It’s another action-packed weekend for equine enthusiasts in Aiken. Although it is hard to eclipse the excitement of California Chrome’s bid for the Triple Crown on Saturday afternoon, there are some pretty interesting things happening locally, too. What’s going on in Aiken equestrian events? Read on.
On Friday, the ‘A’ rated Palmetto Sport Horse Classic begins at Highfields. The only Arabian show hosted in Aiken, it is a great opportunity to see something a little different. Arabian, Half-Arabian, and Anglo-Arabians will compete in hand, in the dressage ring, and in over fences classes (hunter and jumper) to qualify for the Region 12 Championships and the Arabian Horse Association National shows. Friday is dominated by in-hand and flat classes. On Saturday, the hunter-jumper portion of the show gets underway in Rings One and Two while Intro through Fourth Level dressage tests are being ridden in the dressage arena. Sunday is dedicated to the hunter-jumper competitors.
Anyone who enjoys jumping, or just good riding, should leap at the opportunity to either audit ($20/day) or attend ($375) the Jimmy Wofford Clinic at Stableview Farm on Saturday and Sunday. Mr. Wofford is a three time Olympian, is listed as one of the “50 Most Influential Horsemen of the Twentieth Century” (according to the Chronicle of the Horse), and is an incredibly popular clinician, coach, and author. Saturday, he will focus on show jumping and gymnastics; Sunday, cross-country.
For eventers not attending the clinic, Toi Trent is hosting a Combined Training show on Saturday at her farm, Quintynne Hill just over the Aiken line in Wagener. It is a beautiful facility and a well-run show: definitely a spectator-worthy event.
Saturday evening, cheer for California Chrome! Coverage of the 146th Belmont Stakes starts as early as 2:30pm (NBC Sports Network) but official post time is 6:52pm. It has been 36 years since Affirmed won the Triple Crown so root hard for CC! (Watch Affirmed win the Belmont on YouTube here)
On Sunday, the Finals of the Tommy Hitchcock Memorial 12 Goal will be contested at 5pm at New Bridge Polo Club. The finals of the USPA 4-Goal Dogwood Cup will be at Aiken Polo Club at 3 pm. These are some of the last games of the 2014 Spring polo season in Aiken, so review Pretty Woman for wardrobe consultation and head to the sidelines. Summer is here!