BOONVILLE — Victoria Shaw began taking riding lessons at age five, by age seven she had her sights set on attending Virginia Intermont College to major in Equine Studies. Now age 31, Shaw, is one of the youngest people in her field as well as one of few to be sole owner and trainer at their own facility. She was recently named as a Rising Star in Arabian Horse Times for the second year in a row.
Shaw owns Astoria Equestian Center in Boonville where she is a one-stop-shop for those interested in horses. Shaw boards horses at her farm, trains them and offers riding lessons for all levels. She was also recognized as one of the top sport horse breeders for National Champions last year as well as recognized in the Totally Tops category for sport horse in hand in Arabian Horse Times.
Shaw is living her childhood dream.
“I was just smitten with horses,” she said of her childhood fascination with the animals. Her mother, Ginny Stametti, said she wanted her own horse from the time she was old enough to say the word.
Now Shaw spends nearly every waking minute with horses, both at her farm in Boonville as well as traveling to horse shows around the nation.
Astoria Equestrian Center, which opened nine years ago, offers a variety of services to meet the needs of both its human and horse clients.
“Our number one priority here is horse care. We want them to live as normally as possible. They get a lot of outside time, and we feed an all-natural diet,” Shaw explained.
She works with students of all ages, offering group lessons for more experienced riders and one-on-one lessons for beginners.
Shaw said she is honored to be recognized in one of the top publications in the Arabian horse industry.
“It brings a lot of gratification. It means a lot to me and it’s very heartfelt. It’s hard to put into words, but it gives me such warmth,” Shaw said.
Not only does she work as the primary trainer, teacher and horse caretaker at Astoria, she also travels the country with her secondary business, The Finishing Touch, offering on-site clipping and braiding services at horse shows.
While at horse shows offering specialized clipping and grooming, Shaw said she works practically around the clock.
Seeing her hard work being recognized in the industry, and being viewed as a peer by others she has looked up to in the horse industry, is what keeps her motivated and going on the hard days, she said.
“If you don’t quit you will achieve your goals,” she said. “That hard work does indeed pay off. It makes me feel wonderful to be respected and revered in my industry.”
She said she was happy to live in the moment and soak it all in. She added that she was grateful for her wonderful team and clients at Astoria Equestrian Center.
“Our clients are incredible, supportive, understanding people,” she said. “I couldn’t really do it without them. We all need each other.”
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.
Victoria Shaw, owner and trainer at Astoria Equestrian Center.
Victoria Shaw has been named a Rising Star in Arabian Horse Times.
Victoria Shaw takes a victory lap.