"They’re just like family," said Jean Krason about her three horses, which are kept at Mane Top Stables in Lynchburg. Krason, her husband and two daughters visit their horses nearly every day, including holidays, and fondly recall one Christmas when their horse Kevlar got his head stuck in a box full of treats while opening up a present. Krason’s two daughters MacKenzie, 16, and Reilly,13, are among roughly 30 riders who board their horses at the stable and compete nearly every weekend in horse shows, with regular training by Mane Top’s owner, Kristen Nelson. “I think everyone is very much each other’s cheerleaders,” said Assistant Stephanie Glasgow.
Above: MacKenzie Krason, 16, adjusts the bridle on her horse Piper as she prepares for the Randolph College Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Horse Show at Randolph College Riding Center. “I just love the bond you have between them,” says Krason, who has been riding for the past eight years.
Rick Krason pets his horse Kevlar, a thoroughbred mix, after feeding him treats at Mane Top Stables. “He’s like a big dog. He’s a lot of fun,” says Krason, who visits his family’s three horses nearly every day.
Reilly Krason, 13, adjusts her hairnet underneath her helmet while preparing for the horse show at the Randolph College Riding Center. While preparing for a show, the riders must also bathe the horses, braid their manes and saddle them up.
Gabrielle Clauser, 15, gives water to her thoroughbred horse Indy after riding at the Randolph College Southwest Hunter/Jumper Association Horse Show, which consisted of flat laps and jumps, at Randolph College Riding Center. Clauser has been riding for the past nine years and attends competitions nearly every other weekend, “They basically make life full,” said Clauser, referring to the horses.
Gabrielle Clauser, 15, shares a laugh with a fellow rider, MacKenzie Krason, 16, as they wait with Clauser’s horse Indy to compete in the Randolph College Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Horse Show.
Kaliek Wade, 8, cuddles with a Rat Terrier named Gabby while at the Every Pet is Perfect Parade & Show presented by Save Our Animal Rescues at Sweet Briar college HH Rogers Riding Center in Sweet Briar, Va. Wade said he was going to try to convince his mother to let him adopt one of the Rat Terriers, who are currently looking for their forever home while in foster care with New Rattitude’s State Coordinator Stacy Zimmerman.
Nikki Humphries crawls under ropes through the mud pool during Face the Forest 5K Obstacle Course at Poplar Forest in Forest, Va. Proceeds from Saturday’s event will support the 2014 Jamerson Family YMCA Community Support Campaign and Children’s Educational Programming at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.
Pete Tiffany (right) cheers on Teresa Ray as she finishes off her final round of hot wings, winning first place in the AREVA Nuclear Hot Wing Eating Contest at the fifth annual Wing Fling at Phase 2 in Lynchburg, Va.
Grace Serlis, 10, (left) and Yasmen White, 11, hug in celebration of winning first place in their age category for their business presentation of ‘Passion for Fashion,’ which would sell fashion accessories made from recyclable materials, at the Jubilee Family Development Center in Lynchburg, Va. The camp is designed to encourage children to continue working creatively throughout the summer.
Amere Rosser, 6, (left) shies away as her partner Serenity Elliott, 7, tries to encourage her to sing by the judges request during their business presentation which advertised themselves as professional singers, at the Jubilee Family Development Center in Lynchburg, Va.
Isaiah Littlejohn, 11, raises his hand to high five his classmates and wish them good luck as they await to hear the judges decision on who will win first place for the best business presentation at the Jubilee Family Development Center in Lynchburg, Va.
Beekeeper Alex Chabot searches for the queen bee in one of his beehives in Lynchburg. Chabot helped to create a new queen by using the eggs from the previous one after she disappeared last winter.
Piedmont Beekeepers Association President Paul Tabor marked the queen bee with a blue marker to easily keep track of her in the hive at Old City Cemetery.
Cody Hales, 4, (center) grabs onto his brother Christopher, 8, (right) as they stumble over rocks while wading into the James River, determined to catch some fish during the James River Transportation Festival at the on Saturday, July 26, 2014. “We wanted to show them the beauty of Virginia,” said Caroline Wilson, whose grandchildren are visiting from North Carolina.
Promise Guy, 13, unwillingly touches the moss on a tree as her host mother Barbara Austin encourages her, while on a scavenger hunt in the woods at Claytor Natures Study Center in Bedford, Va. “I’m not built for this,” said Promise as she ventured on the nature walk with her host family. This is Promise’s fourth year participating in The Fresh Air Fund of New York City, which sends thousands of children every year to rural homes so they can experience life outside the city.