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Breeders’ Fund Changes


Starting in 2025, the Breeders’ Fund eliminations and finals for three year olds will be run during the spring meet. Payments will be changed to a $300 nomination payment due March 15th and a $300 starting fee due at the time of the first elimination.

Aged races will be run during the spring meet with nomination forms due March 15th.


Two year old eliminations, finals and payment schedule will remain unchanged.


Horses eligible for the Breeders' Fund races after the March 15, 2024 payments can be found by clicking here.

Horses eligible for the Breeders' Fund races after the May 15, 2024 payments can be found by clicking

Early Closer Rules for 2024 Virginia Breeders' Fund

All the information about entry fees, eligibility, fees, purses and general conditions for the 2024 Virginia Breeders' Fund races can be found here. 

2024 Breeders Fund Dates

There will be two legs of elimination races for the Breeders' Fund races. These will be held at Shenandoah Downs on the following dates:

Three year old trot eliminations- Sept 28 & Oct 5, 2024

Three year old pace eliminations- Sept 29 & Oct 6, 2024

Two year old trot eliminations- Oct 12 & Oct 19, 2024

Two year old pace eliminations- Oct 13 & Oct 20, 2024

Finals for all sexes & gaits- October 27, 2024

Aged races for trotters & paces- October 27, 2024​

Virginia Incentive Programs

There are several incentive programs in Virginia for foals to participate in. A brief description of each program can be found here. Rules and forms for each program can be found on the individual tabs on the website.

It is the horse owner's responsibility to submit all required paperwork and payments by the due dates.

Several farms have indicated that they have space available for horses participating in the program. The complete list can be found by clicking here. Information will be added to this list as we receive it from the facilities. Horses do not have to be kept at one of these farms to be eligible. You may keep your horse anywhere in Virginia.

Virginia Born Standardbred Definition

Effective January 1, 2017, in order to be defined as a Virginia Born Standardbred Horse eligible for the Breeders’ Fund races, one of the following criteria must be met.


1. A registered Standardbred horse sired by a stallion registered to stand in the Commonwealth of Virginia (Commonwealth). Stallions must be registered with the VHHA by December 1st of the year they are standing in. No stallion may be moved from the farm on which he was registered without the prior permission (excluding medical emergency) of the Virginia Racing Commission and the VHHA.


2. A registered Standardbred horse foaled in the Commonwealth, provided that the foal producing mare and foal are domiciled in the Commonwealth for the birth and that both remain in the Commonwealth for six consecutive months of the year in which the foal is produced.


3. A registered Standardbred horse born to a mare that is 100% owned by a resident of the Commonwealth (defined as living and filing taxes in the Commonwealth at the time of conception.


4. A registered Standardbred horse that was being carried at the time of purchase by a pregnant mare when the mare was purchased at public auction by a resident of the Commonwealth.


Effective with foals born in 2003 and thereafter, foals other than the first foal, each year, produced by any method including, but not limited to, embryo/ovum transplant, shall be ineligible for racing and/or breeding in the Commonwealth. This rule shall not apply in the case of same birth twins.


In addition, any future offspring of foals not eligible for racing or breeding under this rule, shall also not be eligible for racing or breeding in the Commonwealth.


Stallion owners must supply the Virginia Harness Horse Association (VHHA) and the United States Trotting Association (USTA) the list of mares and dates bred to said stallion by September 1st of the year they are bred.


The appropriate payment must be made at time of registration or nomination. All further required payments must be made in order to remain eligible to the Early Closers. All registrations and payments must be in accordance with the time requirements of the VHHA.

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