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2007 Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame

Fox Grape Farms – Lynn and Peter Via


(Editor’s Note: The following speech was written by Gerald Carter and read by Richard Morgan on Thursday night of the show.)



The Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame was established to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to insure the success of this show which supports charities throughout the region. Tonight’s inductee’s generous contributions of time, talents and resources have made a huge impact for a number of years. Lynn and Peter Via and their Fox Grape Farms are this year’s recipients.


Lynn has served on the executive committee of this show for 10 years and has spearheaded the production of the official program. Her efforts have paid off in that the program has become one of the profit centers for the show. They have continued the family tradition of sponsoring the jumper welcome party that has become a highlight of hospitality for the jumper division. Lynn’s daughter, Owen Weaver, began her equine career in the hunter pony division. Peter has a long history of involvement with the American Saddlebred division, a passion Lynn soon embraced. Their Saddlebred CH Garland’s Dream is a many times world’s champion and twice world’s grand champion five-gaited horse. CH Callaway’s Copyright is also a world’s and world’s grand champion in the harness category. In fact, he has tied the record of CH Wing Commander and CH My-My with six world’s grand championships.


They also support a large Saddlebred breeding operation in Kentucky. Their selection tonight goes far beyond their passion for horses. Their commitment to the welfare of this community and their generous support of the charities that benefit from the show have made them more than qualified for this honor.


Gerald Carter


(Editor’s Note: The following speech was read by Richard Morgan on Thursday night of the show.)


(photo by Doug Shiflet)


The Roanoke Valley Horse Show is ranked one of the top horse shows in the United States and has successfully raised an average of $30,000 per year, every penny of which is contributed back to the community to the many charities listed in your program.


A person who is responsible for a large part of this success is with me tonight. His name is Gerald Carter and we are honoring him as our newest member of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame.


Gerald has served as a member of the horse show’s executive committee since its inception over 20 years ago and has helped raise thousands of dollars each year for the success of this show.


Gerald’s interest in horse shows began at age 10 and at his first competition he competed in a class with his father, mounted on a beautiful horse with excellent linage. Gerald’s horse was rather ugly but the horse didn’t know he was ugly so he held his head high, worked like a champion around the ring and won the blue ribbon. Not exactly the thing to do, to beat your father on an ugly horse!


His next big moment came at age 14 when he competed in a show at Hidden Valley. The class consisted of some top horse trainers and lo and behold, he beat all of them, making a victory pass and a silver cup in his hand. Again, he was not too popular with the trainers after that.


At this point Gerald was hooked and continued to compete in various horse shows showing Saddlebreds, Tennessee Walking Horses, carriage driving horses and has won many ribbons and championships along the way.


This is an individual who is multi-talented and has helped raise funds for not only the Roanoke Valley Horse Show but has raised over a million dollars for the Virginia Horse Center.


Our honoree tonight is a person of integrity and sincerity with a big heart and a concern for others’ welfare. He is dedicated to every endeavor relating to family, friends and his beloved church. He is known throughout the horse world as likeable and giving. He is fun to be with and is an invaluable member of the Roanoke Valley Horse Show family.


Everyone loves him…especially yours truly! Ladies and gentlemen I present to you our honoree, Gerald Carter.

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