Downtown revels in equine holiday event.

Bells rang, children clapped, adults sang Christmas carols and horses were decorated as Aikenites prepared for Christmas equine style.

A new Christmas celebration came to downtown Aiken on Wednesday afternoon. Christmas carolers made their rounds of downtown but they were not on foot. The carolers came on horseback, in carriages and on a hay wagon complete with Santa Claus and horses and riders dressed in holiday cheer.

Twelve horseback riders and about 30 people in the hay wagon and one horse-drawn buggy gathered together to spread holiday tidings. They sang “Jingle Bells” – “Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh” – and “Silent Night” as they worked their way through town. The group began on South Laurens and caroled its way through town, making several stops on Laurens Street, at the Trinity Lutheran Home and in The Alley before making its way to The Willcox for a meeting with Santa and Toys for Tots drive.  Full Story…

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Aiken equestrians compete in Florida.

OCALA, FLA. — A number of Aiken residents have been competing and enjoying success this winter at HITS Ocala at the HITS Post Time Farm, including DFG Stable’s Daniel Geitner and Hollow Creek Farm’s Angel Karolyi.

“So far it’s been going great,” said Geitner. “We’ve had real nice weather the last couple of weeks. It’s been nice, big jumps, and a lot of competition for the hunters and the jumpers. The horses have been jumping well, we’ve sold a horse and the students have been doing well.” Full Story.


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Therapist using horses in treating PTSD

An individual may look healthy physically, but it’s possible that, even without any physical manifestations, stress and traumatic experiences can take their toll on both humans and horses.

But, thanks to psychotherapy, horses and humans are interacting and bonding with one another to help each other heal.

This Sunday, soldiers who are stationed at Fort Gordon and have returned from their deployment in Iraq, and at risk members of the community, will have a chance to use a unique modality to help with their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Psychotherapist and horseman Suze Maze will be using Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to help.

The therapy sessions will be conducted on Sundays at Equine Rescue of Aiken. Full Story!

Well-known competitor conducts clinic at Ash Stables

Cindy Sydnor, a renowned name in the world of dressage, conducted a clinic at Andrea Sirrenberg-Hunt’s Ash Stables at White House Farm this weekend. Full Story.


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Residents discuss state horse park

A state horse park is a visionary concept that would bring multiple equine disciplines and other events under the umbrella of one … READ MORE


Front Gate Properties, We’re selling the BEST Real Estate in Aiken, SC.

Dressage show is good opportunity for advanced rider

WAGENER — It was a great opportunity for advanced level event rider Tiffani Loudon-Meetze to prepare for the upcoming eventing season.

The Winnsboro resident competed Saturday at the Quintynne Hill dressage show. Loudon-Meetze was short-listed for the 1998 Pan American Games and the 2000 Olympic games.

The rider collected a fair amount of hardware in 1998, capturing the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event Concours Complet International Three Star on Makabi and winning the United States Equestrian Team’s Challenge Trophy and was the leading owner/rider. At the 1999 Kentucky Rolex, Loudon-Meetze would win the Bank One Trophy, for highest placed owner/rider, while riding Makabi. Full story

Forum discusses tourism in Aiken, would a Horse park be good for Aiken?

Tourism officials in South Carolina gathered at the USC Aiken Convocation Center to discuss possibilities of a long-term state tourism initiative which could include a horse park in Aiken. More details.


Front Gate Properties, We’re selling the BEST Real Estate in Aiken, SC.

Aiken Thoroughbred hall of fame

Hall of Fame to offer free art workshop

1/8/2009 7:38 PM
A little encouragement can go a long way, and a workshop offered by the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum may give a glimpse into the future work of the next Raoul Duffy, Edgar Degas, George Stubbs or Pierre Bellocq. The Aiken Thor … full story

Horses mean millions to Aiken’s economy

A recent study of Aiken’s equine industry shows that the area’s 135+ year-old affair with horses is alive, well, and BAH riding high. The popular industry continues to attract horse enthusiasts from around the world, and the number of equine disciplines has grown – and so has the economic impact of this historically revered industry in Aiken.

A 2008 study, “An Economic Profile of Aiken County and the Economic Impact of the Equine Industry,” done by the University of South Carolina Aiken (USCA) School of Business for the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, reveals the following:

The equine industry’s economic impact in Aiken County tops $71.81 million.
The annual cost per horse in Aiken County tops $7,393, which amounts to $50.16 million in total spending produced by the equestrian sector.  That spending leads to $11.76 million in indirect effects and $9.89 million in induced effects for $71.82 million in gross receipts.

In total, 1,814 jobs in Aiken County can be attributed to the operations of the equestrian industry.
The industry accounts for 1,329 full time employees.  An additional 283 jobs are a result of indirect effects, and 202 jobs result from induced effects of the industry.

The impact of the equestrian industry on household income is estimated to be $19.71 million annually. There are $16.93 million in income effects that result directly from the local equestrian industry.  Indirect household income linkages account for an additional $2.09 million, and the induced effects are an additional $217,513.

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