The Roanoke Valley Horse Show returns to the Salem Civic Center June 16-21 for its 43rd year. Many people know the annual horse show for it prestigious competition and family friendly entertainment, but many who enjoy the annual event may not realize the positive effect it has on the Roanoke Valley through charitable donations and an overall financial impact.
The Roanoke Valley Horseman's Association, the non-profit volunteer organization that organizes the show each year, donates the profits from the horse show to regional health and human service organizations as well as equine, environmental, and conservancy causes.
"The Roanoke Valley Horse Show is a highly anticipated event each year with top-level competition, and it is undeniably fun for spectators and competitors, but there is more to it," says David Levine, Director of the horse show and president of the Roanoke Valley Horseman's Association. "This is a charity horse show that gives back to our local community and I think very few people realize the magnitude of the positive effect this show has on our area."
The primary beneficiary of the show is the Bradley Free Clinic, a medical health services clinic for the working poor. Over the years, the clinic has received $310,000 which it has turned into more than a million dollars in free medical care. The show also benefits a variety of other local charities including the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Center, Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue, and the Salvation Army and supports scholarship funds for Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
In addition to charitable contributions, there is a $10.6 million economic impact on the Roanoke area during the week of the horse show.
The Roanoke Valley Horsemen's Association established the Roanoke Valley Horse Show in 1972. With the support of dedicated volunteers, area businesses, and communities, it has become the longest running professional sporting event in the Roanoke Valley and one of the top multi-breed horse shows in the nation. The show awards more than $250,000 in total cash and prizes and is rated the highest level of competition in horse shows (AA) by the United States Equestrian Federation.
Every year, the show features Hunter, Jumper, Racking, Roadster, Saddlebred, and Western Divisions; barrel races along with Children's Stick Horse Classic, Jack Russell Terrier Races, and its premier event the $50,000 Grand Prix. Evening events, beginning at 6 p.m. each night throughout the run of the show, provide exhilarating fun for the whole family.
The Roanoke Valley Horse Show has been honored with the USEF Heritage Competition designation, and in 2013 alone, the horse show won United Professional Horseman's Association Horse Show of the Year and the Salem Community Organization of the Year and the volunteers were awarded the Virginia State Montgomery Award.
Information about the event schedule, sponsorship opportunities, tickets, and contact information is available on the show's website, www.roanokevalleyhorseshow.com. Show organizers also can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at (540) 389-7847.