Continuing a tradition that began in 1899, more than 350 entries will gather in Warrenton today for the annual four-day Warrenton Horse Show.
There will be competition for hunters, junior hunters and jumpers and in conformation, equitation and sidesaddle.
The second annual Hunt Night will be held Sunday starting at approximately 5 p.m. The competition will include classes for field hunters, ladies' and gentlemen's hunter hack, sidesaddle and hunt teams.
The Virginia Horse Shows Association equitation finals for juniors also will be held Sunday and will include riders from all over the East Coast who have qualified throughout the year.
Among the leaders of the local contingent is Middleburg, Va., resident Katie Monahan Prudent, a former member of the U.S. Equestrian Team and American Grandprix Association rider of the year in 1982, 1986 and 1988. She will be riding Whadyasay and LeStat in the working hunter division; both are contenders for 1990 horse of the year.
Also competing will be Henri Prudent, Katie's husband, who will ride in the second-year green hunter division, and Tommy Serio, from Keswick, Va., who will be riding in the hunter division. Both are considered strong contenders in their classes.
Set amid the rolling hills of Virginia hunt country, the Warrenton show is one of many stops on a circuit that opened last March in Florida and will end at the Meadowlands in New Jersey in December.
Riders and horses will continue to be awarded points toward the season's rider of the year and horse of the year prizes.
Admission will be $3 each day. Grandstand seats are available. The show will be held rain or shine.