According to the regular calendar, it won’t be spring for another week. But according to the Aiken horse calendar, spring starts on Saturday, March 15 with the 72nd running of the Aiken Trials at the Aiken Training Track.
The Aiken Trials will have seven races this year, including competitive races for 2-year-old colts and geldings, 2-year-old fillies, exhibition races for some of the big stables at the track, and the featured City of Aiken Trophy, for 3-year-olds and up who have won a race.
The schedule of events is as follows:
- Gates open at 10:00 am
- Vendors and concessions open at 11:00 am
- Tent party starts at 11:00 am
- Opening Ceremonies and Carriage Parade begins at 1:00 pm
- Races start at 2:00 pm
The Aiken Trials are far from the only equestrian event taking place this weekend. There is also a dressage show at Highfields Event Center and the final qualifier for the Windsor World Cup combined driving competition at Katydid Farm in Windsor. On Sunday, the Aiken Driving Club will hold a picnic drive at Storm Branch Equestrian Center.
Those who love horse racing might also want to attend the Aiken Trained Horse of the Year ceremony at the City of Aiken Municipal Center located at 214 Park Ave. SW. The ceremony takes place at 2:00 on Sunday, March 16 and will honor Palace Malice, Dogwood Stable’s champion colt, winner of the 2013 Belmont Stakes.