The Winter Season is on!

Is everyone ready for a busy winter season? It’s about to crank into high gear with competitive opportunities for horses and riders of many different disciplines. This weekend, January 14-15, will be an active one.

First, for the eventers, the recognized eventing season starts this weekend with the Stable View Opener, January 14-15. This is the second recognized horse trials of the year for America’s event riders (the first was in Ocala last weekend) and has drawn a good crowd of competitors eager to get a start on the points race.

In all, there are 136 horses entered to compete in divisions from Beginner Novice through Preliminary. Riders include such high profile athletes as Jan Byyny, Becky Holder and Ryan Wood. The action starts with Dressage on Saturday at 9 am. The first Stadium ride goes at 11:00 and Cross Country begins at 11:20. The last Cross Country ride on Saturday is scheduled for 3:51. Sunday’s dressage begins at 9:30 and the final Cross Country ride sets off at 3:30. You can find the full schedule of Stable View Ride Times here.

Need a handy guide to Aiken’s winter eventing season? We published one in our December January issue. Find an online version here: Aiken Winter Eventing Preview.

Over at Highfields Event Center, the USEF Aiken Winter Challenge II got underway on Thursday and will be holding a full schedule of hunter and jumper competitions through the weekend. You can find the daily agendas on the Progressive Show Jumping website here.

For Aiken’s drivers, there is an ADS Schooling Combined test at Gilcrest Farm in Windsor on Saturday. This test includes dressage and cones and is being judged by Craig Kellog from Southern Pines, NC. Find out more on the Gilcrest Farm website.

Ready for something Western? You are in luck because the 38th annual Augusta Futurity Cutting event is headed to the James Brown Arena in Augusta, bringing western horses and riders, as well as a whole slew of vendors with western gear, western wear and anything cowboy you can think of. The cutting event is scheduled to start on Sunday, but action kicks off this Saturday with the annual Championship Bull Riding show to benefit the USC Pacers baseball at 8 pm. Try to find tickets here: it is usually sold out. Cutting go rounds will take place during the day all week, culminating in the Futurity Finals, next Saturday starting at 4pm. This year, Mercuria is back as a sponsor, and there will even be several “bridleless” cutting divisions — a new one for Augusta and it should be interesting! Check out the Augusta Futurity website for more information.

Need to keep up with Aiken’s equestrian events? We always have a full calendar in section three of our paper, or visit our online interactive calendar here. You can view events by the month, day or week. Find a digital copy of our print calendar here: you can download and print it, too. Do you have an event that we should know about? Contact us and let us know!