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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe meets with members of the Virginia Horse Center (VHC) including CEO John Nicholson and VHC Foundation President and Chairman of the Board, Ernie Oare

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe addresses the group at the Virginia Horse Center

VHC Foundation President and Chairman of the Board Ernie Oare, CEO John Nicholson, Governor Terry McAuliffe and Chairman of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors John Higgins.

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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Speaks at Virginia Horse Center

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: Virginia Horse Center Foundation
Release Date: 2015-04-07

Lexington, VA – April 7, 2015 – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made his first visit to the Virginia Horse Center on Monday, April 6. McAuliffe arrived by helicopter on Monday afternoon to address a crowd of more than 100 visitors gathered in the Horse Center’s Appomattox Mezzanine overlooking the Anderson Coliseum.

While at the Horse Center, McAuliffe presented a $500,000 Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) grant to the BARC Electric Cooperative. BARC Electric is a member-owned, nonprofit, electric cooperative that provides electric services to members in Allegheny, Augusta, Bath, Highland and Rockbridge Counties. The ARC grant will allow BARC to launch a community solar energy project and learning center, generating renewable energy while simultaneously educating students and the local community. This solar energy project is of particular interest to the Virginia Horse Center, as management considers future opportunities to provide and utilize renewable energy on site at the Horse Center.

In addition to the presentation of the ARC grant, McAuliffe, whose daughter Sally is herself an equestrian, expressed how impressed he was with the facilities and spoke of the beauty and important economic impact of the Horse Center and the surrounding area.

 “The beauty that you have here is just extraordinary. It’s unmatched I think anywhere in the globe, the natural beauty,” McAuliffe said. “I always talk about what a gem this community is, a gem for our Commonwealth that helps us grow and diversify our economy.”

All on hand for the governor’s address were also treated to lunch catered by the Virginia Horse Center’s internal food service staff. 

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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