Lexington, Ky.—Nov. 1
Virginia Fout and Lindsay Maxwell are incredible amateur-owner hunter riders—they both championed in the 3’3″ sections of that division at the National Horse Show—but they have something else in common: a cause. Fout and Maxwell are involved with nonprofit organizations and charities.
Fout, who won the 36 and over, section, runs her own event production company, V Productions, in Los Angeles. This year Fout will organize a Grammy viewing party for Janie’s Fund, a nonprofit organization started by recording artist Steven Tyler. The organization takes its name from one of Tyler’s hit songs “Janie’s Got A Gun.”
“Its purpose is to support abused and neglected girls,” Fout said. “He partnered with an existing organization in Memphis [Tennessee] that needed help with funding and awareness, and they help provide safe housing and counseling for women and girls.”
Fout will also organize an event for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, a fund that supports existing organizations that benefit those suffering from AIDS and HIV.
“They’re both really great causes, and I’m super excited for the events,” Fout said. “The timing with the horses actually works out perfectly. They’re getting a couple months of vacation and turn out while I’m gearing up for them, so I won’t have to feel guilty for not getting out to the barn to ride!”
Winning the 2018 championship marks the third year in a row Fout has taken the title, and all three years she won aboard Carma. Adding to the impressiveness of the feat, Fout and Carma have also won the championship at the Washington International Horse Show three years in a row.
“He’s definitely my horse of a lifetime, 150 percent,” Fout said. “You know, I’ve ridden my whole life and grew up riding horses off the track and always did my best and learned a lot, and now with Carma he’s not easy, but we’ve figured each other out and figured out what works, and he’s taken me everywhere. I just love him.”
Maxwell took the win in the low amateur-owner hunters, 18-35, aboard Belgravia.
“It’s really exciting. I can tell what kind of mood he’s in as soon as we go in the ring, and when I trotted in there today I could tell he was feeling good,” Maxwell said. “He’s an amazing horse; I’m super lucky to have him.”
Maxwell runs a charitable fund under her name that supports a lot of smaller horse shows around the country.
“We do a lot with therapeutic riding, and we also have done a lot with charity horse shows and horse shows with charitable components like the National Horse Show; that’s really where our focus is now,” Maxwell said. “I really feel a sense of generational obligation to insure the sport and the aspects of the sport that I love so much and meant so much to me growing up are here for future generations. I really love the community and the spirit around some of the smaller one- or two-week horse shows.
“Nothing against [the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida)] or the bigger circuits but sort of having that experience of going to a show that’s really ingrained in the fabric of the local community, that’s a different experience,” Maxwell continued. “And they offer access to the sport at all different levels, which I think is really important.”
Horse shows Maxwell supports include the Brandywine Horse Show in Devon, Pennsylvania, the Menlo Charity Horse Show in Atherton, California, and the Keswick Horse Show in Virginia. The fund also supports the USHJA’s Emerging Athletes Program.