Aiken: An Equestrian Legacy
Check out two can’t miss events this fall in Aiken, South Carolina
Words by Paige Townley
Polo—and equestrian in general—has a long and storied history in Aiken. The city gained its equestrian fame decades ago when wealthy Northerners would come to town during the winter months and partake in various equestrian sports. Aiken was soon referred to as the “Winter Colony” and even the “Polo Capital of the World” as many of the best would descend upon the city to play the ever-growing sport of polo. That appreciation for all things equine continues today.
Aiken is home to some of the nation’s most renowned training centers, as well as the largest equine rescue in the southeast. It also boasts a variety of horse trails, including the 2,100-acre Hitchcock Woods, which features 70 miles of trails for horseback riders and is one of the largest urban forests in the country.
As it should come as no surprise, the South Carolina city is also home to some of the most well-known horse sporting events, drawing competitors and spectators alike from all over the world to partake or watch. Two of those renowned annual events are coming up later in October, Fall Steeplechase on October 29 and Aiken Polo on October 30. Both competitions are sure to be exciting events that are fun for the whole family.
Aiken Fall Steeplechase
The Aiken Steeplechase Association began in 1930 and held its first official race at Hitchcock Woods. Since that time, the nonprofit organization has held two steeplechasing racing events each year, including the Fall Steeplechase, which will be held on Saturday, October 29. The anticipated agenda boasts a beautiful day of watching horses race—with the first race starting at 1 pm—with family and friends while enjoying the always beautiful Aiken weather.
Polo first descended upon the city of Aiken in 1882, and its popularity has only grown from there. Since then, the city has served as home to many of the sport’s most famous players, horses, and tournaments. The Aiken Polo Club has worked to continue that passion for polo in the city, and that includes hosting many weekly Sunday afternoon games at Whitney Polo Field, the oldest polo field in continuous use in the United States. The Aiken Polo Club’s Sunday Schedule on Sunday, October 30 offers a spectacular agenda for a Sunday afternoon while watching—or partaking—in the premier sport.