Virginia Horse Farms For Sale
137 Dressage, Hobby, Hunter Jumper & Western Horse Farms For Sale In Virginia - Virginia’s horse population is supported by a rich horse tradition, an excellent horse industry infrastructure of facilities and services, and an agreeable climate.
Dressage ~ Hobby ~ Hunter Jumper ~ Polo ~ Racing ~ Steeplechase ~Western
Virginia Horse Farms - 877.340.8152
Renown throughout the world for exquisite elegance and the fine assortment of horse farms for sale in Virginia in 2015, many Olympic hopefuls train on these spectacular farms located throughout the verdant, fertile Virginia farm land of Central and Northern Virginia. These exquisite Virginia horse farms for sale are located primarily along the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the pastoral, gently, rolling hills of Piedmont Virginia. The finest are located in Charlottesville, Middleburg, Orange and Warrenton. However the most affordable Virginia horse properties for sale in are found in the Shenandoah Valley.
There are five Virginia foxhunts located in these areas and stables abound round every corner. Statistics show that 7% of theses families own a small Virginia horse farm at some point in their lives. Charlottesville's horse farms are splendid especially the Keswick horse farms in Albemarle County. Many historic Central Virginia horse farms were designed and built by Thomas Jefferson and his excellent carpenters. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark both owned large farms near Charlottesville in Keswick. Charlottesville's two foxhunts are the Farmington and Keswick Hunt, which was founded in 1899.
Lexington, Virginia is home to the Virginia Horse Center, a full service equestrian facility. The Lexington Horse Center is a modern equestrian complex, set up for every equestrian event you can think of. The majority of today’s Lexington Virginia horse farms were originally cattle operations started back in the early 19th century so if you like Virginia historic homes this is the place to look. Lexington horse farms are also the most affordable and very popular with young families. Lexington Va. horse properties offer clean Blue Ridge Mountain air, friendly faces and magnificent vistas! Most people begin their Central Virginia equestrian search looking at Charlottesville horse farms then when they realize how pricey they are they expand their search west over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Lexington and the Shenandoah Valley.
The town of Lexington is very pretty and cozy yet far from any major cultural centers like Charlottesville, Richmond and Washington. Lexington is a college town. Two terrific colleges are located here (actually adjoined!): Washington and Lee; and the venerable Virginia Military Institute. Beyond a doubt, the current Middleburg horse farms for sale are the priciest of the bunch. This is due to the proximity to Washington, DC and the immense wealth in this fabulous area of Northern Virginia. Orange Virginia horse farms are more affordable and located in Central Virginia. The finest Orange Virginia farms are located in Somerset. Warrenton is actually the name of the historic county seat of Fauquier County. Fauquier County horse farms are almost as costly as Middleburg because of the wonderful, verdant, rolling Virginia farm land and ideal location only 45 minutes from Washington DC. We offer fabulous horse farms for sale in Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, near Richmond, Roanoke, Gloucester and the Eastern Shore.
Virginia's horse tradition goes back 400 years, to when horses accompanied some of the first settlers in Jamestown. Since then, the state’s special relationship with the horse has never waned. Virginia has been home to some of the most notable breeds in the world—nurturing the Thoroughbred and actually birthing the Quarter Horse—as well as to some of the most famous individual horses, including the great Triple Crown champion Secretariat and Misty of Chincoteague, one of the most beloved horses in all of children’s literature. The most significant figures in the Commonwealth’s history have almost invariably enjoyed a special bond with horses, from George Washington, whom Thomas Jefferson called "the best horseman of his age" to Robert E. Lee, who rode into battle on his well-known gray, Traveller. This tradition has continued into the present day, when horse farms are still a proud feature of the Virginia countryside. Virginia, mother of presidents, is also the mother of American horse racing. From the very beginning, Virginians have risked it all on the track as eagerly as on the battlefield. Follow the bloodlines of three foundation sires of the American Thoroughbred through generations of rollicking races and larger than life grandees wagering kingly stakes, sometimes on horses not yet born.
In the past several decades the horse industry has grown to play an increasingly more visible role in Virginia’s farm economy. While annual sales of Virginia’s crops and livestock have remained relatively stable in constant dollars, the sales, inventory and total value of horses in Virginia have grown rapidly. Virginia’s horse industry encompasses a variety of activities from breeding, training and boarding to recreational pursuits such as racing, showing and other competitions. The intensity, scale and scope of these activities have expanded. Horse ownership has become increasingly popular, and venues offering opportunities for racing, showing and trail riding have spread across the commonwealth. As a result, the horse industry has come to play a more visible role not only in agriculture, but in recreation and tourism as well.
Virginia’s Horse Population
Throughout much of Virginia’s history, horses have played a vital role in the state’s growth and development. Horses arrived with the settlers at Jamestown. Like elsewhere in America, they were the primary means of transportation and provided much of the energy for farm and industrial production. They were crucial for moving soldiers, materiel and artillery in times of war and communicating with remote outposts; horses were also used for racing and recreation. From 1840 to 1910 they grew in number. However, technological breakthroughs such as the electric motor, automobile, and telephone gradually made horses obsolete for manufacturing, farming, transporting and couriering; consequently their number dwindled in Virginia and throughout the nation.
In the past three decades, after many years of decline, U.S. and Virginia horse populations have rebounded, stimulated mainly by the increasing interest in horses for recreational activities and sport. This growth parallels national increases in disposable income which enabled consumers to spend more on recreation and leisure activities. The U.S. farm-based horse population more than doubled from a low point of just over 2 million in 1978 to 4.3 million in 2007. Although federal statistical agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, do not provide regular estimates of the non-farm horse population, a recent estimate from the American Horse Council places the total horse population at 9.2 million.
It seems likely that this growth continued until relatively recently. According to a 2009 horse owner survey, respondents said they were more likely to reduce the number of horses they would have two years hence than they were to increase the number. These results are consistent with growing evidence that the number of unwanted and abandoned horses is increasing, in large part due to the downturn in the national economy.
Virginia is an important player in the growing national horse industry. It ranks twelfth in number of horses according to estimates made for the American Horse Council. In contrast, it ranks fifteenth for farm-based horses according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, reflecting the greater importance of horses in ranching and farming activities in larger agricultural states of the Midwest and West. Still, this farm population figure reflects relatively recent growth, advancing from 71,201 in 1997 to 97,112 ten years later, an increase of 36 percent. Farm-based horse sales made up almost 4 percent of agricultural cash receipts in 2004, compared to less than 1 percent in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Focusing on farm-based horses is too restrictive. Most of Virginia’s horse population lives off-farm. Estimates of Virginia’s total horse population vary widely because of different sampling sizes and methodologies. However, the most recent survey conducted by the Richmond field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates that there are approximately 215,000 horses in the state, more than twice the number of the farm-based population estimate.6 Estimates available from the American Horse Council place the population somewhat larger—239,102 in 2003—but the sampling method used was less rigorous. Virginia’s horses have varied uses and represent many breeds. Almost half of Virginia horses are used for pleasure/trail riding (see Figure 1).
Similarly, the American Horse Council study shows that 42 percent of horses are used recreationally rather than for competitive, work or breeding purposes. Virginia’s two most popular horse breeds, the American Quarter Horse and the Thoroughbred, are also the most popular U.S. breeds. These breeds have a longstanding connection to Virginia. The Quarter Horse was bred in Virginia, while the first Thoroughbreds were imported to America through Jamestown. Both breeds are popular choices for racing and other competitive horse events. The Tennessee Walker and Arabian are other important Virginia breeds.
Horses can be found in every Virginia county and some of the larger independent cities. However, greater concentrations are found in urban and suburban counties, particularly in Northern Virginia (see Figure 2).
This geographical location pattern is quite different from that of other livestock such as cattle, hogs and sheep, which tend to be located in rural areas. A comparison of 2001 and 2006 survey data suggests that the horse population is migrating further away from growing suburban areas because of land development pressures.
Virginia’s horse population is supported by a rich horse tradition, an excellent horse industry infrastructure of facilities and services, and an agreeable climate. However, its continued growth and development depends on five factors: (1) availability of affordable undeveloped land, (2) maintenance of an agricultural infrastructure that provides the materials, services and facilities needed for breeding, training, stabling, feeding and caring for horses, (3) a healthy pari-mutuel racing industry, (4) quality show and competition facilities and venues such as the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Commonwealth Park in Culpeper, and Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, and (5) an active calendar of shows, competitions and other equestrian events. The economic impact of the industry will largely be determined by the continued popularity of horse ownership and the drawing power of recreational pursuits such as steeplechase racing, showing and other equestrian activities.
The Virginia horse industry has increased in size and economic influence over the past few decades because of the continued growth in the Virginia horse population and associated horse spending, introduction of racing at Colonial Downs in 1997, and an expansion in the Virginia show and competition calendar fostered in part by public investments such as the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington which opened in 1987. The Virginia racing industry, which is the smallest of the three components, grew until 2007 but experienced a contraction in attendance and wagering after then because of competitive pressures and the effects of the recent recession on consumer spending. While the downturn may have damped horse spending, as economic growth resumes and consumer spending on recreation and leisure increases, the industry is likely to expand and benefit.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Terance Rephann is an economist at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. He is an expert on regional economics and has published papers in a variety of economics, planning, and public policy journals. He holds a B.A. from Frostburg State University and a Ph.D. in economics from West Virginia University. Rephann is the author of a recent study The Economic Impact of the Horse Industry in Virginia.
Our Virginia horse farm realtors have over 100 years of working with buyers...
Please consider using us as your buyer broker?
The following Virginia horse farms for sale are brought to you by:
Roger Voisinet, Remax Realty Specialists, 355 Rio Road West, Charlottesville VA 22901 (434) 760-2500 (Charlottesville horse farms for sale) * Kim Hurst, Middleburg Real Estate, 10 E Washington St, Middleburg, VA 20117 (540) 687-6321 (Middleburg & Warrenton Virginia horse farms for sale) * Cynthia Butler, Long & Foster/Webber & Associates 1001 Berryville Ave, Winchester, Va 22601 (540) 662-3484 (Northern Virginia horse farms for sale) * Annemarie Hensley, ReMax Commonwealth, 1231 Alverser Drive, Midlothian, VA 23113 (804) 601-0710 (Richmond area horse farms for sale) * Nell Carpenter, Clarkson and Wallace, 2814 Main Street, Hot Springs, VA 24445 (540) 839-2609 (Alleghany, Bath & Highlands County horse farms for sale) * Rona M. Bruce, James Wm Moore Real Estate Co., 28 South Main St., Lexington, Va 24450 (540) 463-7080 (Lexington Virginia horse farms for sale) *