Middleburg, Va., March 30, 2017 – The Side Saddle Chase Foundation and Morven Park today announced a new partnership that will establish a permanent home for the Foundation at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va.
Discussions between the two nonprofits began earlier this year when the SSCF sought a base from which to hold their events, including side saddle, cross-country, and race clinics, as well as a location for a fall race in Virginia. Morven Park is a 1,000 acre historic estate and home to the Morven Park International Equestrian Center, a world-renowned competition venue located in the heart of Virginia’s legendary “Horse Country.” Many of the world's top riders and equine athletes compete annually in more than 60 days of various high-level events at Morven Park. The venue is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation to improve and expand Morven Park’s equestrian facilities.
“With the growth of the Foundation’s steeplechase race program and the addition of a Hunter Pace award series, having a permanent training location for our members makes perfect sense. The quality of Morven Park’s race course, riding arenas, cross-country schooling fences, and miles of trails, as well as its convenient location in Loudoun County made it the perfect home for us,” said Devon Zebrovious, president of the SSCF. Ms. Zebrovious and her husband George Kuk are owners of Cherry Blossom Farm in Middleburg, Va. Together they have over 60 years combined experience riding in the hunter/jumper rings and hunt field. Ms. Zebrovious, a three-time national side saddle champion, has ridden side saddle for more than 15 years in the show ring and hunt field, and has taught many riders who currently show, hunt, and/or race aside.
Stephanie Kenyon, Morven Park’s executive director noted, “Westmoreland Davis, former governor of Virginia and his wife Marguerite purchased Morven Park in 1903 and were the estate’s last private owners. Mrs. Davis loved foxhunting and rode aside often; her husband founded the Loudoun Hunt and the Masters of Foxhounds Association; and together they bred many winning racehorses at Morven Park. Our goal today is to welcome riders of all disciplines to Morven Park, and I'm exceptionally proud to have the Side Saddle Chase Foundation consider this elegant 1,000-acre historic estate their new home.
“Our goal of continuing to show the connection between hunting, point to point racing and the need to protect open spaces is perfectly aligned with Morven Park’s mission,” said Maggie Johnston, vice president of the Side Saddle Chase Foundation. “We are honored to announce this collaboration and look forward to adding more races, clinics and other educational opportunities focused on riding aside.”
The SSCF’s mission as a 501(c)(3) organization is to provide education on riding aside, as well as to promote point to point racing and fox chasing and the need to preserve open spaces where those pursuits are enjoyed. The addition of SSCF-affiliated races have increased race-day attendance and media coverage at the race events at which they have been held. The current race calendar includes races at Loudoun in Virginia, Willowdale in Pennsylvania, and Potomac in Maryland. The SSCF’s website, www.SideSaddleChase.com, includes a Condition Book which lists the rules and requirements for current and future races, horse and rider safety, race requirements, tack and attire guidelines as well as race and year-end awards and scoring.
The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation is dedicated to preserving Morven Park, once the home of Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis, as a place of historical and cultural value. Morven Park relies on donations to promote equestrian sports and activities conducted at Morven Park; support and maintain the Morven Park International Equestrian Center; further historic preservation and education at Morven Park; support the Park’s education and civics programs and recreation activities; and to maintain and preserve Morven Park’s buildings and grounds. More information can be found at www.MorvenPark.org.
Morven Park contact: Stephanie Kenyon, executive director, SKenyon@MorvenPark.org