Aiken Equestrian Events
There’s another big week coming up on the Aiken Horse Calendar, especially if you are an eventing enthusiast. There are activities and competitions for riders of all levels, from combined training competitions to jumping derbies, horse trials, training sessions and more. For hunter/jumper riders, there is a show at Highfields; for those from western persuasions, ranch sorting at Recoleta Ranch. And of course there is always fox hunting. If it’s February and you are a horse person, Aiken is the place to be.
The week’s events start off with a Jumping Derby at Paradise Farm on Wednesday, February 18.
On Wednesday and Thursday, February 18 and 19, there will be High Performance Training Sessions at Stable View Farm for riders on the USEF Winter Training Lists.
Next, Apple Tree Farm South will be holding a 2-phase on Thursday, February 19. The cost is $50 and you can now enter online right on the website. (Dressage only: $30, additional dressage $20; Jump only $15; additional jump $10.)
On Thursday, upper level riders will be heading across the Savannah River for the weekend to compete at the Pine Top Advanced Spring Horse Trials in Thomson, Georgia.
Pine Top is one of the first Advanced horse trials on the 2015 competition schedule. The weather forecast is for cold — extreme cold if you are from the South, and cold enough to affect anyone who wants to be out riding and competing. Because of this, there have been some last minute changes to the schedule. Advanced was initially supposed to run as a one-day event on Friday. Because this would have required starting the dressage early in the morning with temperatures forecast to be in the upper teens and low 20s, organizers decided to make some modifications. Now, Advanced will have its dressage and stadium on Friday with cross country extending into Saturday. Training and Preliminary will run their stadium and cross country rounds on Sunday.
On Saturday, Jumping Branch Farm will hold its Schooling Horse Trials. Jumping Branch is always a popular event for riders and spectators alike. Check here for more information.
After a week’s hiatus, the crew from Progressive Show Jumping is back in town at Highfields Event Center. The 2015 Highfields Series continues on February 21-22, with classes for everyone from ponies to open jumpers. PSJ has announced that they are NOT accepting post entries for this show: closing is this Friday at 5pm. So if you want to show, get you entries in ASAP. The class list and schedule are here.
Ranch Sorting has gained a following in Aiken among western and English riders alike. From Thursday, Feb 19 through Sunday, Feb 22, Sorting USA is holding their first official show of the year at Recoleta Ranch in Edgefield. You can find out more at the Sorting USA website, but the best place to find information is usually the Sorting USA Facebook Page. Information for this weekend’s show is here.
If you prefer barrel racing , the National Barrel Horse Association Presidents Cup Super Show is going on at the Hippodrome in North Augusta. The show starts on Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday with divisions for youth to seniors an everyone in between. For the schedule and more information, check the National Barrel Horse Association web page,
Whiskey Road Hunt Week is officially over, but hunting goes on until mid-March. If you are in Aiken, you can hunt with the Aiken Hounds on Tuesday and Saturday, with Whiskey Road on Thursday and Sunday and Why Worry on Friday and Sunday. Why Worry has been out beagling lately, a bit of a change, but a tradition with a long history in Aiken — after all, Louise Hitchcock, who is the godmother of the Aiken horse world, was well known for her beagle pack. Why Worry’s fox hunting gala and silent auction is this Friday at the Aiken County Historical Museum.
New on the Calendar
Vaughn Equestrian, a brand new facility on Banks Mill Road, has just announced that they will be holding a clinic with the Australian Dressage rider Nicolas Fyffe on March 1. Fyffe, born in 1982 to a family that trains racehorses, started his career as a gymnast, then went on to eventing before turning to dressage. At 25, he was the youngest competitor in the Grand Prix at the Australian National Dressage Championships. By the time he was 28, he was on the Australian National Dressage team.
Fyffe is based this winter in Wellington at Tuny Page’s Stillpoint Farm and the Aiken clinic is the only one on his schedule this winter. Lessons are $225 and the auditing fee is $20. For more information, call Adrienne Wisenburg 443-418-0912 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the new Vaughn Equestrian website here.
Any eventing enthusiasts out there looking for a job? The USEF is hiring and they have a number of positions open. These include one for a Customer Care Rep and one for a Laboratory Assistant to work in the USEF Drugs and Medications Laboratory.
An especially exciting opportunity is the chance to get a job as a “Sport Programs Assistant.” The USEF is looking for two: “to work with the Olympic Disciplines of Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping as well as the Non Olympic Disciplines of Reining and Endurance. Under direction of the Managing Directors of Dressage and Eventing, these positions support the Sport Department’s mission to put in place programs that will identify talented athletes and horses, assist with their development and ultimately win medals in international competition. . . . ”
For more information or to apply, check out the listings here.