Aiken County Equestrian Activities

Aiken County Equestrian Activities

Equestrians began to bring horses to this area during the 1800’s. The Aiken area has grown to welcome every equestrian discipline known. Visitors and locals enjoy fox hunting, dressage, flat racing, driving, polo, jumping and trail riding.

Horses, Hounds and Polo

Going equestrian in Aiken County
With at least one or two more inevitable snowfalls ahead of us, my husband and I decided to look South for a vacation that would give us a jumpstart on spring. Some place we could finally get outdoors and shake off the cabin fever we’d experienced since the holidays. Inspiration struck when I discovered Aiken County, South Carolina, an equestrian destination known for horse-filled days and the slow, relaxing evenings that make the South so ideal for vacations.

A fashionable destination
After more research, I learned that Aiken County had become famous in the late nineteenth century as a winter colony for “American royalty” from the northeast—families with names like Astor and Vanderbilt. Over time, more and more snowbirds were drawn to Aiken County’s moderate climate and horse-friendly sandy soil.

While not exactly royalty, my husband and I are horse lovers, and it was easy to fill up our itinerary with a wish list of activities, from trail rides to fox hunts and polo lessons. This would be a vacation filled with muddy boots and grass stains, and we couldn’t wait.

Compared to all of the other new experiences (like fox hunting and polo) we’d included on our itinerary, trail riding was something I was very familiar with, as I’d spent many a day wandering the trails near our home. One thing I was not expecting was the breathtaking natural beauty we’d encounter on our ride.

Aiken County, which has more than 65 miles of trails for visitors to enjoy, is positioned between the foothills and the famed Lowcountry of South Carolina, which explains the striking variety found in its natural surroundings. One moment, we’d find ourselves under the massive canopy of majestic oaks, and the next we were trotting past dogwoods and wild azaleas. While I was enamored by the landscape, my husband, an amateur birder, could barely contain his excitement each time he spotted a new species. In fact, I must have heard him shout out the names of at least four different types of woodpeckers alone.

Our day on the trails left us both relaxed and energized for the days to come, making it the perfect start to our equestrian vacation.

Running with the dogs
The morning of our fox hunt started with a light mist that gave way just in time to set out, although even a driving rain wouldn’t have been able to dampen our enthusiasm.

Surrounded by horse and hound, the experience felt timeless, with seemingly every detail—down to the designated roles and attire—steeped in tradition. Even though neither of us had ever participated in a hunt, the scene felt familiar, as if having stepped into a painting we’d admired for years. The hunt was organized into two groups of horseback riders—first flight and hill-topper. Even from our “hill-topper” perspective a fair ways behind the dogs and the first group, it was easy to get caught up in the majesty of the experience. We aspired to be “first flight” riders, watching and admiring as they kept a frantic pace behind the hounds, jumping over every obstacle in their way.

Once the quarry had gone to ground, and the hounds had been called off for the last time, we gathered back at the stables with our fellow riders to trade our favorite stories from the day.

When we arrived at Overbrook Farms, located just outside of the city of Aiken, for our polo lessons, I was feeling equally excited and nervous. For me, staying upright on a horse was a good thing. However, having a pro at my side to walk me through the basics of leaning put me at ease right away, and pretty soon the exhilarating thrill of trying something new took over. I found myself as comfortable at the horse’s flank as I had been upright in the saddle!

Suffice it to say, we walked away from the lesson with a new appreciation for the game.

It was with this new appreciation that we watched the professionals do their thing at the Aiken Polo Club, an established polo club with well over 100 years of history. Never ones to turn down hospitality, my husband and I opted to enjoy the match from the social tent, where fashionable dresses and stylish suits meet mouthwatering barbecue and specialty cocktails. Surrounded by such an enthusiastic and friendly crowd, we found that their love for the sport was contagious.

Spending a week playing in this equestrian paradise was truly a vacation unlike any other, and it was just the break we needed from our chilly hometown. And while we were leaving Aiken County no closer to royalty than when we arrived, the memories and experiences we took with us were fit for a king and queen.

The Southeast has something for everyone. Discover the trip that’s perfect for YOU.

Year-Round Equestrian Sports

Aiken hosts year-round equestrian events, featuring polo tournaments in the spring and fall played on historic Whitney field, March triple-crown equestrian events, and dressage riding tournaments.


Aiken’s Polo history includes the Bostwicks, the Hitchcocks, and many other wealthy Americans. Aiken serves as an ideal location for year-round polo. International and American polo teams practice, play, and compete in Aiken polo events.

Aiken Polo Club
Season: (September-November) and (April-June)
Games are at Whitney Field off Whiskey Rd.

La Bourgogne Club de Polo LLC
Season: (September-November) and (March-May)
Games are on Saturday and open to the public.

New Bridge Polo & Country Club
862 New Bridge Rd., Aiken

Wagener Polo Club


Steeplechase combines the precision of jumping with the speed of a race to create a very exciting event! The races are between two and four miles in length and the fences are 52-inch hurdles at varying heights. This is the chance for all to get outdoors and enjoy the history, horses and heritage of Aiken.

Fox Hunts

Historically the sport of the elite, fox hunting in Aiken is a fall favorite event. Usually held in Hitchcock Woods, the largest urban forest in the South, the event involves a scent drag, fox hounds, and hunters.

Aiken Hounds
A hunt club and, more importantly, a community of equestrians educating future generations about the history of fox hunting and the tradition of working hounds across the land.

Whiskey Road Fox Hounds
Hunts are Thursdays and Sundays from mid-October through late March.

Horseback Riding

Aiken County offers beautiful trails for the equestrian enthusiast. Enjoy a relaxing hack through the winding trails of Langley Pond Loop Trail or Hitchcock Woods. Guided trail rides are available to beginners and advanced riders.

The Trail Riding Company
Horseback riding adventures. Birthday parties and celebrations.

Rebel Ranch Horse Tours
Guided trail rides and basic horsemanship lessons.

Equestrian Events

Aiken Triple Crown
Last 3 Saturdays in March
1st Race Weekend: The Trials
Thoroughbreds compete in flat races at the Aiken Training Track.
2nd Race Weekend: Aiken Steeplechase Hurdle Jumper Races.
3rd Race Weekend: Polo
Proceeds aid community and charities.
Aiken Trials:
Pacers and Polo:

Aiken Horse Show
1st weekend in April
Hitchcock Woods

Spring Polo Season
April – June
Aiken Polo Club

Fall Polo Season
September – November
Aiken Polo Club

Oktoberfest at Stable View
Last weekend in September
Aiken’s first FEI event that will run 1*, 2*, and 3* divisions.

Fall Steeplechase
The Aiken Fall Steeplechase is a one day event on Saturday, with a pre-race warm up party on Friday night. Watch horses pound the plush turf and soar over fences at the Aiken Fall Steeplechase!

Blessing of the Hounds

Thanksgiving Day
Hitchcock Woods, Aiken

Event image 2021

Equine Facilities


Aiken Horse Park
Intersection of Audubon Dr. and Powderhouse Rd., Aiken.
66 acres in historic Aiken where events are held year-round.

Full Gallop Farm
3828 Wagener Rd., Aiken.
Hosts events and provides lessons, boarding, and rehab.

Jumping Branch Farm
179 Fox Pond Rd., Aiken.
Best known for its Beginner Novice through Preliminary cross country courses that are inviting, yet challenging to both horse and rider at the various levels. Host of several recognized schooling shows including dressage and combined tests, horse trials and derbies.

Sporting Days Farm
3549 Charleston Hwy., Aiken.
Trails, dressage court, pavilion, stables, electric and water hookups, wash rack, paddocks and cross country obstacles.

Stable View
117 Stable Dr., Aiken.
Hours 9am – 5pm
1,000-acre recreational venue with premiere training facility for equestrians, 15 miles of trails for bird watchers/nature lovers, LEED Gold certified pavilion for weddings and corporate retreats, and 22 professionally designed accommodations for overnight guests.

The Vista Schooling and Event Center
859 Old Tory Trail., Aiken.
Dressage arenas, derby stadium jumping arenas, and cross-country schooling.


Bridlewood Farm
597 Redds Branch Rd., Aiken.
Hunter and jumper facility specializing in training, showing, boarding and horse sales. Open by appointment only.

Daniel Geitner Stables, Inc.
1224 Sizemore Rd., Aiken.
Training, boarding, sales and show facility for hunters and jumpers.

Greystone Farms
4230 Wagener Rd., Aiken.
Boarding and training facility with a focus on hunter/jumper and dressage.

Highfields Event Center
118 Gaston St., NE, Aiken.
Banquet rental facility in covered area equestrian event facility.

Racing & Steeplechase

Aiken Steeplechase Racecourse 
2020 Richland Ave., E, Aiken.
Aiken’s largest sporting event is held at this beautiful venue.

Aiken Training Track 
538 Two Notch Rd., SE, Aiken.
Historic Thoroughbred training facility, home to annual events.

McGhee’s Mile
620 Banks Mill Rd., Aiken.
Training center with polo accommodations and stalls.

Riding Lessons

Devonwood Farm
215 Woodward Dr., Aiken.

Riding lessons for adults and children and summer camps for children.

New Era Farm, LLC
1720 Wire Rd., Aiken.
Riding lessons offered for children 5 yrs. and up, adults of all ages in a safe professional environment. Covered arena, available for rent.

Radway Eventing
4627 Whiskey Rd., Aiken.
Radway is a United States Pony Club Center. Offers training, boarding, sales, camps and riding lessons for beginner to advance students on one of our Horses/Ponies or your own mount.


Aiken Equine Rescue
532 Glenwood Dr., Aiken.
Tour the Aiken Equine Rescue facility and meet the horses. Tours are on Monday – Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Tours are free, donations are welcome.

Almost Heaven Stables
220 Golf Course Rd., Warrenville.
3 obstacle courses, 30 acres of trails, and use of the arena for those who want to haul in their personal horses. For only $30 per person CASH (subject to change). Boarding available. Call Valerie for more information and to schedule use of these amenities.

Great Oak Equine Assisted Programs
1123 Edgefield Hwy., Aiken.
Great Oak provides equine assisted activities that promote the physical, emotional, and psychological health of individuals with disabilities. Our programs are the catalyst for unbridled personal growth and awareness. A proud Member Center of PATH International and all of our instructors are Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors with PATH International.

New Holland Acres
1514 Old 96 Indian Trail, Batesburg.
Rodeos – Broncs, bulls, roping, barrel racing. Partners with New Holland Fire Department to do educational events. Equine education, fall festivals, trunk or treat for Halloween, seasonal events.

Overbrook Farms
2030 Gallop Hill Ln., Wagener.
Offers a chance to try polo in a beginner friendly relaxed game.

Equestrian Trails

Hitchcock Woods
Laurens St., SW at Boundary Ave., SW, Aiken.

The largest privately-owned urban forest in the country. It’s 2,100 acres and 70 miles of sandy trails have been a haven for pedestrian and equestrian users since the early 1800’s.

Langley Pond Loop Trail
113 Langley Dam Rd., Burnettown.

The wooded trail is 2.8 miles winding through a cool canopy of lush woods accessible only at Langley Pond Park.