Skip to content

Kelley Douglas named new COO at the Virginia Horse Center




The Virginia Horse Center Foundation (VHCF) is pleased to announce our new chief operating officer, Kelley Douglas. Kelley replaces Leigh Anne Claywell, who left the foundation to return to Kentucky to accept the director of operations position at the United States Hunter Jumper Association. Kelley is a long-time supporter of the Virginia Horse Center (VHC), and exhibited here and worked at many of the events through the 1990s.  She brings a wealth of experience in event management, is a nationally and internationally licensed show jumping judge, and has experience with multiple horse breeds and disciplines.

Kelley graduated from Hollins University with an economics/business degree and has strong ties to the VHC and to Southwestern Virginia. Her expertise is in hunter/jumpers; from 2011 to 2015, she was the director of Hunter Programs and Program Development for the United States Hunter Jumper Association. Prior to being recruited by the VHCF, she judged show jumpers nationwide and worked on event management teams throughout the US.

“I am very excited to join the Virginia Horse Center Foundation as the Chief Operating Officer,” says Kelley.  “This facility holds many good memories from my days competing as a rider and remains very special to me. As part of the VHC team, I hope to share the magic of not only the Virginia Horse Center but the Rockbridge County area with the existing events and exhibitors while attracting newcomers as well.”

Her focus for the future is to continue to become a strong liaison to the City of Lexington, Rockbridge County, and Southwestern Virginia while working with the Horse Center’s management team on the trajectory of making the VHC a world-class facility. Kelley will also direct and supervise the daily operations of the VHC and provide leadership and direction to key departmental areas and staff. She will strive to increase the regional and national stature of the VHC within the equestrian industry and to offer and host successful, profitable events. 

“We couldn't be more pleased to have Kelley Douglas assume the duties of this critical position at the Virginia Horse Center,” says CEO John Nicholson. “Kelley's experience in the industry and her outstanding reputation as a horseshow professional will be a tremendous asset for the Horse Center. With Kelley as our COO, we will continue to strive to be among the premier equestrian facilities in the United States.”

In Kelley’s spare time she enjoys hiking, world travel, community service, and polishing up on her Spanish language skills.  

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization that provides a world-class facility hosting regional, national, and international equestrian events in Lexington, Virginia.

The Virginia Horse Center Foundation envisions a unique, bucolic landmark to honor and celebrate the timeless, special bond between mankind and the horse through safe, fair, and spirited equestrian competition.

More Stories

  • US Equestrian Announces 2020 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team

    Thirty-two aspiring team riders from 17 states competed in the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection Trials at William Woods University on Saturday, December 7. Twenty athletes competed in the three-gaited section and 12 riders competed in the five-gaited section... Read More
  • Another Legend Lost – Claude Shiflet

    Carolina legend Claude Shiflet passed away today, December 7, with family at his side. The Hall of Fame trainer was 87. He and his bride Alice had just celebrated their 67th anniversary the day before... Read More
  • Lunchtime Lecture Series Continues in 2020

    The American Saddlebred Museum and International Museum of the Horse are pleased to announce the continuation of the popular Lunchtime Lecture series. Join the Museums on the first Thursday of the month to learn about a wide variety of equine topics from an array of experts... Read More
  • American Saddlebred Horse Association Welcomes New Directors for 2020

    The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is pleased to announce the election of six (6) new members to its Board of Directors, who will join the Board at the UPHA & ASHA Conference in January 2020... Read More
  • 2019 ASHA WCHS Survey & Activities Report

    The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is sharing with our membership the summaries of the findings of the September 2019 World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS) Survey and also the in-depth 2019 ASHA WCHS report that we present to the Kentucky Venues show ownership and management team... Read More
  • Obituary – Marion “Bit” Hutcheson

    The bad news continued in the show horse community with the passing of Happy Valley Farm’s Bit Hutcheson on Tuesday evening, December 3rd. Created by her late parents, John L. and Marion Hutcheson, Happy Valley has been an iconic American Saddlebred training and breeding facility for decades... Read More
  • Latest Issue HW 12 19 ASB

    Read More
  • Latest Issue HW 12 19 Morgan

    Read More
  • Obituary – Jack Schatzberg

    Born December 1, 1922, Jacob (Jack) Schatzberg died peacefully surrounded by his loving family the 28th of November, just short of his 97th birthday... Read More
  • 2019 American Saddlebred People's Choice

    You don’t have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in Saddle Horse Report People’s Choice conducted by The Saddle Horse Report and Horse World. It's wide open...just your opinion of who were the 'Best of the Best' during the great 2019 season. Read More