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Wine tasting and matinee races in Virginia May 10
Friday, April 18, 2014 - by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

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Freehold, NJ --- Two of nature’s great gifts, fine horses and fine wines, will be paired in a spring tableau in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on Saturday (May 10).


The second annual Wine and Trotter Festival resumes at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Va., just 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event was designed to give young trotters and pacers racing education at the start of the season and for the vintners of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail to show off their offerings.

The event, the only one of its kind in Virginia, will include live music, upscale catering offerings to complement the wine, as well as traditional barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, grilled chicken and shrimp po’ boys. As a bonus for winning horse owners, each race winner gets a bottle of wine from one of a dozen participating vineyards.

“We wanted to give our Virginia, Maryland and some Pennsylvania horsemen a chance to practice with their horses for a little bit of purse money,” said Woodstock Race Secretary Terry Kibler. “Give them a chance to get behind the starting gate and get a charted line, give them a tune up. Purses are from $800 to $1,200. We think we’ll have about four races, four trots and four paces. We like to go with no more than four or five horses a race.”

The entry box will open on Monday (May 5) and close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (May 7). Horseman can contact Kibler at or call 540.335.8768 for more information.

Most races will award a blanket to the winner as well as a bottle of wine.

“It’s a one day event,” says Kibler. “We have had harness racing at the fair since 1917 and we continue to have that (in late August), but this also stirs a little more interest to get people to come out to the fair as well.”

Visit to buy $16 advance tickets or $20 the day of the event. Prices include a wine glass inscribed with an image of a trotter against the Shenandoah Mountains. There are expected to be 50 to 60 varieties of reds, whites and dessert wines for tasters.

Those that would like to watch racing only can do so for $10, children are $2. Post time is 1 p.m. for the races. Wine is served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The number is 540.549.3867 at the fair office for more information. The 1930s era grandstand is at 300 Fairgrounds Road in Woodstock and this is a rain or shine event.

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