Monday, December 5, 2016

Virginia's Other National Treasure

While Virginia may have provided our nation with four of our first five Presidents and is home to one of the wonders of North America, The Natural Bridge, we also have another hidden treasure, Ms. Ellie Wood Keith Baxter of Charlottesville.  An amazing woman of 95, she's still going!  She charmed all of us this past weekend at the Virginia Horse Show Association's annual banquet at The Homestead.  She is sharp as a tack. She gave the junior riders an earful and I am sure they learned something from this masterful equestrian who won the Medal Finals in 1936.  The woman can ride a horse.

After she won the Medal Finals, her status as a horsewoman was secure and she rode at all the major shows up and down the East Coast.  She was champion at the most prestigious shows in the country and rode the famous horses of the day including Substitution (who was inducted into the VHSA Hall of Fame over the weekend), Spanish Mist, Escapade, Adventure and many others. She was literally the most famous woman amateur from 1935 until the mid 1960's.  She was inducted into the VHSA Hall of Fame in 2005.

She was also an avid tennis player and dancer.  She was an avid fox hunter too until recently and was hunting well into her late 80's.  Her eyesight isn't what it used to be but she would run circles around many 50-year olds I know.  You can read another blog post about this incredible woman here.  She's an inspiration. 

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