Hundreds of horses set to compete in Aiken Fall Festival hunter/jumper shows
The popularity of the Aiken Fall Festival hunter/jumper shows is on the upswing.
“We’re expecting close to 500 horses,” said JP Godard of Equus Events earlier this week. “The most it’s ever been before this is in the low 400s.”
This the fourth year the Fall Festival shows have been held at the Aiken Horse Park Foundation’s Bruce’s Field.
Competition begins Thursday in Aiken Fall Festival I and continues through Sunday.
Fall Festival II starts Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 16.
Equus Events, a business owned by Godard and his wife, Megan, organizes and manages the Fall Festival shows.
Godard believes horse owners have entered more of their animals this year for several reasons, including the success of the two Aiken Charity Horse Shows in the spring.
In addition, “people like the atmosphere at Bruce’s Field and the footing (in the show rings),” Godard said. “We also take very good care of our participants. Aiken is very hospitable, so it’s a good place to spend a couple of weeks.”
Aiken Fall Festival I’s events include the $15,000 William Howard Memorial U.S. Hunter Jumper Association Derby, which will be held Friday. It will begin at approximately 5 p.m.
The $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix, presented by Aiken Saddlery, is scheduled for Saturday and will start around 5 p.m.
During Aiken Fall Festival II, the seventh annual Bridles & Birdies fundraiser for the First Tee of Aiken will be held Sept. 14. It will begin at 5 p.m. Tickets are $45 apiece. For more information, visit thefirstteeaiken.org.
The $25,000 American Standard Grand Prix, presented by the D&W Group and Aiken Horse Park Foundation President Jack Wetzel, is set for Sept. 15 and will start around 5 p.m.
The South Carolina Hunter Jumper Association Governor’s Cup Medal Finals will be held Sept. 16 and will begin at 8 a.m.
Bruce’s Field is at 931 Powderhouse Road S.E.
There is no admission charge for spectators, and parking is free.