Do you have tickets to the Masters this weekend in Augusta? Don’t worry: most of us don’t either. Whether you have tickets or not, you can certainly feel that Aiken is buzzing with Masters Fever. We hear the restaurants are packed, and places like The Willcox might even be good for celebrity spotting, if that interests you.
If you won’t be out in Augusta this weekend, there are plenty of equestrian-based activities for you to enjoy. It’s going to be a beautiful, sunny weekend with highs in the 80s, so dress lightly, wear sunscreen and enjoy.
On Saturday, April 12, The Fifth Annual Foal-A-Palooza is coming to Three Runs Plantation. This is a hunter pace and jumper derby to help feed and care for orphaned foals whose mothers are used as nurse mares in the Thoroughbred breeding industry. In addition to the equestrian events, there is also a silent auction and a lunch at the clubhouse overlooking the ring.
Over at Highfields Event Center, Viewpoint Dressage is holding its Spring Fling Dressage Show. Levels go from Training up through FEI Intermediaire – ride times are available here. There are rides scheduled for Saturday and for Sunday.
The New Ellenton Trail Ride is also this weekend. There are two annual trail rides put on by the New Ellenton Saddle club: one in the spring and one on the fall. This is the second largest trail ride in the Aiken area. The largest is the Wonderful Weekend in Ward, scheduled for April 25-27 this year.
If you are in Camden, the South Carolina Hunter/Jumper Association is holding a benefit show at the South Carolina Equestrian Park. Or head on up to North Carolina for the Southern Pines Combined Driving Event at the Carolina Horse Park. This is the National Single Horse Championship, so it is sure to be spectacular.
Although Aiken already had the first official polo game of the season, the Pacers and Polo match, which was the third leg of the Aiken Triple Crown, the actual season is getting off to a bit of a slow start. Practice has begun at Aiken Polo Club, but that club won’t hold its first official Sunday game until April 27, after the Masters and after Easter. Newbridge Polo and Wagener Polo will also be starting up the third week of April. Stay tuned.
If you aren’t competing in any of these events and spectating isn’t for you, try a ride in the Hitchcock Woods. We hear the rhododendrons are starting to bloom, the dogwoods are out, and it is spectacular. If you do go, be sure to join the Friends of the Woods. Riding in the Woods is always free, but it is private property, and your support is important, especially this year, with extra expenses incurred after the February ice storm.