Albemarle’s Zach Miller back in the saddle again at Foxfield
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Zach Miller grew up on his family’s farm, just minutes away from the Foxfield track.
He started riding ponies when he was five years old, and on Saturday, April 29, he will be one of the jockeys racing at Foxfield.
Miller gave up competitive racing years ago, but now as he gets set to turn 40 this fall, he’s making a comeback on his hometown track.
“I’m feeling better than ever. I take much better care of myself than I did in my twenties. I’m healthier and fitter than I ever was. I’m really excited to get back on the horse, back in the saddle here at my hometown track,” Miller said.
Miller is the only jockey from Central Virginia racing at Foxfield on Saturday. His horse is named Sea Mast.
“He’s a tough horse, he’s a grinder, he’s a great jumper and this course will suit him well,” Miller said.
The track at Foxfield is just over two miles long. The grass is kept high at 7 inches. Like all steeplechase courses, it has fences and hurdles.
Foxfield is just one of only 25 steeplechase tracks remaining in the entire country.
“We’ve lost a lot of races in the south due to sprawl, and we’re fortunate that here in Charlottesville that we’ve been able to preserve this piece of land,” said Zach’s wife, Sara Miller.
Through the years, the Foxfield Races have raised thousands for charity.
“The original intent of the property was to have a space where community members could come together, hold these community events, give back to the community,” Foxfield Executive Director Kelsey Cox said.
Miller will ride on Saturday in support of Habitat for Humanity.
“Before as a rider, I was just a rider. Now I’m a rider with a cause. Being a part of the show and the production allows me to apply these skills to the greater cause of the races,” Miller said.
There will be six races at Foxfield on Saturday, with the first starting at 12:30 p.m.
Zach Miller rides in the third race of the day at 1:40 p.m.
Do you have a story idea? Send us your news tip here.
Copyright 2023 WVIR. All rights reserved.