It’s another polo weekend in Aiken. The New Bridge Member’s Classic 8-Goal, the Wagener Polo Masters Cup 6-Goal, and the Aiken Polo Club Smoak Family 8-Goal tournaments wrap up on Sunday so there are plenty of opportunities to don your sunhats and tailgate on the sidelines. If you are polo-ed-out (impossible!), there are some alternatives – for instance: lectures, ranch sorting events, and dressage shows. Definitely something for everyone this weekend.
For the polo addict, Friday starts with an 11am semi-final match between Idea Factory and Kenny Ray Fitness in the Smoak Family 8 Goal at Aiken Polo Club. The other semi-final will be at 4pm, when Duck Hill meets Peachtree. (Check the APC Hotline for field assignments and updates: 803-643-3611). The Wagener Polo Masters Cup 6-Goal also has two games scheduled on Friday. At 3pm, Bodega Gratia/DI Polo will battle El Cedro Azul and at 5:30pm Jimeni Farm plays against Derry Heir. Both games are at beautiful Fox Nation, and each will decide who goes to the finals on Sunday. Finally, Crestview contests Foxdale/Winfield in the Tommy Hitchcock Memorial 12-Goal at 5pm at New Bridge. (Check that hotline for any last minute changes before you go: 803-644-7706)
After a day of polo, relax downtown with an event benefiting the Equine Rescue of Aiken. At 7pm, Dr. Marty Becker, a New York Times best-selling author known as “America’s Veterinarian,” will deliver a lecture entitled “Chicken Soup for the Aiken Horse Lover’s Soul” at the Aiken Center for the Arts. Dr. Becker has been a contributing speaker on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Good Morning America.” Tickets are $20 in advance from www.aikenequinerescue.com or $25 at the door; hors d’oeuvres are included in the price of a ticket.
For a more casual evening’s entertainment, go see the Ranch Sorting National Championships at Recoleta Ranch in Edgefield. Sorting is an event that almost anyone can enjoy and is gaining popularity around the country. A number of typically-English-riding Aikenites have been hooked, so come on out and see if there isn’t something new under the sun for you to try!
On Saturday, polo takes a break so everyone can attend the May Day Dressage show at Highfields. Make sure to catch the Grand Prix morning class (held between 9:25am and 10:01am – dressage people are precise) where hometown heroes, Shawna Harding, Francisco Garcia, and Elly Schobel will be competing. In the afternoon, don’t miss the Grand Prix Freestyle – everyone likes dressage set to music!
Sunday, the May Day Dressage show continues at Highfields with an 8am start. However, polo is hopping so it may be hard to decide which direction to head for your equine entertainment!
The first game of the day is at 10 am at Meadow Hill where Kenny Ray Fitness meets Dahlwood in the Tommy Hitchcock Memorial 12-Goal. At 12:30pm, Crestview plays High Ground on their home field, also in the Tommy Hitchcock. At 11am, the Finals for the Wagener Polo Club USPA Masters Cup 6-Goal will be held at Fox Nation. This will be followed by a barbecue and party put on by Bill Cunningham and Kenny Ray, of Kenny Ray Personal Fitness, for Wagener Polo Club, their clients, friends, polo players and polo fans. Rush back to town after this game to watch the finals for the Aiken Polo Club USPA Smoak Family 8 Goal at 3pm. Then, drive back out to New Bridge for the finals of the New Bridge Member’s Classic 8-Goal at 5pm.
Have fun this weekend. Summer is coming and Aiken will be getting a little quieter. For one thing, the tournament polo season will be over before you know it – players and their horses will move north and west for the summer, to return to Aiken in the fall. So check out the action while it is here!
Need polo updates and field locations? Check the information lines daily: