Things are heating up in Aiken, from the weather to Aiken equestrian events. This is going to be a great weekend for horse people in the area. Where will you be? We have a full dance card.
On Saturday morning, we’ll be heading over to Storm Branch Equestrian Club in Beech Island to take some pictures at the Aiken Driving Club recreational drive. This is the inaugural carriage event at Storm Branch, which was originally set up as a polo development. The activities will include a recreational drive along the three miles of trails encircling the development, as well as driven dressage, a cones course, and several driven games designed by Robert Chambers. Participants will also have time for socializing and a picnic. The event starts at 10:00 am.
Next, we’ll take a trip to the Hippodrome in North Augusta where the National Barrel Horse Association Dixie National will be taking place all weekend. There are a huge number of competitors at this event and they have traveled here from all over the region and beyond: North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, even Maine. It’s sure to be exciting.
On Sunday, we’re starting out at the First Annual Emergency Responders Charity Polo Match at Fox Nation Polo Club in Windsor. This event is a benefit for Matt Baugus, a young firefighter in the New Holland, SC district who was recently diagnosed with cancer. The match will pit the Firemen against the Cops . . . actually, this is a tournament game in the Fox Nation USPA Congressional Cup 6-goal. The two teams are Derry Heir and Whiskey Victor/Idea Factory. We’re not sure yet who will be police and who will be firemen. Adam Snow, America’s most recent inductee into the Polo Hall of Fame, will be helping Matt throw out the first ball.
The game starts at 11:00 AM and everyone is invited to attend. Firefighters will be “passing the boot” (fill that up with cash) and selling lunch for Matt and his young family. Read more about Matt Baugus and get directions to the match here. Or just put it in your GPS and head on over: 435 Cedar Branch Road in Windsor.
When that game is over, we’ll be on our way to Highfields on Gaston Road in Aiken for the last day and the grand finale of the Aiken Spring Classic horse show. The Spring Classic has been going on all week, and there are great classes to watch on Saturday and on Sunday, including the $2,500 USHJA National Derby on Saturday evening.
Sunday afternoon, however, is our favorite: the $25,000 Carolina Real Estate Company Grand Prix, which will start “not before 1 pm” according to the schedule. The jumps are always attractive, the horses spectacular, and they are jumping so high, we always have plenty of time to get great pictures of them in the air. We can’t wait.
Want to know more about what’s been going on at the Spring classic? Check out the wrap-up here.
If we still have any energy , we can always watch more polo to finish the day: there is an exhibition game at 3 pm at Aiken Polo Club, and at 5 pm, there is a 12-goal game at New Bridge: KennyRay Fitness vs. Bottega in the Pete Bostwick Memorial.
So much to do. That’s why we love Aiken.