By Leonard Shapiro | Fauquier Times
The Middleburg Training Track is now under contract to Purcellville businessman Chuck Kuhn, who plans to settle on the 150-acre property in mid-May and immediately put the land in conservation easement.
The training track was originally donated to the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund (TRF) by its owner, the late Randy Rouse, this past December. It had been on the market for $3.5 million over the last few years, with no takers. Kuhn confirmed that he will purchase the property for about $1.5 million and said he’s already exploring the possibility of revamping the barns, race track and other facilities and keeping it primarily as a horse training venue.
“We have it under contract,” said Kuhn, the founder, owner and CEO of Sterling-based JK Moving Services who has large farms in Purcellville, Winchester and Fauquier County. “We’re going to put it in conservation easement and hopefully keep it as a (horse) boarding operation and a training track.”
When Rouse donated the property he had owned since 2006, TRF president Lenny Hale also had hoped to get the training track facility revamped. But the Saratoga Springs-based nonprofit’s board of directors had other ideas. It was more concerned about paying back loans that were coming due within the next year and decided to sell it.
The listing agents were Ted Zimmerman and Laura Farrell of Middleburg Real Estate. Kuhn was represented in the sale by Atoka Properties agent Scott Buzzelli.
Kuhn said he is already in the process of getting bids on refurbishing a facility that originally was developed by Paul Mellon, the late Upperville philanthropist, banker, and horseman. Kuhn added that his attorney, David Moyers, has begun exploring the conservation easement process.
Kuhn also indicated he’s had preliminary conversations with representatives of the Virginia Equine Alliance, the Loudoun Equine Alliance and “several other people in the community” to discuss the future of the property. The VEA has previously expressed interest in helping revitalize the training track and returning it to a hub of Virginia’s horse industry.
“We hope to continue its previous purpose,” Kuhn said, adding that “I’m not a horse person, though different family members are riders. I’m more into protecting open space and farming. That’s more my passion than horses.”
Born and raised in Fairfax County, Kuhn is a 52-year-old father of nine children ages 30 to 14 and founded JK Moving Services more than three decades ago. It’s now the largest independent moving company in North America. JK provides residential, commercial and international moving services. It also offers storage for corporate records and document shredding, and operates a relocation services arm.
A licensed helicopter pilot, he and his family live at the 540-acre Egypt Farm in Western Loudoun County. He’s been a long-time philanthropist who supports many charitable causes, including Habitat for Humanity, the Race for Hope, and Fight for Children.He also participates on the board of directors for the Wakefield School in The Plains, among others boards.