Bertram and Diana Firestone of Upperville, Virginia, were
recently honored with a Distinguished Service Award from
Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center.
They were recognized for their leadership, support, and
dedication to the center and were honored at recent ceremony
at the center's Leesburg, Virginia, campus.
The Firestones, who own the 400-acre Newstead Farm, are
founding members of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical
Center Advisory Council and owners and breeders of
"Their support of the center's many programs helped
establish a level of excellence in equine medicine
recognized around the world," said Peggy Steinman, who
serves chair of the advisory council.
The Firestones are members of the President's Circle within
Virginia Tech's Ut Prosim Society of donors, and have
generously supported the university's College of Agriculture
and Life Sciences as well as the equine medical center.
The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is part of
Tech's Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
"State-of-the-art programs in imaging, surgery, emergency
care, and diagnostic expertise would not have been possible
without their support," added Steinman. "Bert and Diana have
graciously introduced patrons in the horse industry to the
center and utilized the center's specialty services for
their horses since the center opened 30 years ago. We are
indebted to their vision of having the center as the best
for providing equine medical care."
The Firestones' dedication to horses and the horse industry
has helped promote the best care for horses in the
"We are truly honored to receive this award from the Marion
duPont Scott Equine Medical Center," said Bert Firestone.
"Whenever we have a problem with our horses, we take them
The Firestones have raced horses in both the United States
and Europe. Among their many successes in Thoroughbred
racing was Genuine Risk, who in 1980, became only the second
filly to ever win the Kentucky Derby. A true champion, she
raced 15 times, won 10 races, and never finished worse than
third. Genuine Risk was inducted into the Racing Hall of
Fame in 1986.
They also bred and raced Secretariat's son, General
Assembly, who was a Kentucky Derby runner-up in 1979 and
whose Saratoga track record time in winning the 1979 Travers
Stakes still stands. The Firestones' Blue Wind won the 1981
Epsom Oaks and Flash of Steel won the 1986 Irish 2000
In 1982, they won the Japan Cup with Half Iced. That same
year, the Firestones were inducted into the Virginia
Thoroughbred Association Hall of Fame.
More recently, the Firestones' homebred Winchester, a son of
Theatrical, was the second-leading Virginia-bred earner of
2010. At age six, Winchester won the 2011 Sword Dancer
Invitational Handicap at Saratoga Race Course, 24 years
after his father won the same race.
At the recent ceremony, Dr. Cyril Clarke, dean of the
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, thanked
the Firestones for their support.
"The equine medical center has served the horse-owning
community and the College of Veterinary Medicine in an
exemplary fashion for the last 30 years. This record of
accomplishment has been achieved through the committed
support of Virginia Tech and advisory council members," he
said. "The high quality clinical service provided to
Northern Virginia and Maryland, the research discoveries in
translational medicine, and the many veterinarians who have
been educated at the center serve as the legacies of this
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Virginia Tech
President Timothy Sands and former Tech president Charles
Steger, a long-time supporter of the Marion duPont Scott
Equine Medical Center.
The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center Distinguished
Service Award has only been presented three times since its
inception in 2007. It was established to recognize
individuals who have demonstrated exemplary service and
dedication to fulfilling the center's mission and generously
provided resources, leadership, and expertise to help the
equine medical center attain the highest level of
achievement in service, teaching, and research.
Previous winners Shelley Duke and Beverly "Peggy" Steinman
were honored in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Both
Thoroughbred owners and breeders, Duke is owner and manager
of Rallywood Farm in Middleburg, while Steinman is
chairperson of Steinman Enterprises, a group of companies
headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is a
leading biomedical teaching and research center, enrolling
more than 700 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, master of
public health, and biomedical and veterinary sciences
graduate students. The college is a partnership between the
land-grant universities of Virginia Tech and the University
of Maryland. Its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia,
features the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and large animal
field services which together treat more than 79,000 animals
annually. Other locations include the Marion duPont Scott
Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, and the
Gudelsky Veterinary Center in College Park, Maryland.