included in the book.

If you live in the Vienna area, contact Judy Lamont at and she will arrange to get you a copy. You can also order online. Go to our website at , click on Donate, and scroll down to the Entertainment button That will take you to the website where you can purchase books online, not only for our area but as gifts for people in other metropolitan areas from Boston to Denver and San Francisco.

Upcoming Community Events and Important Dates to Remember (Events are subject to change! Click on each group’s website link to view status of the event)

  • November 2
    • Final Leg of the NVCEO “Crystal Crown Judged Trail Ride Series” hosted by Nokesville Horse Society at Sky Meadows State Park
    • No. VA Therapeutic Riding Program “Horse Leader Training”
  • November 7
    • Clifton Horse Society Monthly Meeting
    • USTR Monthly Meeting
  • November 8
    • NVCEO “Laurel Hill Public Equestrian Center Fund” Benefit Trail Ride at Laurel Hill
    • Frida Icelandic Riding Club Schooling Show
    • Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Program “Ride-a-thon”
  • November 9
    • Annual Clifton Horse Society “Bombproofing Clinic”
  • November 11
    • Loudoun Horse Association Educational Meeting - Alternative Support Therapies for the Horse and Rider
  • November 12
    • Nokesville Horse Society Monthly Meeting – Tri-County Feeds “Early Bird Special Holiday Shopping”, Marshall, VA
  • November 18
    • Your organization’s appointments to the NVCEO Board are due
  • November 19
    • NVCEO Monthly Meeting – Elections of the 2009 Executive Committee
  • November 20
    • Tri-State Riding Club Monthly Meeting
  • December 5
    • Clifton Horse Society Holiday Pot Luck and Meeting
  • December 9
    • Clifton Horse So`ng on Horseback
  • December 10
    • Nokesville Horse Society Christmas Party, Southern States, Manassas
  • December 13
    • USTR Christmas Party
  • December 17
    • NVCEO Annual Calendar Planning Session & Christmas Party
  • January 31, 2009
    • NVCEO Crystal Crown Awards Bruch


Northern Virginia Coalition of Equestrian Organizations, Inc.

P.O. Box 1971

Centreville, VA  20122-1971

Jimmie Jones, President