Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina, Runs for the Roses

October 6, 2015

Take an unusual route to a regular destination and you might happen upon Thoroughbred Country, South Carolina, encompassing the town of Aiken, where horses are the prize. Travel by US 78 or 278 through Thoroughbred Country’s charming small towns including Williston, Blackville, Denmark and Bamberg on your next trip to Charleston or Hilton Head.

As cool weather closes in, run for the roses at Thoroughbred Country’s autumn and winter events like the Katydid Combined Driving Event, November 5-8, a three-phase driving competition including both horses and ponies driven as singles and in pairs by some of the top carriage drivers in the country. That same weekend, equestrian enthusiasts can bring their own horses for a special trail ride through Silver Bluff Audubon’s 3,200-acre wildlife sanctuary with two eight-mile trails. On Thanksgiving Day, the Aiken Hounds’ Opening Meet is preceded by the annual Blessing of the Hounds, a beloved and time-honored tradition at Memorial Gate in the Woods, presented by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation. At the end of 2015, don’t miss Christmas in the Backcountry at The Living History Park, and the City of Aiken’s 45th annual Christmas Craft Show, featuring over 100 local artisans, December 4-5, at the H. Odell Weeks Center.

Save the date: On January 9, the Aiken Training Track and Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame are partnering to offer the Backstretch Tour, going behind the scenes of Aiken Training Track to experience what it’s like on the backstretch while also getting an inside look at the magic of training Thoroughbred racehorses. For more information, 803-643-2121 or 803-642-7631.

For a complete listing of special events, including the 24th Annual Christmas in Hopelands light exhibit at Hopelands Gardens in Aiken, December 13-23 and 26-27, featuring the famous gardens illuminated with over 100,000 lights.

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