It is with profound sorrow that I announce the death of Beryl Herzog, long time Virginia Horse Council board member and former president of the VHC. Beryl was one of those rare Southern women that we characterize as a steel magnolia. She was gracious, elegant, witty and strong willed. She was equally at home in a formal setting or on her tractor clipping her pastures. For many years she bred her beloved Morgan horses and taught lessons at her farm in Hanover, the home of Green Bay Morgans. Beryl was a founder of the Old Dominion Morgan Horse Association and a past president of that organization. In addition Beryl was a former member of the Virginia Horse Industry Board, a director of the Atlantic Rural Exposition (State Fair of Virginia) and a past president and a Hall of Fame Member of the Virginia Horse Show Association. Beryl was a leader in the Virginia Horse Industry and her thoughtful and insightful leadership will be missed. The family will receive friends on Friday, February 17th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Nelsen Funeral Home- Reid Chapel, 412 S. Washington Highway, Ashland Va. 23005. The funeral service will also be held there on Saturday February 18th, at 11 a.m. with Interment at Sunnyside Farm Family Cemetery. For more information a link to her obituary is below. 
Beryl Herzog Obituary
Godspeed dear friend.
Sue Alvis
VHC President


The Virginia Horse Council is your voice for the expanding equine industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Council is a not-for-profit organization formed by horsemen for Virginia horsemen. The membership and Board of Directors represent all breeds. The purpose of the Virginia Horse Council is to promote and improve the horse industry in Virginia.
Our mission is to serve as the umbrella organization of the Virginia equine community and to monitor legislative issues affecting horsemen and horses in the Commonwealth.
The vision of the Virginia Horse Council (VHC) is to be recognized as a leader in providing broad representation to all facets of the equine industry before the Virginia General Assembly and Congress.  The VHC collaborates with other areas of the agricultural community and helps facilitate communications between members of the equine industry and state and federal agencies.  The VHC aspires to keeps Virginia horsemen informed of regulations and pending legislation they may impact them, and to provide educational opportunities that further enhance the industry.

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Virginia horse owners, you may benefit from a working cat at your stable to help with rodent control.  You will also be helping cats living outside at the Navy base in Norfolk for whom Hampton Roads animal welfare groups are seeking homes at stables, barns, vineyards, etc., in the Old Dominion.  For more information, please visit the website of Cat Team 7, which is partnering with the Norfolk SPCA, by clicking here:

Just a friendly reminder that it’s time to renew your VHC membership if you haven’t already done so for 2017. 

You can renew on-line by visiting our Purchase Memberships and Advertising page or download a paper form by visiting our Printable Forms page.

Thanks, again for your support and we hope everyone has a safe winter!

The Virginia Horse Council – The Voice for the Virginia Horse Industry
Gene Stone and Ron Frank with Sue Alvis during the Legislative Reception

Gene Stone and Ron Frank with Sue Alvis during the Legislative Reception

In 1971, a group of horsemen came together to found the Virginia Horse Council to act as a voice for all of Virginia horse people, regardless of breed or discipline. The initial directors of the Virginia Horse Council (VHC) included L. Clay Camp, Daniel V. Flynn, Mary P. Hare, Kenneth Moore, George A. Morrow, Herbert W. Stuart, and Merle Wood. Since then, the organization has grown to fulfill its mission “to serve as the umbrella organization of the Virginia equine community representing industry, breed and discipline organizations, horsemen, horsewomen and horses.

The Council serves to promote and protect the horse industry in Virginia by monitoring legislation at the local, state, and federal level that may affect horse owners and those involved in equine-related businesses. Currently, the Council is comprised of an all-volunteer Board of Directors who encompass a variety of facets within the horse industry, from breeding and training, to trail riding and agritourism.

Current President, Sue Alvis, states that “the VHC recognizes that Virginia has a unique equine history that should be preserved for our future generations. As horse ownership grows and we become a more urbanized society, along with that growth comes an increase in laws and regulations that impact our industry. If we are to be regulated as an industry, we want to have a hand in creating those regulations.”

To read more, please CLICK HERE!

Please consider Joining The Virginia Horse Council!

Join now and get membership benefits for 2017!  After we receive your membership application, you will receive a Welcome Packet which will include:

*Current Newsletter*
*Membership Card*
*Chart of Contacts*
*VHC Scholarship information*
*Info on exciting Member Benefits*
*In-Excess policy (if purchased)*
*Ride Alert Pack (if requested)*

Business Members are also eligible to have their business listed on our Business Members page!  If you purchase a business membership and wish to have your business listed, please send your business name, address, contact info, website link, and logo to Laura

If you would like to have your Business added to the Business Members Links on our Home Page (see below) for an additional fee or listed on our newsletter, please go to This Page and choose an option!


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Horse Protection Act Final Rules

(please see link below for a more comprehensive summary)

  • The US. Department of Agriculture Department of Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) has submitted to the Federal Register the Final Rule Changes to the HORSE PROTECTION ACT (HPA) RULE 9 CFR 11. After reviewing over 130,000 comments the new rules include substantive changes designed to “strengthen regulations regarding Tennessee Walking Horses and racking horses.” The changes from the original proposed changes are significant. Please read the attached document in its entirety here are a FEW of the highlights:
  • APHIS divided the rules into three categories: All Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses (TWH) and racking horses, and horses other than TWH and racking horses
  • The HPA continues to apply to all horses, however the term “related breeds” was deleted
  • The capitalization of Racking horses has been changed to racking horses, indicating an inclusion of all horses that perform this gait, regardless of breed
  • All action devices, except for boots that meet the requirements in prohibitions for all horses are prohibited (including chains) at shows, exhibitions, or sales. This goes into effect as soon as the rule goes into effect.
  • Prior to January 1, 2018, all pads and wedges on Tennessee Walking Horses or racking horses must meet the requirements of the prohibitions for all horses
  • On or after January 1, 2018, all pads and wedges are prohibited on any Tennessee Walking Horse or racking horse at any exhibition unless it has been prescribed and is receiving therapeutic, veterinary treatment using pads or wedges
  • Spotted Saddle Horses (SSH) are no longer included as a specific breed within the regulations (page 38), but they and Missouri Fox Trotters are specifically mentioned
  • If more than 150 horses are entered at a show that includes TWH and racking horses, then management must hire at least 2 Horse Protection Inspectors  (This needs some clarification regarding if this includes horse shows and exhibitions that have “open gaited classes”, i.e. those classes not specifically designated for TWH and/or racking horses)
  • There is no public comment period on Final Rules that have been submitted to the Federal Register

The information below is from “A Guide to the Rulemaking Process Prepared by the Office of the Federal Register”. The information is not legal advice, simply information. 

Under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (also known as the Congressional Review Act),new final rules must be sent toCongress and the Government Accountability Office for review before they can take effect.“Major rules”(ones that are economically significant andrequire OIRA review) must be made effective at least 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register,allowing time for Congressionalreview.

 In emergency situations, a major rule can be made effective before 60 days.

 If the House and Senate pass a resolution of disapproval and thePresident signs it (or if both houses override a presidential veto), the rule becomes void and cannot be republished by an agency in the same formwithout Congressional approval.

Since1996, when this process started,Congress has disapproved only one rule. Congress may also exercise itsoversight in other ways,b yholding hearings and posing questions to agency heads,by enacting new legislation,or by imposing funding restrictions.

Please Click Here for More Information!