History of the Foxfield Races
Mariann de Tejeda was a long time resident of Albemarle County who generously funded the purchase of property for what is now known as the Foxfield Racing Association and Race Course. Mrs. de Tejeda incorporated the races and the grounds to support the ageless equestrian sport of steeplechasing.
Prior to the creation of Foxfield Races the property was the local airport with the hangar still visible. The former owner, Grover Vandevener purchased the property and taught riding to people of all ages, with the majority of his students being children. Mr. Vandevener was the Hunstman for the Farmington Hunt Club, which at one time adjoined the Foxfield property. The Foxfield property is rich in heritage and since 1978 rich with the tradition of Steeplechase.
In 1977 Ms. de Tejeda collaborated with Raymond G Wolfe, best known as the author of the defining book on Secretariet, to design and build one of the finest steeplechase courses on the Atlantic Seaboard. Mr. Wolfe ushered in the Foxfield affiliation with the National Steeplechase Association, an elite organization who runs and promotes nationally sanctioned steeplechase races.
Since 1978 to present day the attendees have witnessed spectacular horse racing. Thomas Shifflet, race course superintendent, has been recognized by the National Steeplechase Association, owners, trainers and jockeys for maintaining an excellent equine course from the day of Foxfileds inception.
The races are a bi-annual event. The spring race is always held the last Saturday in April. The spring race attracts a more vivacious crowd, with over 25,000 guest in attendance. The fall race, known as “Family Day” is always held the last Sunday in September and appeals to Families and a more subdued crowd. The fall race hosts a variety of activities for children and families.
Foxfield Racing Association selects local charities to receive a part of race proceeds from both the spring and fall races.
We are proud of our history at Foxfield and of Mrs. de Tejeda’s generosity, whose vision and the dedication of others made it all possible.