An Iconic Summertime Event & Part of the Fabric of American Horse Sport


The oldest horse show in the nation

The Upperville Colt and Horse Show is the oldest, and arguably the most prestigious horse show in America. Established in 1853 by Colonel Richard Henry Dulany, who also founded the Piedmont Fox Hounds, the show was originally designed to encourage better treatment of young horses and improve the local breeding stock.

Colonel Dulany chose as a site Grafton Farm, one of his properties adjacent to Route 50, known for its stately oak trees and good grass footing. Louis Tiffany designed the first silver trophy, donating his labor and craftsmanship. Since its inception, the Upperville Colt and Horse Show has grown tremendously as it has become established as one of the signature horse shows on the AA yearly calendar.

Today, the show takes place over a full week and includes more than two thousand horse and rider combinations. Prizes are awarded for breeding, hunters, and jumpers, and riders range from young local children on their mounts to Olympic horses and riders.

Popular attractions include Jack Terrier races, the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $213,300 FEI 4* Grand Prix event that concludes the show on Sunday. Attracting more than 30,000 spectators each year, Upperville was named Horse Show of the Year by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame and the Virginia Horse Show Association.

Whether you compete in the show ring or contribute as a sponsor, participating at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show makes you a part of a longstanding legacy of equine excellence. Upperville is also the home of many long-standing social traditions, from elaborate tail-gating to parties sponsored by prominent local riders and owners.

Equestrians across the country know they will see one another each spring in Upperville. This is more than a show; it is an opportunity to become part of an experience deeply rooted in the best of American horsemanship.

Upperville Then & Now

  • The Oldest Horse Show in the United States – Since 1853
  • U.S. Equestrian Heritage Competition
  • A “Horse Show of the Year” – as named by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame and the Virginia Horse Show Association
  • A designated World Championship Hunter Rider show
  • A week-long AA Rated show
  • A mecca for horsemen – notable exhibitors include: General George Patton, Paul Mellon, Kathy Kusner, Rodney Jenkins, Katie Prudent, Joe Fargis, Mclain Ward