The Virginia Horse Center Foundation has announced its 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, 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 also will 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.