Winter in Aiken
By Pam Gleason
Aiken's event riders had better get ready: It's going to be one heck of a season.
The Aiken area has been a winter destination for event riders for several decades. Aiken has wonderful footing, good weather and a plethora of recognized and schooling competitions that can put a lot of show miles on a horse in a very short time. There are clinics, lessons, social events and an exciting atmosphere. Sometimes it seems as though everyone is here: Olympic riders and legendary figures in the sport, established and aspiring professionals, talented juniors and, of course, amateurs from up and down the Eastern seaboard.
The number of competitive opportunities in Aiken seems to grow every year, and this season there are so many that event riders may never unpack their trailers. By our count, there are 71 separate competitions or clinics for event riders between the beginning of December and the end of March in the Aiken area alone. This does not count the United States Equestrian Federation High Performance Eventing training sessions that are expected to return to Stable view in the new year. (The USEF usually announces the actual dates in early January.)
Aiken also makes a convenient base of operations for riders who will ride in Georgia at Pine Top and Poplar Place, or in North Carolina at the Carolina Horse Park in Mill Spring. Tryon is the new location for the Fork CCI3* this April and will hold the 2018 World Equestrian Games in September 2018.
To help Aiken's eventing enthusiasts keep track, we have once again pulled the eventing dates from our calendar. We hope that this list will serve as a handy reference. Of course, there are other activities that will also interest Aiken's event riders, so be sure to check the website of the relevant facility before heading there, as time and dates do sometimes change.
Aiken Horse Park
931 Powderhouse Road
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: Debbie Salem: 803.257.0925