Edited Press Release
The Lexington Spring Premiere kicked off Wednesday with the first installment of the Virginia Festival of Champions at the
Virginia Horse Center.Laura Gaither Ulrich of Fox View Farm located in Bahama, North Carolina, won the $1,500 Schneiders Saddlery 1.35 m Open Jumper Stake in the irons of Fox View Farm’s FVF Nebraska.
“I thought the course was really nice and the design was perfect for the first day. There was nothing trappy or too tight and it
flowed really well. He [Nebraska] really liked it,” commented Gaither Ulrich.
With a first-round time allowed set at 90 seconds, only two horse and rider teams would advance to a second-round opportunity. As the first horse and rider team to advance to a second round, Gaither Ulrich and Nebraska’s four fault second round in a time of 35.378 seconds left the door open for Anne De Michele and Cantatu, LLC’s Canmore2 who followed them in the jump order. De Michele and Canmore2 also had a rail and with a second-round time of 36.358 seconds, Gaither Ulrich and FVF Nebraska would be crowned the victors.
Fox View Farm, owned by the Gaither family, imported Nebraska at the end of last summer, but according to Gaither
Ulrich, have just started to get to know each other.
“He [Nebraska] had a fall on the plane when we had him imported. I showed him here at the Virginia Horse Center last fall in a Grand Prix, but his canter and his way of going just didn’t feel right. After working with a chiropractor, we’ve made progress and things really started to click for us in Florida,” she said. “He’s also more of a ‘man’s ride’,” she said. “I’m only 5’1 and I’m now getting him to figure out what I’m asking of him,” she added. “He’s a really brave and not a spooky horse, and I’m excited to be riding him in the Welcome and the Grand Prix this week,” she said.
“I’ve been showing at the Virginia Horse Center since I was a little kid,” said Gaither Ulrich. “I used to event and this is
where we’d come. These shows are always on our calendar, and we’d never miss it,” she added. “I just love the stabling here. The stalls are big and the walls are high. The horses can see out, but you don’t need to worry about the other horses. The fact that you can hang things on the outside of your stalls makes it so much easier to get set up and work out of these barns while showing here,” she said.
Fox View Farm has a total of 13 horses showing this week and next week, they will have 11 horses.
“Today I was the only one who showed, and I rode one other horse. I brought one hunter and the rest are jumpers. Normally my sister [Christina Gaither Webb] is here but she’s coming next week, and she also rides in the Grand Prix. Our farm is really a family affair and I miss having her here although I am really thankful that my Dad came down with me and helped set up for the week,” she said. “Even though we bought Nebraska, most of the time we show our homebreds. We have 10 at home and three more that were born this year. We also have a bunch that we sold but still have at the farm. I’ve got another one here that will be ridden by one my students in the low junior jumpers,” continued Gaither Ulrich.
“I’m so thankful to be able to work with my family and such great clients. I’m also thankful for the support of EHI and
Arion Saddles. We really appreciate their support; we can’t do any of this without them,” she added.