Seeing Stars and Mars Bars

by Contributor

Jacqueline B. Mars’ sweet touch extends to supporting hounds, horses and just about everything else in hunt country.

Will Coleman and Off the Record sail over a very sturdy jump at Great Meadow. This year’s international Three Day Event Competition was sponsored by MARS EQUESTRIAN.

By Vicky Moon

Jacqueline B. Mars has been a discerning fixture in the horse country of Middleburg for many years, a scion of the family-owned Mars, Incorporated.

The company first gained fame with candy in 1911 and has since expanded exponentially. Her late parents, Audrey and Forrest Mars Sr., owned Marland, a sprawling horse farm and estate in the heart of the countryside where many young girls have fallen in love with all things horse. (Hold that thought.)

That fieldstone manor house included lavish gardens and a 60-by-20-foot swimming pool that is now owned by Beau and Dee Van Metre. Jacqueline remained in the area and now lives at Stonehall Farm near The Plains. There’s a two-story stone manor house, a heated swimming pool and a number of stables (hold that thought again). In the spirit of conservation, she placed 206 acres of the property under easement in 2017 with the Land Trust of Virginia, thus preventing any division or development.

As a result of the Mars company’s success in products ranging from Snickers bars to Uncle Ben’s rice and a 50-brand line of pet food and supplies, her generous contributions to local equestrian-themed charities include backing several riders on the international Three Day Event circuit.

She can be spotted watching the Orange County Hounds competing at the Virginia Fox Hound Show or gathering for an early fall morning chase. Newcomers take note, no fanfare here; just a quiet, low-key and always elegant demeanor.

For the highly anticipated Great Meadow International Three Day event Aug. 22-25 in The Plains, “MARS EQUESTRIAN™ was the new title sponsor. The competition included Olympic-level riders and horses in what can best be described as an equestrian triathlon.

Bridgett McIntosh, an equine nutrition specialist from the area, is now the director of MARS EQUESTRIAN. She’s delighted with the Great Meadow sponsorship that is central to the company’s purpose and said “multiple levels of competition in a community-focused event, with pet-friendly activities for fans, creates the ideal intersection for Mars, Incorporated’s diverse portfolio of brands.”

Jacqueline Mars can be spotted at various sporting events in the Middleburg area.

As she did at this summer’s Warrenton Pony Show, McIntosh was on hand to pass out ice cream, horse treats and more. A Meadow Market vendor village at Great Meadow featured live entertainment, a beer garden and food truck offerings. Guests and spectators mingled at tailgates and tables at the VIP pavilion.

Jacqueline Mars and many others will be returning to Great Meadow on Sept. 15 for the 2019 Polo Classic. The featured match will be the Mars Cup, Argentina vs. U.S.A., where a bevy of handsome, hard-riding players will take to the field. As co-chair of the event sponsored by the National Sporting Library & Museum as well as vice chair of the library, Mrs. Mars noted that “their expertise and charm bring an excitement on and off the field that makes the event fun and festive for everyone, old and young.”

Proceeds from the polo support the library’s mission of preserving, promoting and sharing the literature, art and culture of equestrian, angling and field sports.

The list of sponsors is impressive, ranging from Middleburg-based businesses including the feed store, the print shop and several real estate firms. Many local names also are on the list: David and Barbara Roux, Clarke Ohrstrom, Mimi Abel-Smith and Jacqueline Ohrstrom along with: Ethel M Chocolates, Mars Equestrian, Mars Incorporated and of course, Jacqueline B. Mars.

Published in our September 2019 issue. 

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