Hunt Country History

The Trinity Episcopal Hunt Country Tour Memorial Day tradition carries back to the year 1959 as a major part of the Upperville and Middleburg event calendar.

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The Hunt Country Stable Tour has been a part of the Memorial Day Weekend tradition at Trinity for as long as many members remember. It really started in the 1950’s as a Gymkhana at the Upperville Horse and Colt Show as a fundraiser for the church. There was even a Trinity fundraising event, The Hunt Country Fashion Show in 1950 that was emceed by Adele Astaire!

The first “ Hunt Country Farm-Estate Tour” took place on Saturday, November 7, 1959 as George and Kitty Slater and members of the church Vestry designed a tour that included Heronwood, Catesby, Welbourne, and Ayrshire. Its original purpose was to raise funds for the church, and to showcase the newly constructed stone structure donated by the Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon which has become hallmark of Trinity Episcopal Church.

The tour has been home to many famous horses. Mill Reef, owned by Paul Mellon and Horse of the Year in 1971 England greeted tour-goers for years. Hansel, winner of the Preakness and Belmont was on the tour as late as 2017 at Lazy Lane Farm. Many people also remember Genuine Risk, the Kentucky Derby winning filly who was a feature at Newstead Farm during Stable Tour.

In subsequent years the name was changed to "The Hunt Country Stable Tour" and all fundraising proceeds are now dedicated to Outreach. The tour continues to grow in popularity and is truly a highlight of the Trinity Church calendar. The event draws the support of the farms and the community at large, working together with volunteers to raise money for charitable causes. Just as in the beginning, volunteers still give tours of the church sanctuary during this weekend.

The tour is widely known and hailed as a weekend not to be missed by all those who experience it.

It is centered in the town of Upperville, around the beautiful campus of Trinity Episcopal Church.  The town is a historic landmark in Northern Virginia just outside of Middleburg, and the historic nature of the tour reflects the town’s commitment to preservation of the country life, lands, and traditions that surround the communities of Upperville and Middleburg.