The first-ever Aiken Charity Horse Show is going on through Sunday bringing hundreds of the top show horses and their riders to the Aiken Horse Park. Organizers hope you’ll make it an annual tradition.
“It’s been great, said hunter rider Jennifer Alfano, who made the trip from Buffalo, New York for the event and recently passed the $1 million mark in career winnings. “Everybody’s gone out of their way to make this a top-quality event.”
It may just be the next big thing in Aiken. In the tradition of the Triple Crown of the Trials, Steeplechase and Polo comes the Aiken Charity Horse Show.
“What this brings to the city of Aiken are horse lovers,” said Scot Evans with the Aiken Horse Park Foundation. “Aiken is known as a horse community. So people come here are renting houses for two weeks, they are really into it and they are enjoying everything Aiken has to offer.”
It was the vision of the late Bruce Ducchossois, an Aiken horse enthusiast who bought the Steeplechase track to keep the city from turning it into a subdvision before he died of cancer two years ago.
“Bruce’s dream was for this to be an event where people can enjoy showing and competing during the day, but most importantly also enjoy Aiken during the evening,” Evans said.
“We really wanted to support it,” said Alfano. “Bruce Ducchossois was such a great friend to all of us in the horse community and he had a vision to put on a great event in Aiken and I really wanted to be a part of it.”
And if show horses aren’t your thing, that’s okay. Organizers say there’s something for you too.
“It’s great to bring your kids,” said Alfano. “I mean, what kid doesn’t love horses?”
“On the weekends, especially Saturday, it’s a family day,” Evans added. “Bring your kids, come on out. See what we have here in store because kids love horses, horses love kids and we have something for everybody here at the Aiken Charity Horse Show.”
Gates are open 8am to 5pm through Sunday at the Aiken Horse Park. It’s free to get in, parking is free and proceeds go to benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Aiken and Equine Rescue of Aiken.
WHO: Aiken Charity Horse Show
WHEN: Thursday – Sunday, 8am – 5pm
WHERE: Aiken Horse Park, Powderhouse Road
WHY: Proceeds benefit Child Advocacy Center of Aiken and Equine Rescue of Aiken
COST: Admission and parking are free
MORE INFORMATION: aikenhorsepark.org