History of Fox Lea Farm
Fox Lea Farm recently celebrated their 35th year!
It all started in 1983 when David and Linda Aldrich purchased 46 acres in Venice as raw land, with the vision of building a horse- and family-friendly horse show facility. Fox Lea is a family owned and operated business, with three generations of their family now involved in some way.
Linda and David Aldrich immediately started planning the infrastructure and building barns, show rings, office and other buildings necessary to create a nationally-recognized horse show facility.
Fox Lea hosted our very first horse show in December of 1984. With the help of John Kimball and Simon Barber, Fox Lea Farm held the first international-level dressage show in the United States. Dressage was the first discipline to put us on the map at a national level.
In September of 1985, Fox Lea planned to host their first USEF-sanctioned “A” rated hunter/jumper show with Pat Thomas as Technical Director, but it was not to be – Hurricane Elena had other plans! The show was postponed to November of that year, and that was the beginning of our now nationally-recognized “Grass Roots to Grand Prix” National series of Hunter/Jumper horse shows, with over $1,000,000 in prizes and money awarded each year.
We have hosted numerous USHJA Zone 4 Finals since 2001. In addition, Fox Lea hosts various special events such as Regional or National Finals, Clinics, and Training Sessions. In 2006, we added our first $25,000 Grand Prix to our National series. We currently produce 20 Grand Prixs a year.
Over 25 years ago, we started a summer series of rated hunter jumpers shows with a theme of camp related activities and family fun thus the series is called "Camp Fox Lea". Our goal is to always create an atmosphere that is enjoyable to the families, riders, owners, trainers, spectators and horses. We currently produce 12 National rated shows, 8 Regional rated shows per year, and 8 unrated hunter jumper shows throughout the year. Fox Lea Farm is an affiliate of the United States Hunter Jumper Association.
Fox Lea Farm hosts 13 pointed AQHA shows per year and also some AQHA Special Events. Six of the Thirteen shows are held during the month of January during our most prestigious Quarter Horse Show of the year, Fox Lea Farm Winter Circuit and has been in existence for over 30 years. Fox Lea Farm has also been home to the Florida Super Eight Appaloosa Shows in the month of March for the past 30 years. In 2007, Fox Lea Farm took over the management of these nationally recognized Appaloosa events.
The Venice Equestrian Tour Winter Hunter/Jumper Circuit was approved by the USEA in 2015 to be first produced in January through March starting in 2016. This is a yearly circuit. Fox Lea Farm restructured and replaced certain shows in our calendar to accommodate the 7 week series. Fox Lea Farm hosts events over 42 weekends per year. We have been and continue to be an integral part of the Venice community, and are grateful to the residents of both the Venice Community and the Horse Community for their continued support over the years.
Over the years, we believe we have contributed to improving the standards and conditions of rated and unrated shows.