The Fate of Foxfield Remains in Question

The Albemarle County Circuit Court will postpone ruling on a case that would affect the Foxfield races, which the UVA community traditionally frequents each spring.

The court, led by Judge Cheryl Higgins, planned to reach a verdict on the case today to officially determine whether the will of Foxfield’s deceased previous owner — Marianna S. de Tejeda — permits the sale of the land. The court revealed today however, that a decision will not be reached until September.

In her will, Tejeda specifies her desire for her property to go to “the perpetuation of the Foxfield Races in Albemarle County.” She passed away in 1983.

Photo courtesy: Visit Charlottesville

Judge Higgins’ postponement of a verdict comes after arguments were made in the courtroom approximately two weeks ago.

The case plaintiffs — John H. Birdsall, Harry Burn, Reynolds Cowles, Landon Hilliard, Kiwi Hilliard, John G. Macfarlane III, Dudley Macfarlane and Jack Sanford Jr. — argued that Tejeda’s will features language that prevents the Foxfield property from being sold. They alleged that the defendants — the Foxfield Racing Association and its director, Thomas Dick — seek to sell the property and use it for a housing development, which would violate Tejeda’s will.

The defendants instead claimed that the language of Tejeda’s will is not specific enough to make such a conclusion.

So why does this court case matter? The fate of the Foxfield races may depend on it.

While the Albermarle Country Circuit Court has yet to set an official date to release the case verdict, it will be in September.

In the meantime, a fall event at Foxfield is scheduled for October 7th.


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