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Leigh Anne Claywell

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Virginia Horse Center Names New Chief Operating Officer, Leigh Anne Claywell

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: Virginia Horse Center Foundation
Release Date: 2015-02-26

Lexington, VA – February 26, 2015 – After conducting a thorough search, the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) has named Leigh Anne Claywell as the new Chief Operating Officer of the Horse Center.

Claywell brings to the position an impressive resume developed within the equestrian industry. Early in her career, Claywell served as the Vaulting and Eventing Director for the American Horse Shows Association, now the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). Since 2006, Claywell has acted as the Director of Competition Licensing, Evaluation and Safety within the USEF. Presently Claywell also serves as a competition and event planner for HITS, Inc.  

“The addition of Leigh Anne Claywell to our team as the Chief Operating Officer is just the latest example of the Virginia Horse Center's intention to expand upon its national reputation as a superlative equine competition facility,” VHC Interim Executive Director John Nicholson said. “Leigh Anne's extensive experience and stellar reputation at all levels of the equestrian industry will bring an even greater level of expertise and leadership to the impressive team of professionals at the Horse Center. I know I speak for the entire Horse Center family in welcoming Leigh Anne to the Virginia Horse Center.”

Claywell will step in to her new position with the VHC beginning April 1, 2015, filling a void in the Horse Center’s high caliber management team.

“Finding the perfect Chief Operating Officer in such a complicated industry is not an easy task,” said Ernest M. Oare, President and Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation. “Leigh Anne's resume speaks for itself, and the entire Board is ecstatic about our new team member. She has the extensive experience to be able to communicate with our customers, and the exhibitors will be the bottom line beneficiaries. Our goal of working toward becoming a world-class venue is one step closer, since our management team is now world class.”

Find out more about the Virginia Horse Center at

The Virginia Horse Center is situated on a 573-acre site with eight barns to accommodate 750 horses in permanent stabling. Indoor stabling can be increased to 1,200 horses with the use of temporary stalls. The Virginia Horse Center hosts 19 show rings, including two large arenas and a five-mile Olympic cross-country course. Four of the Virginia Horse Center barns are winterized with close access to the 4,000 seat indoor coliseum. The Virginia Horse Center is recognized for the excellent footing of its show rings and the durable construction of the concrete stalls. The Virginia Horse Center also offers camping facilities and on-site food and beverage services. Find the Horse Center online at


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