Friday, February 19, 2016

Eventing in Aiken

Winter 2015 - 2016


By Pam Gleason


It’s winter, and that means that the eventing world is on its way way to Aiken. Aiken has a large and growing population of event riders, trainers and students who practice their craft at many facilities throughout the county all year round. The local competition schedule is also year round these days, catering to anyone who wants to get out and put some cross country or stadium miles on a horse, demonstrate their dressage skills under the watchful eyes of a judge, or rack up points for year end awards. 

Aiken’s eventing world might seem pretty active in the spring, summer and fall, but in the winter, when the footing freezes and the competitions shut down in the North, the eventing world here kicks into a higher gear. December is still relatively calm, but by January, when the bigger stables from the Northeast and MidAtlantic have made their annual pilgrimage South, the Aiken eventing calendar fills with activity. In February and March, there are so many horse trials, combined trials and other events that many riders never have time to unpack their trailers – it is go, go, go all the time. Not only are there more competitive opportunities, there are also more competitors, some of them of the highest possible caliber. These include green horses that are destined for international competition, along with riders who are on their way to, or have already reached lofty summits. Even a schooling horse trial is likely to attract an Olympian or two. 

Aside from all the local and recognized competitions, the winter season also offers various kinds of clinics and lessons. The most highprofile of these are the High Performance Eventing sessions given by United States Equestrian Federation coaches for riders who have been named to the various USEF High Performance Training lists. The lists for this winter were published in early November, and, as usual, contain about half a dozen horsemen who make Aiken their winter home. The exact dates and locations for the sessions have yet to be announced, but it seems likely that they will be held in Aiken once again during February and March. Portions of these clinics are usually open to the public, so that those who are interested can listen in on what the coaches have to say to some of the best riders in our country. With the 2016 Brazil Olympics on the horizon, sessions are sure to be intense this year, so stay tuned to the Aiken Horse website and Facebook page for updated dates, times and locations.

There are also some new, and relatively new attractions in Aiken this winter. New attractions include Bruce’s Field at the recently-opened Aiken Horse Park, where there will be schooling jumper shows geared to event riders every Tuesday from January 5 through March 1, starting at 8:30 a.m. Bruce’s Field, which features state-of-the-art all-weather footing, held its first hunter/jumper shows this September to rave reviews – the two shows that Equus Events put on there this fall even won the United States Hunter Jumper Association Competitors Choice Award in the Zone 4 National Rated Horse Show category. The park features five finished competition and warm-up arenas as well as eight permanent stables, and other structures and competition areas that are still being completed. The park will have its grand opening this coming May in conjunction with two weeks of the inaugural Aiken Charity Horse Shows. 

Other new attractions this winter include a pair of dressage clinics for event riders given by Silva Martin, who is a Grand Prix dressage competitor. These will be held at Stable View Farm in February and March. Stable View, which will have a new, all weather dressage arena, will also continue to hold its “Under the Stars” Jumper nights on the first Wednesday of each month. These are schooling shows that are getting increasingly popular – no wonder, since the facility is spectacular, and the program even includes prize money. It can definitely pay to play at Stable View – the two USEA/USEF recognized events this February and March will also be offering cash prizes. In March, Stable View also is holding a repeat of the Master Class given by Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton last winter. The event attracted a huge crowd last winter.

Where to go? What to do? We have pulled out the eventing dates from our Winter Calendar to put together a mini eventing calendar for easy reference. This is a guide only, because dates and details do change, so be sure to consult the relevant websites and event venues for confirmation. 

December 2015

5 Hunter Trials at Stable View Farm
6 Schooling Horse Trials at Full Gallop
12 Schooling Show CT and 3-phase at Poplar Place
20 CT at Highfields Event Center
30 Vacation Schooling Show at Sporting Days Farm

January 2016

2 Schooling Show CT and 3-phase at Poplar Place
5 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
6 “Under The Stars” Jumper Night at Stable View
9 CT Schooling Show at Stable View Farm
12 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
16 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Int, at Apple Tree Farm South
16 CT, Green as Grass to Advanced, Carolina Horse Park
17 CT at Full Gallop Farm
19 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
20 CT and Dressage Show at Paradise Farm
23-24 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Poplar Place
26 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
27 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
30-31 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Full Gallop Farm

February 2016

2 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
2-3 Recognized Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Stable View Farm
4 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
6-7 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Poplar Place
7 Horse Trials USEA/USEF, BN-IP, at Sporting Days Farm
9 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
9 Dressage Tests of Choice at Full Gallop Farm
10 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Full Gallop Farm
10 Silva Martin Clinic at Stable View Farm
11 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
12-14 Intermediate Horse Trials at Pine Top Farm
13 Schooling Show CT and 3-phase at Poplar Place
16 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
17 Schooling Horse Trials at Full Gallop
18 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Intere, at Apple Tree Farm South
19-21 Recognized Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Paradise Farm
20 CT, Green as Grass to Advanced, Carolina Horse Park
23 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
24 CT and Dressage Show at Paradise Farm
24 Schooling Horse Trials at Full Gallop
25 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
26-28 Advanced Horse Trials CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC1*, at Pine Top
27 Schooling Horse Trials, Tadpole-Prelim, Jumping Branch Farm
27 Schooling Show CT and 3-phase at Poplar Place

March 2016

1 Dressage Tests of Choice at Full Gallop Farm
1 Schooling Jumper Show at the Aiken Horse Park
2 “Under The Stars” Jumper Night at Stable View
2 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Full Gallop Farm
3 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
5-6 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Sporting Days Farm
9 CT and Dressage Show at Paradise Farm
9 Silva Martin Clinic at Stable View Farm
9 Eventing Derby at Sporting Days Farm
10 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
12-13 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Full Gallop Farm
12-13 Southern Pines Trials USEA/USEF at Carolina Horse Park
16 Schooling Horse Trials at Full Gallop Farm
17 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
22-23 Recognized Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Stable View Farm
23 2016 Derby, BN-P, at Jumping Branch Farm
24 Dressage and 2-phase, Starter-Inter, at Apple Tree Farm South
24-27 Carolina International USEA/USEF, CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC1*, at
Carolina Horse Park
25-27 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Poplar Place
30 CT and Dressage Show at Paradise Farm

April 2016

2-3 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Full Gallop Farm
6 CT and Dressage Show at Paradise Farm
6 “Under The Stars” Jumper Night at Stable View
10 CT at Full Gallop Farm
23 Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Sporting Days Farm
23-24 Longleaf Pine Horse Trials USEA/USEF at Carolina Horse Park

Important addresses and phone numbers:

Aiken Horse Park
931 Powderhouse Road.
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: tara@aikenhorsepark.org
www.aikenhorsepark.org

Apple Tree Farm South
1530 Oak Ridge Rd.
Windsor, SC 29856
Contact: Alison Eastman-Lawler, 603.345.0382
 apltrefarm@aol.com, www.appletreefarm.com

Carolina Horse Park
2814 Montrose Rd.
Raeford, NC 28376
 Contact: Sarah Rabb, 910.875.2074 or 919.414.4492
 secretary@carolinahorsepark.com , www.carolinahorsepark.com

Full Gallop Farm
3828 Wagener Rd.
Aiken, SC 29805
Contact: Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590
 fullgallopfarm@yahoo.com, www.fullgallopfarm.com

Jumping Branch Farm
179 Fox Pond Rd.
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Julie Zapapas, 803.642.3484
 zapapasj@bellsouth.net, www.jbfarm.com

Paradise Farm
4069 Wagener Rd.
Aiken, SC, 29805
Contact: Cindy Swartz, 803.507.4577
 paradisefarmsecretary@gmail.com, www. paradisefarmaiken.com

Pine Top Farm
1432 Augusta Hwy.
Thomson, GA 30824
 pinetopeventing@gmail.com, www.pinetopfarm.com

Poplar Place Farm
8191 US 27
Hamilton, GA 31811
706.582.3742 ext 209
 donna@poplarplacefarm.com, www.poplarplacefarm.com

Sporting Days Farm
3549 E. Charleston Hwy.
Aiken, SC, 29801
803.648.0100
 sdaiken@aol.com, www.sportingdaysfarm.com

Stable View Farm
117 Stable Dr.
Aiken, SC, 29801
Call 484.356.3173
 Info@stableview.com, www.stableviewfarm.com 


This article is copyrighted and first appeared in The Aiken Horse. It is reprinted here by permission.