Horse Artwork Stalled

Remember those 32 almost-life-size fiberglass horses that were supposed to be decorated by artists and displayed this summer in public spaces across Loudoun County, courtesy of local businesses and the chamber of commerce?

Never happened.

The chamber said this week that its "Horsing Around Loudoun" program has been delayed until next month, largely because the company that made the horses delivered only 17 before filing for bankruptcy. The chamber said that it rustled up eight more from other sources and that the 25 will go on display in October for six months. That means that seven of the 32 artists who won a competition to decorate a horse are out of luck.

"Having to call those seven artists and tell them we didn't have enough horses was one of the saddest things I've ever done," Tom Simmons, co-chairman of Horsing Around Loudoun, said in a statement. "We tried our best to get all 32 horses and it just wasn't possible. . . . But the 25 we do have will be fabulous!"

The chamber still plans to auction the 25 horses, and the group needs businesses or individuals to sponsor each one. Interested? Call 703-777-2176 or go to www.horsingaroundloudoun.org.

A Boost for Orbital

Last week was a big one for Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corp.

Last Thursday, the company announced it had won a NASA contract worth a minimum of $100,000 but as much as $5 billion through 2010 to provide launch services.

Then on Friday, Orbital said it had been awarded another NASA contract to provide additional launch services. That deal could be worth more than $200 million over seven years, the company said.

One Less Competitor

Another Dulles company became larger last week.

Orbimage Holdings Inc., which sells satellite imagery to public and private customers, announced that it had bought one of its competitors, Denver-based Space Imaging LLC. The price was $58.5 million, less any Space Imaging debt payments. The purchase is expected to be complete by year's end.

"Our combined resources will enhance the ability of our customers, such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, to deliver to their users high-quality commercial satellite imagery and focus on their important mission, whether related to national security or disaster relief," said Matthew O'Connell, Orbimage's chief executive.

Ready for Christmas?

Attention Loudoun farmers: The county's economic development department is preparing a brochure that lists all Christmas tree growers that will sell to the public.

The brochure also will offer sources for such holiday items as wreaths, poinsettias and decorations grown and made on Loudoun farms.

To be included, call Warren Howell at 703-777-0426 or e-mail ahiggins@loudoun.gov by Sept. 30. There's no charge to be listed.

Firm Changes Its Name

Sterling-based MAP ROI Systems Inc., which offers software solutions for businesses bidding on federal, state and local government contracts, is now Synchris Inc.

The company also has completed a $4.5 million round of venture capital financing from its investors: Novak Biddle Venture Partners, Aurora Funds and Inflection Point Ventures.

William L. Schrader, Synchris's chief executive, said the company is targeting government contractors with revenue of $5 million to $50 billion.

Which sounds like just about everybody.

Job Fair Attracts Hundreds

About 640 job seekers attended the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce's recent job fair at Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel.

Companies sending representatives included Legg Mason, United Airlines, Giant Food, Wegmans Food Markets, Landsdowne Resort, Buhl Electric and J.K. Moving & Storage, the chamber said.

New Leadership at Tucon

Dulles-based Tucon Construction Corp. has named Paul Taylor as president and Chris Jenkins vice president. Both have about 25 years of experience in the industry. Taylor is a lifelong Loudoun resident who lives in Purcellville.

-- BILL BRUBAKER

Have news about Loudoun and Fauquier county business to share? Send an e-mail to brubaker@washpost.com.