Silver Eagle Stable Reopens under new Ownership, Vision

| January 5, 2015 | 0 Comments | Bristow Biz
Tom Russell pets one of the horses bordering at Silver Eagle Stable.

Tom Russell pets one of the horses living at Silver Eagle Stable.

Silver Eagle Stable, a 72-plus acre facility on Parkgate Drive in Nokesville, has reopened under new ownership, and owner Tom Russell plans to make the stables a full-service boarding, training and riding facility.

Russell rode horses as a child. As an adult he served his country as a 25-year active Marines before becoming a businessman. At some point, Russell was able to start a business that was based more on passion than turning a profit, and he looked back towards his childhood and decided to buy a stable. 

Russell searched for a long time before deciding to purchase Silver Eagle Stable. Though it was a bigger facility than he originally anticipated buying, the superior infrastructure and loyal client-base attracted him to the property.

A row of Amish built stables at Silver Eagle.

A row of Amish built stables at Silver Eagle.

“We’re back, you can come home now” is the message Russell hopes to send to former boarders.

Along with its expansive acreage, Silver Eagle Stable already had many of the amenities that would enable Russell to offer the kinds of boarding, training and riding programs he had envisioned. The property houses 56 well-maintained Amish-built stalls, a 100 x 200 foot outdoor riding area, an 80 x 120 foot indoor riding arena and 42 acres of private trails for riding.

The location was right as well: in the country, but on the edge of the western suburbs of Prince William and the City of Manassas, and only a short trip from Fairfax County.

However, Russell knew that it takes more than the physical space to make a successful boarding stable. Keeping the horses happy is paramount, and he knew he would need a professional staff to do so. Russell hired a manager with life-long experience in training and breaking, Drew Van Hook, as Silver Eagle’s new Manager/Head Trainer.

Drew Van Hook rides a horse.

Drew Van Hook rides a horse.

“Drew is a true horseman,” Russell said, adding that he is also a former Marine. 

Van Hook grew up on the Silver Eagle property and there he learned to train horses from former stable owner, Jim Barrett. At first, Barrett taught Van Hook to care for the horses in exchange for riding lessons. When Van Hook became more adept, Barrett trained him in the art of breaking horses and training other riders.

Van Hook is excited to continue the tradition of Silver Eagle Stable. He looks forward to working with young people via some of Silver Eagle’s equine classes and camps designed for children and teenagers.

“We’ll teach them cleaning stalls, maintenance, riding, tack and hoof [even preparing the animals for show,] Van Hook said.

Two horses visit from inside the indoor arena.

Two horses visit from inside the indoor arena.

Silver Eagle is offering several programs designed for children 7-years and up: a five-day a week after school horsemanship club, a home-school program, a program for scouts, a 4H equestrian package and therapeutic riding program.

The adult classes Van Hook is teaching include breaking and advanced training classes for western and hunt seat. During advanced training sessions, clients can expect to learn to refine their horse riding skills to the point they are competition, or show ready.

Russell also said that Silver Eagle Stable will go the extra mile beyond what other stables offer.

“I’m bringing in custom people from all disciplines in this industry. If I can’t do it, and my other trainers can’t do it, I’m going to find someone who can,” Van Hook said. “There’s nothing we can’t do.”

The view inside the stables at Silver Eagle.

The view inside the stables at Silver Eagle.

Expanding upon their customizable service, Russell and Van Hook are also allowing owners the opportunity to choose their own trainers, vets and farriers. Additionally, horses are also giving maximum daylong turnout, on separate fields for geldings and mares, but are kept inside in bad weather.

“Our priority is the happiness of the horses, and we believe a by-product of that will be happy owners,” Russell said. “Our main concern is the health, welfare and the safety of the animals.”

Silver Eagle Stable is also looking to provide a riding experience for those who do not board with them, or even for those who do not own their own horses. Riding lessons are available on site and beginning riders are invited to learn on Silver Eagle’s on “schooling horses.” Silver Eagle offers one-time introductory lessons and a package of five lesson for a variety of skill levels.

Tom Russell visits with one of the horses on his property.

Tom Russell visits with one of the horses on his property.

Russell and Van Hook believe they are going above and beyond to offer the premiere boarding, riding and training experience, and they are doing it all while still offering competitive pricing.

For more information on Silver Eagle’s boarding, riding, youth equine, training or breaking programs, readers can visit their website,, call the barn at 703-594-4328 or Drew Van Hook directly at 703-559-2472.

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