What’s shakin’ in Aiken?

Aiken Equestrian’s 2018 Season

Aiken’s unseasonably frigid temperatures for the month of January, 2018 did not prevent the influx of the multitude of equestrians that migrate to Aiken for the winter season.  Aiken, SC continues to be a popular winter playground for equestrians of many disciplines.  The sandy soil combined with the (usually) mild climate has created an inviting environment for horses since the turn of the century, with the Winter Colony that created this treasured destination.

Fox Hunting remains to be significant, preserving a meaningful tradition, with 5 Hunt Clubs in the immediate area, including “drag” hunting in the Hitchcock Woods, (the hounds follow a scent of a fox that is laid ) and live hunting in the nearby vicinity, that usually turns into a coyote hunt rather than a fox hunt.

The hunt season is introduced with the traditional Blessing of the Hounds for each hunt club.  Whiskey Road Hunt hosts a Hunt Week in February, attracting fox hunters from up and down the East coast, featuring hunt balls and hunter paces.  Membership of the various clubs is by invitation, with strict adherence to the proper protocol. A small game hunting license is required for all who participate via South Carolina Department of Natural Resources or Georgia Wildlife Resources division of the Georgia DNR. Please see our Hunt Directory for more information.

There are over 100 events that cater to every level for the Eventing competitors.

This includes schooling shows, clinics, and recognized USEF events. Check our website: https://www.equestriancalendaraiken.com/calendar/eventing/ To stay in “the know.”  Aiken is one of the few places in the country that offer so many competitions, satisfying upper level riders as well as their many working students to compete.  Be sure to add your event if you have inadvertently been left out.Windsor, SC is home to many Driving competitors and offer a number of schooling shows and clinics.  Mcghee’s Mile hosts and annual harness race every spring.

Thoroughbreds’ continue to train at the Aiken Training Track and the Palmetto Training Center.  You know that spring has arrived.  Aiken’s Triple Crown occurs in March, indicating the start of Spring, featuring the Aiken Horse Trials, followed by the Spring Steeple Chase and closing with the USC Aiken polo tournament.  The Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Hopeland Gardens and open to the public offering a number of lectures and events. www.aikenracinghalloffame.com for more information.

Western events are becoming more popular in the area, with a number of Quarter Horse farms, and more competitions popping up on a regular basis.  South Carolina Equine Park, located in Camden, SC offers a variety of breed shows and is less than an hour’s drive from Aiken.

So, what’s your poison?  Aiken is truly a unique and charming treasure, offering a variety of venues that have their individual characteristics.  It is up to all of us to preserve this precious jewel as we continue to grow.

We look forward to serving you by providing up to the minute equestrian events and information in the Carolina’s and Georgia.  We welcome your articles or feedback, simply drop us an email:  aikenequestrianmedia@gmail.com

Nancy Bruen Smith

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