The Board of Directors of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation announced yesterday that Glenn T. Petty has been appointed as the new CEO of the Foundation. An experienced business leader and horseman, Petty will succeed John Nicholson and assume responsibilities on May 3, 2021. Nicholson will be retiring to his hometown of Lexington, Ky.
Petty spent 16 years as manager of the Governor James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex and 25 years as show manager of the 19-day State Fair Horse Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Most recently he was Executive Vice President of the Arabian Horse Association for 12 years. He has experience working at the national and regional level with a wide array of breed and sport associations including the United States Equestrian Federation, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association. Petty is also a past president of the North Carolina Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine Foundation.
In 1970 Petty earned his degree from North Carolina State University. He has also been a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Parker, Co., and the Optimist Club of Raleigh. While working with the state of North Carolina, Petty was given the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Service to Agribusiness and was inducted into the North Carolina Livestock Hall of Fame. Petty received the American Horse Council’s Van Ness Award in 1991.
Petty’s prior experience includes the coordination of the design and construction of several equestrian complexes. He has been a consultant with horse show facilities and fairgrounds across the country regarding their construction and design.
An avid supporter of youth organizations, Petty is a past recipient of North Carolina’s 4-H Partner’s Award, and the State FFA Award for Service.
Working as a Senior Steward allowed Petty to officiate at some of the nation’s largest shows including the Saddle Horse World Championships, the AHA Youth Nationals, and the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden and the Meadowlands.
Petty shared that this position is a bit like coming full circle in his professional career as he recalled meeting with Otis Meade in the early 1980s at the site of the future Horse Center before any ground was broken.
“I look forward to the challenge of helping the Horse Center to be the best it can be,” Petty commented.
“I simply could not be more pleased that Glenn Petty will succeed me as CEO of the Virginia Horse Center Foundation,” said John Nicholson, current CEO of the Horse Center. “I have known Glenn and worked with him for many years, and I am proud to consider him a friend. He is an honorable, experienced, and well-respected member of the equestrian industry. Under his leadership we can look forward to great and exciting growth for our Horse Center in the years ahead.”
“I am proud of the collaborative and thorough process our Search Committee followed to identify the best CEO candidate from a very qualified pool of applicants,” said Gardy Bloemers, president of the VHCF Board of Directors. “While I am pleased with what we have accomplished over the last few years, I am confident that with Glenn’s experience and commitment as our new CEO, the facility will truly flourish, and become a “best in class” show facility across a multitude of equestrian disciplines.”
The Virginia Horse Center Foundation provides a world-class facility hosting regional, national, and international equestrian events. The Virginia Horse Center Foundation envisions a unique, bucolic landmark to honor and celebrate the timeless, special bond between mankind and the horse through safe, fair, and spirited equestrian competition.