Virginia Lazenby, affectionally known as "Gigi", has been an avid horse enthusiast since she was a child when she learned to ride and fox hunt. Her father was one of the founders of the Iroquois Steeplechase and her brother was one of the youngest riders at the Iroquois. Virginia Lazenby is the CEO of Bretagne LLC, an oil and gas company, and has served as the Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America . She previously served on the Board of Directors of the American Petroleum Institute and on the National Petroleum Council, a post appointed by the Secretary of Energy. In addition to her career, she has remained very active in the equine industry.
She opened a Steeplechase Stable in 2014 and expanded her operations to include Winners Circle Farm in Franklin in 2019. Before opening her own stable in 2014, she campaigned flat horses and several stake horses with her brother for many years prior to his death. She currently serves on the board of The National Steeplechase Association as Vice President, The Board of Steeplechase Owners and Trainers Association and The Board of Advisors for the Iroquois Steeplechase. Virginia Lazenby received a B. A. in history from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in finance from the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
When Gigi is watching a horse race, her smile can be seen across the track. She has campaigned impressive horses. Among those include: Hardrock Eleven, Pleasant Woodman, Help from Heaven and Dancin in the Rain. Her horses have placed at some of the best U.S. Steeplechase tracks such as Saratoga Belmont, Iroquois, Aiken, and Middleburg.
Dwight's experience is vast in the equestrian world. As a young rider, he participated at the highest level in hunter and jumper shows and at the age of 18 was invited to try out for the United States Olympic team in show jumping. He was a licensed steeplechase jockey for over 27 years and as a jockey won the Iroquois Steeplechase in 1977.
He is currently Chairman of the Iroquois Steeplechase, the 2nd largest steeplechase in the country. and manager of the Winners Circle farm. He served as Treasurer to the National Steeplechase Association and is currently on the board for the National Steeplechase Association and is a member of the committee that oversees all the racing officials.
His past business experience includes ten years in commercial banking as a founding shareholder of Endata, a turnkey software company, which was acquired by First Data Corporation. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a BA in Marketing and Economics.
Holly is the Manager, Trainer and Professional Rider of Winner’s Circle Farm, a hunter jumper facility in Franklin, TN. She has been an active trainer and rider on the USEFA circuit for over 25 years. Her specialty is working with thoroughbreds to transition them to another career after racing and rehabbing active racehorses. She serves as the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association while previously in the role as President of the Association. When she is not at the barn, Holly works for the Iroquois Steeplechase as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Race Operations.
Kate began riding ponies at the age of 3 when she fell in love with horses and showed in various equitation and hunter divisions. At the age of 16 she began showing full time in the jumper divisions. After finishing high school, she went to work for four years for 25-time leading steeplechase trainer, Jonathan Sheppard. Following her marriage to Bernie Dalton, she moved to Dubai with her husband to work for Kiaran McLaughlin. Upon returning to the United States, she continued working for him in Saratoga.
In 2003, Kate and Bernie moved to Camden and began their training business the following year. Kate’s philosophy at the Camden training center is that the horses and her business is her life. She and her husband make a great team and do the work themselves. From cleaning the stalls, to grooming and riding the horses. They hold themselves to an extremely high standard where the horse comes first. They look at each horse as an individual and they try to show a horse that daily training is fun, not a chore. The luxury of the training center in Camden provides variety for horses so they don’t just gallop on a track in a left-handed circle. From galloping on a turf, in different directions such as a figure 8, or a jog on wooded fields and maintained fields. A horse will get a lot of fitness work without realizing that it’s training.
Kate is especially skilled at teaching horses’ new skills. She loves the breaking process and working with young horses or teaching an older horse who has been a flat runner to jump. When a horse realizes it is capable of doing something they haven’t tried before, and they show you that they are proud of themselves, Kate enjoys that the most.
Cat Feathers, Cagey Girl, Bella Attrice and African Oil are among some of the horses that Kate has worked with that have prestigious Saratoga wins and placed at some of the best steeplechase tracks.
Keri is from Kennett Square, Pa. and has had two seasons on the circuit, The Fair Hill-based conditioner became the only trainer aside from Jack Fisher to crack the million-dollar-earnings mark. In her inaugural 2021 season, led the NSA in earnings. 2022 Record: 144-33- 19-16, $1,106,950. Rider on NSA circuit from 2016- 2019, and longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Went out on her own after Sheppard’s retirement, and became the first American conditioner to capture an Irish bumper and hurdle race. Returned to the U.S. for the Spring campaign and won the Eclipse Award, with Buttonwood Farm’s The Mean Queen. Other stakes winners include Topic Changer (leading three-year-old), Molly Fantasy, Ljay, Theocrat, Howyabud, Historic Heart, French Light, and Iranistan.
Richard Hendriks, owner and trainer at Pennsylvania based Richard Hendriks Racing has been successfully training horses for over 3 decades. A two time champion steeplechase jockey (1986 and 1987) of 10 years, and a trainer of 20+, Hendriks’ specialty lies in developing and showcasing exceptional steeplechase and long turf horses. Richard is just shy of 700 career victories with eyes on crossing the impressive threshold in the coming season.
In 2018, Hendriks became the first horseman to be associated with Eclipse Award winners as both rider and trainer when his top horse Zanjabeel was recognized as outstanding steeplechase horse in the sport’s top prize. The same year, Optimus Prime, also trained by Hendriks was honored with the second place Eclipse Award nomination by the National Steeplechase Association.
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