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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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"Miss Iris" mid-jump
Miss Iris in mid-jump, ridden by Hillary Schreiber - Photo: Teresa Ramsay Courtesy of Roanoke Valley Horse Show

Roanoke Valley Horse Show

The longest-running sporting event in the region, the Roanoke Valley Horse Show has been held every year in Salem, Virginia, since 1972, when it opened in the Salem Civic Center as the only indoor horse show in the state. It was an immediate success, drawing entrants among experts and novices alike from all along the eastern seaboard, and selling out to a standing-room-only crowd. In the first show, five hundred horses competed in eighteen divisions and 153 classes, with some $15,000 in prize money.

Each June, the event draws more than 30,000 spectators and brings to the area an estimated $13.7 million in economic impact. Recent additions to the tradition are the Jack Russell Terrier Races; "Music in Motion," combining the visual beauty of fine horses with the auditory impact of classical music; and the children's Stick Horse Parade, in which hundreds of children gallop around the indoor track mounted on a variety of world-class broom handles. Roanoke Valley has truly earned the nickname "Little Louisville" for its equine enthusiasm. Project documentation includes a written report, photographs and accompanying descriptions, programs and other promotional materials, as well as a blue ribbon from the show.

Originally submitted by: Bob Goodlatte, Representative (6th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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