Spring Point to Point Preview

By Julie Reardon SPRING POINT TO POINT PREVIEW Technically spring’s not here yet, but an unusually warm February had many of us itching to get outside and enjoy all the area has to offer. And as reliably as blooming forsythia and daffodils, March brings the opening of Virginia’s legendary hunt race meets. Yes, we could […]

The Beauty of Winter

By Julie Reardon   THE BEAUTY OF WINTER   All the things I love about winter would be a pretty short list. It’s my least favorite season even though as winters go, Virginia’s aren’t too bad and this one has been relatively mild thus far. The form of depression resulting from not enough daylight, called […]

Resolutions & Participation Trophies

By Julie Reardon Resolutions & Participation Trophies Every year, the Publisher asks us for our New Year’s resolutions. Since I don’t normally make them, I thought it might be fun to make just one for 2017. So this year, I think I’ll find someone or something to blame for every bad thing that happens in […]

A Christmas Story

By Julie Reardon   Merry Christmas from the Blue Ridge! A friend who lives in the mountains shares this story every holiday season and it’s one of my favorites. I only recently found out the author’s name since various versions have been around for many years, variously titled A Christmas Prayer and The Rifle, and […]

Animal rights activists do not care about your animal’s welfare

Animal rights activists do not care about your animal’s welfare Julie Reardon Just when you thought you were safe from politics, my column, normally focused on rural life, has a political hot potato this month. But this is not liberal vs conservative politics; it’s city vs country. As the percentage of us that grew up […]

Hunting in Hunt Country

Hunting in Hunt Country by Julie Reardon They don’t call our area of the Blue Ridge “the hunt country” just because of the foxhunting. Horses and hounds begin their informal training hunts, called cubbing, in September, after spending the past few weeks getting ready. And local hunters have been honing their skills for other game […]

Dogs Diving During Dog Days

Dogs Diving During Dog Days by Julie Reardon It’s that time of year again: the dog days, that time when “the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” The excessive panting of dogs at this time […]

Olympic Riders, Air Acrobatics, Outdoor Concerts and the County Fair

Olympic Riders, Air Acrobatics, Outdoor Concerts and the County Fair By Julie Reardon For the first time ever, the U.S. will host the best equestrians in the world at an FEI Nations Cup for the Olympic sport of three day eventing July 8 –  10, the Land Rover the Great Meadow International. And it’s right in Fauquier County, […]

Dog Day Afternoon

By Julie Reardon DOG DAY AFTERNOON Perhaps you’ve seen them on the news, the hardworking search and rescue dog and handler teams that work to find missing persons. Few of us can forget the haunting images of the dogs and humans working late in the night desperately looking for survivors as they sorted through the […]

Fast Horses, Old Whiskey and Young Women

Fast Horses, Old Whiskey and Young Women by Julie Reardon Kentucky has the Derby but in Virginia, the first Saturday in May has always been about the Virginia Gold Cup. While there’s no longer even an operational flat track here, Virginia’s love affair with horses runs longer and deeper than Kentucky’s; we’re starting to produce […]