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Towns & Villages Column by Billie VanPay

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Friday, Mar. 25, 2016
Foxcroft’s Hart Headed to Championship
Horsemanship, and the responsibility that goes along with it, has been an integral part of Foxcroft School curriculum for over a century, and the school’s location is perfect for riders as its 500 acres of rolling countryside is in the heart of Virginia’s horse country, providing an ideal setting for the modern facilities and renowned equestrian program.

The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) is the largest scholastic riding organization in the United States with more than 12,500 middle and high school riders participating in Hunt Seat and Western competitions across 42 states. After a full season of IEA competitions, Foxcroft’s riding team competed in the Zone 3 Regional Finals in Fredericksburg in February and the Zone Finals held in Lexington, Va., in March.

One of Foxcroft’s riding team members has qualified and will compete in the International Equestrian Association National Championships to be held in Lexington, Ky, in April. Saylor Hart, a sophomore student from Keswick, Va., earned a trip to the national championships with a terrific performance. She was second out of 12 riders in the Varsity Intermediate Over Fences Class at the IEA Zone 3 Finals. She is one of only 24 riders from across the country who will gather at the Lexington Horse Park in Lexington, Ky, on April 20-24 to compete in this division.

According to Director of Riding Kate Worsham, who trains the entire Foxcroft Riding Team, ”Hart adapted her riding style to suit her mount and had a very correct and thoughtful ride over her course. The competition in the intermediate division was very strong, but Hart was able to draw on her strong technique and maintain her composure to carry her through.”

Worsham continued, “Three other riders competed at the zone finals and did themselves and Foxcroft proud. Freshman Kayla Lee, a student from Austin, Texas just missed qualifying for the nationals with a fourth-place finish in the Varsity Intermediate Flat Class. Riding in the Varsity Open Division, Meghann Harmon, a senior from Middleburg placed seventh out of 12 competitors on the flat. Freshman Clair Newton, a student from Leesburg showed poise and potential in the Over Fences Class.”
Friday, Mar. 18, 2016
Changes to Middleburg’s Town Council
Two members of the Middleburg Town Council have announced they will retire at the end of their terms in July. Three new local residents have applied for positions on the town council when the town votes during the town’s election in May.

At the regular meeting of the town council on Thursday, March 10, three new town council applicants, Kevin Daly, Phillip Miller, and Tony Pearce, spoke to Mayor Betsy Davis and the presiding town council regarding the upcoming town council vacancies.

Kevin Daly (Ret. Lt. Col. US Army, Armored Cavalry), spoke first, “I am John Kevin Daly, and I am running for the position of council member for the town of Middleburg. I was not born in Middleburg; I am not even a native Virginian; I was born in El Paso, Texas, into a military family. I never had any place to really call home. I grew up never living in any one place longer than two years. This didn’t change throughout my own military career. I discovered Middleburg while studying for my masters degree at Georgetown. As a young captain, I came to Middleburg following the history trail of John Mosby, the Confederate ranger known as the ‘Grey Fox.’ I felt an instant bond with Middleburg.”

Daly continued, “Fast forward to 2001 when I was assigned to the Pentagon as a colonel. I came back to visit Middleburg. The town was still a warm and welcoming place so much so that I met my future wife, Lori, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. In 2003, we were married and bought a house here. Finally, I had a real permanent home. I have served my country for over forty years in the military and various government agencies. Now I have the opportunity to serve my adopted town. "

Tony Pearce also spoke at the meeting, “I was born and raised in Lumenburg County, Virginia. I served in the US Army Reserves. I have been in the Loudoun area for 15 years and have lived in Middleburg for three years. I have been in construction and development for over 25 years. I have also served on several architectural review boards and was the chairman on the working board of Christmas in April in Richmond and live on Washington Street here in the town."

Phillip Miller also spoke. He is well known in the town as being associated with one of the town’s businesses, Highcliffe Clothiers. Miller also lives in the town of Middleburg.

Miller says, "I was born and raised in Ohio. I attended Tulane University in New Orleans, then moved to Northern Virginia in 2008. I worked in marketing and PR. My girlfriend (now wife) and I started coming to Middleburg in 2009 since it reminded us of the areas where we grew up.

"My wife, Jessica, and I were married at The Red Fox in 2012. We brought our first child home in 2014 to Orange Drive in Middleburg. I joined the Middleburg Young Professionals in 2014 and led Middleburg's first ever Main Street Trick-or-Treat. In 2015, I was appointed to the board of directors for the Middleburg Business & Professionals Association (MBPA). Since 2012, I've worked at Highcliffe Clothiers, where I currently serve as Creative Director.

"After much serious deliberation, I decided it was best to throw my hat in the ring for town council. At the end of the day, I love this town. It's why my wife and I were married at The Red Fox and it's why we moved here to raise a family. It's been a great place to run a business with a supportive community. Middleburg is a wonderful town with much to offer. The town faces huge challenges today; moreover, it faces risks in the coming years with ever westward urban sprawl. I look forward to giving back whatever possible."

Council member Kathy Jo Shea, one of the two who will retire in July, suggested that the council hold an open house/workshop for the public and particularly for those who want to serve on the council and anyone interested in learning more about the council’s responsibilities and duties.
Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2015
Activities in Middleburg
Now that the summer is ending and vacations are over, the community activities are bringing friends and neighbors together. One of the most successful gatherings earlier this year was the “Free Concert on the Steps” sponsored by Middleburg Bank. The bank is sponsoring another one on Friday, Sept. 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Middleburg Community Center. The live music will be by Andre Fox, and light refreshments and drinks will be served. There is free parking in the back of the community center.

The Middleburg United Methodist Church will offer another in the “Middleburg Concert Series” on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m. at the church located at the corner of Pendleton and Washington Streets. This concert will feature Latin American Chamber Music and Jose Alfonso Valadez Alanis, accordionist. The concert is sponsored by Gloria Armfield and others. Refreshments will be served by Federal Street Café. Offering is free will.

The Piedmont Garden Club is well known in the Mosby Heritage Area as one of the many garden clubs contributing to the conservation of the area. This club assisted in the restoration and preservation of the area with such projects as the Piedmont Springs Creek and renovation of Piedmont Main Park. The club’s mission is in the fields of conservation, horticulture, beautification, and education of members and the public in these areas.

The club will present a lecture by Andrea Wulf, “The Invention of Nature” at the Middleburg Community Center, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lecture and boxed lunch is $55. Reservations required by Sept. 14. Contact Nicky Perry at (540) 592-3380 for more information.
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