After many years of contributing to the history and heritage of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show(UCHS), Olympic legend and Virginia native Joe Fargis will be taking over the role of President of the Board for the Upperville Colt & Horse Show for the world-class event, scheduled for June 1-7, 2020.
Fargis has a long history with UCHS as an exhibitor, spectator and board member. His dedication to equestrian sport has given him valuable experiences that will contribute to his new role as President, only continuing the integral role he has played at UCHS for over six decades.
At only 12-years old Fargis began attending the UCHS, riding ponies under the old oak trees in 1960. Fargis grew up in Vienna, Virginia, only an hour away from the show grounds making him one of the many locals to attend the annual event. Some of his most fond and vivid memories were formulated within the fence line of the UCHS, giving it a special place in his heart that would resonate with him throughout his career as an international show jumping athlete.
Over 60 years later, Fargis has achieved great success within those very arenas and beyond. Fargis rode to many hunter championship titles, a win in the Upperville Grand Prix and top placings in a plethora of other high- level divisions and classes at UCHS. Impressively, he has now ridden in every hunter and jumper division at the UCHS in addition to judging every jumping class offered by the show, accomplishing a task that most would find to be unimaginable. Fargis’ continued dedication to the sport has created a legacy of its own, especially at the UCHS.
Fargis became an Olympic double gold medalist in 1984, the first of three Olympic medals that he would win at the peak of his riding career. The same year, Fargis was named Horseman of The Year by the American Horse Show Association. In addition to his three Olympic medals, Fargis also helped the U.S. team secure a gold medal in the 1975 Pan American Games. Fargis has since been inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and received Hall of Fame Honors from the Virginia Horse Show Association, the Virginia Horse Center, the Washington International Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, as well as receiving both the USEF/USHJA Lifetime Achievement Awards. Closer to home at the UCHS, the highly decorated horseman has also received the J. Arthur Reynolds Horsemanship Award for his mentorship in the horse industry.
Deeply rooted in the tradition of UCHS, Fargis is dedicated to continuing the uniqueness of UCHS. In 2020, spectators and exhibitors can expect the return of all of UCHS’ feature events, including its FEI CSI4* rating and World Championship Hunter Rider designation.