BOONVILLE — A local horse trainer recently claimed yet another grand victory at a national competition. Horse trainer Victoria Shaw is no stranger to winning. Shaw, who opened her horse barn in Boonville, Astoria, Ltd Equestrian Center in 2010, has had more than one of her horses go on to win awards. In fact, the walls in the office space of the barn is full of ribbons and awards won by her horses and students.
Shaw most recently showed horses at Sport Horse Nationals in September where her horse AL Khassius Khlay was named unanimous grand champion. Her mother’s horse, LH Primadontta, was named reserve national champion, among several other honors they received at the competition.
Shaw keeps an average of 40 horses on the 80-acre farm. She breeds horses as well as trains them and teaches all ages of students how to ride.
Shaw’s mother, Ginny Stammetti, said her love of horses started early in life.
Shaw began riding at around 3 or 4 years old and got her first pony at age 6.
“I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Shaw said. “I don’t have any memories that don’t involve a horse of some sort.”
Shaw said when she began asking for a pony, her parents told her she could get one under the stipulation that she take six months of riding lessons and learn how to care for the horse entirely on her own.
After the first lesson, Stammetti came home and told her husband they had a problem, Shaw already knew how to do everything.
“For my 6th birthday they got me my first pony and it has snowballed, avalanched from there,” Shaw said.
While many young people may wish for a pony or even take some riding lessons, it was much more for Shaw.
Shaw went on to pursue a college degree in equine studies at Virginia Intermont College, where she also majored in pre-law and political science.
Shaw said she did an internship in the law field and after two days realized she hated it. Running Astoria Equestrian Center is no easy task either. There are mornings where Shaw said she struggled to get up and head out to the barn, but it’s all worth it to her.
“When I come out here and I bust my butt and then I go to nationals at age 27, my second nationals as a horse trainer, and come home with two national champions, two reserve national champions and 16 top 10s, it’s just surreal,” Shaw said.
Shaw returned home on Monday from the Sport Horse Nationals in September only to leave again Monday evening to participated as a groom in an inaugural horse show in Central Park in New York City along with her mentor.
“It was surreal,” she said. “It was wonderful. It was a whirlwind experience. Those three weeks, thus far, have been the pinnacle of my life in my business.”
For more information on the Astoria, Ltd. Equestrian Center, visit its Facebook page or call 336-367-4989 or 336-469-1246.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.