A cool morning, cool costumes and an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Germanna Foundation in Locust Grove Tuesday morning for the send off of a very special group of riders.
They were there to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe expedition led by Governor Alexander Spotswood in 1716. That ride not only took the intrepid group to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains but paved the way for English colonization beyond that terrain. Keep in mind that the French were also vying for territory at the time but Spotswood had creative plans and an eye toward westward expansion.
Who better to lead the group than Culpeper’s own Tom Seay perhaps most famously known for his Best of America by Horseback program.
Seay, along with his niece and co-host production coordinator Kristen Biscoe, are descendants of the original German settlers that occupied this area so for them a very unique ride.
Seay was effusive.
“I’ve ridden in Mexico, Canada and many areas but this is home. I love my Virginia. When I was five, I rode to school on a shetland pony. When I got there, the pony would return to the barn on his own. In the distance I would see those Blue Ridge Mountains and it was my dream to ride there on my pony. Now, I’m living that dream of a 5-year-old,” said Seay as he looked to the forest they would soon enter.
It was from this spot at the Germanna Foundation that the original group ventured out.
“We wanted to keep it small and manageable,” said Biscoe of the eight riders that comprised the group. In addition to herself and Seay, Sandy and Wayne Gifford came from Michigan, Paul Fucsh from West Virginia who rode a very handsome mule, Robyn Yeager also from West Virginia, Jane Yarborough from Fredericksburg and Mary Maleski from Florida.
On Thursday, Aug. 25, in partnership with the Museum of Culpeper History, the riders will be at Andora Farm from 5-8 p.m. talking of their adventures. There will be food, activities for children and plenty of photo opportunities. The event is free and all are welcome.
The ride culminates with a proclamation ceremony held Saturday, Aug. 27, at Big Meadows from 1-2 p.m.
The young girl in image 8794 petting the mule is Lindsey Brown from Culpeper, the mule’s handler is Paul Fuchs from New Martinsville, West Virginia, and the lady in the blue coat is Jane Yarborough of Fredericksburg.