BERRYVILLE — Riding horses can help fight fires.

The second annual Clarke County Benefit Horse Show will be held on Saturday at the Ruritan Fairgrounds off West Main Street. Again this year, all proceeds will benefit the John H. Enders Fire Company and Rescue Squad in Berryville.

Last year’s event generated roughly $4,000 for the fire company.

“We hope this year to top that” amount, said show representative Barbara Byrd.

The annual Clarke County Fair was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. That led to one of the fair’s biggest draws, a Ruritan-sponsored horse show, also being canceled.

With help from sponsors, though, a horse show was held last October. Organizers decided to donate the proceeds to the largely volunteer Enders company because it, like the Ruritans, had been hampered in fundraising by the pandemic.

The fair resumed earlier this year. So did the horse show that is part of it. Still, the Clarke County Horse Council decided to try and make the benefit show a yearly event.

“We had such an amazing turnout and support by the community” last year, said show Chairwoman Cindy Goode. “We decided that we would continue annually with the benefit show, and it will run on the first Saturday in October each year.”

The council decided to make Enders the recipient of proceeds again because of the hard work its members put into battling blazes and responding to emergency medical calls, she said.

Saturday’s activities will start at 8 a.m.

The Virginia Horse Show Association and D.C. Area Horse Show Association are sanctioning the show. Points will be awarded to members of those organizations, but the show is open to riders and other participants who aren’t members, Goode said.

The cost for participating is $15 per class. The lineup of classes is all English riding.

However, “we will be holding a trail class during the day, and riders may compete with English or Western-style riding,” Goode said.

New this year will be a division enabling adults to compete on ponies.

And, “at the end of the day, we will have some fun classes,” including a costume class, Goode said.

Christopher Webb will serve as judge. Goode said the show will mark Webb’s debut as a judge.

Along with horse council members, the show will be put on entirely with volunteers.

“Our volunteers are the best!” Goode said.

For more information about the show, send Goode an email at

Bank of Clarke County and the Blue Ridge Hunt will be among this year’s show sponsors.

— Contact Mickey Powell at

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