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Volume 12 • Number 6

June-July 2017


Deirdre Stoker Vaillancourt

803.640.4591

THIS IS MY NEIGHBORHOOD Aiken, South Carolina — Southern Charm and Equestrian Sport 785 GRACE

• 10 Acres in Historic Horse District • Across from Aiken Training Track • 2 barns totaling 14 stalls - lots of turnout

MLS # 71716

• Main residence 3200 sq. ft. + guest cottage • Near Bruce’s Field • $3,100,000

3444 HIGHWAY 19 MLS # 95361

• • • • • •

525 LAURENS ST. SW

• Historic Hitchcock Stables • 11.5 acres adjoins The Woods • 27 12X12 stall barn

• • • •

MLS # 97065

2 carriage houses 3BR 2 BA bunk house 8 large paddocks $2,952,500

304 FOX TAIL COURT

• 9.49 acres in Hollow Creek Equestrian • 4 matted 12x12 stalls • 2 large x fenced paddocks

MLS # 92056

MLS # 90390

112 acre Great Meadows Farm 32 stall barn with apartment 7 paddocks 2432 sq. ft. mobile home Scenic meadows with trails & stream $500,000

• • • • • • •

MLS # 80132

• Ideal setting for equestrian barn & paddocks • 6327 sq. ft. main house, 4 bdrms, 3.5 baths • 1972 sq. ft. GUEST/POOL house

• Salt water pool & hot tub • 20 acres • $1,995,000

1064 GRAND PRIX DR.

• 20+ acres 4 paddocks • 8 stall courtyard barn • 3 BR 2.5 BA 1730 Sq. Ft. house

42 acres - Total of 10 stalls Fenced jump field with excellent footing 2 large fenced pastures 3 BR 2.5 bath Cape Cod 2 BR 2 bath mobile home Excellent rental history $495,500

900 NEW BRIDGE

MLS # 97501

Fully renovated cottage 1200 sq. ft. 2 BR 2 BA New windows 2017 Fully fenced back yard $136,000

• 650 sq. ft. hunt box above barn • $370,000

258 BECK ROAD

503 CHIME BELL CHASE

1110 CARPENTER LANE

• • • • •

MLS # 93678

MLS # 73833

• Farm has excellent rental history • Enjoy Fox Hollow amenities • $875,000

• LA PROMESA • 12+ acres • 8 Stall barn + apt. • $400,000

120 DUPREE PLACE

• • • • •

MLS # 97653

Historic 3.64 acre Red Top Estate Easy access to Hitchcock Woods Main house, Hope Cottage & Carriage House 6 stall barn & paddocks $2,295,000

www.AikenSCProperties.com WORLD CLASS SPORTING AND LUXURY PROPERTIES

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June-July 2017


BLUE SKIES

$499,000

New mid-century modern Cypress sided 2 BR/2 BA home w/reclaimed oak floors, hand hewn oak beams, travertine fireplace, 14’ to 12’ ceilings, saltwater pool, 31 acres, 2 paddocks & run-in shed. Spectacular views & sunsets. Featured in Aiken Homes & Lifestyle magazine.

DANCING MEADOWS

$595,000

Nine acre horse property with 3 BR/2 BA home with fireplace, wood & tile floors, and sunroom. 36 x 72 barn with 4 in/out stalls & ample storage, miles of trails to ride/drive on. Less than 10 minutes to downtown and Hitchcock Woods.

HORSE’N AROUND FARM $649,000

In 3 Runs Plantation this new Elite Construction 6 stall barn has owners apartment & extra living quarters for guests. Over 11 acres of fabulous pasture, run-in shed & 4 bay 40x36 garage w/rear overhang for trailer. 5 irrigated paddocks beautifully landscaped and gated! Miles of trails & amenities.

KILLARA

$1.49 MILLION

JUMPING BRANCH FARM $2.19 MILLION

Horse District remodeled 4 BR/3.5 BA home on 5.35 acres & 10 stall barn w/apartment, wash stall, tack/feed room and lounge. Property is gated w/3 paddocks, schooling area, inground pool and 3 car garage with workshop. Easy hack to Hitchcock Woods & the clay roads.

FOUR BAY FARM

$599,000

29 acre farm located in premier equestrian area of Aiken. Brick 3 bedroom/2 bath home w/finished basement, fireplace, pine floors, deck & screened porch. Newer Mitch Johnson built 6 stall barn w/matted 12X12 stalls, wash stall, paneled tack room & income producing apartment. Perimeter and interior trails.

RACELAND STABLE

$535,000

Aiken Horse District on the clay roads with access to the Aiken Training Track & a short hack to the polo fields & Hitchcock Woods. 20 stall barn w/tack room, feed room, office & barn apartment. Add’l. 1752 sq ft dormitory has 3 apartments. 6 stall Eurociser, paddocks, round pen & wash stall on almost an acre. Available to rent!

115 acre established event & training facility. 4 BR/3 BA log home overlooking pond, lower level apartment, two barns w/37 stalls, 14 run-in stalls, pastures & 13 camper hookups, 4 wells, income producing hay fields, 5/8 mile track, jump fields & trails.

CHIME BELL STATION

$333,200

Gorgeous well maintained 49 acres on Station Lane in Chime Bell Station that includes a practice polo field, two large fenced pastures w/run-in & plenty of mature shade trees. Riding trails and HOA dues only $200/year. Home to several equestrians.

BRIARWOOD FARM

$599,000

Twelve acre listing in popular Windsor Trace carriage & riding community w/no HOA fees. Mitch Johnson 3 BR/2BA home with newly refinished pine floors, fireplace, honed granite counters, 30 x 60 center aisle barn with 3 stalls (laid out for 5), wash stall, tack room & apartment. 2 run-ins and 24 x 24 x 12 storage building.

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

$1.05 MILLION

$399,000

$360,000

Fabulous land & lots available:

Twin Silos Farms, Chime Bell Station, Mt. Vintage, Fox Hollow, & Windsor

803-215-0153 • www.AikenHorseRealty.com June-July 2017

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He sings, acts, cooks, paints, welds, serves our comunity and definitely sells homes. Buy and Sell your property with the South’s most interesting Realtor®!

WOOD’S END is Aiken’s new equestrian community on Hitchcock Woods. A 3 BR 3BA luxury residence with 3-stall barn and carport. Fireplace in great room. Granite counters, wood floors and beautiful finishes. Ride in the Hitchcock Woods everyday! $698,000

THE BALCONY

“The Balcony” is a prestigious equestrian estate in Aiken’s famed Historic District. The property was designed by Julian Peabody to be a comfortable and sophisticated showplace in the heart of Aiken’s “Winter Colony.” Located within three blocks of Whitney Polo Field, Winthrop Polo Field, Hitchcock Woods, Palmetto Golf Club, Green Boundary Club, and Aiken Steeplechase/Bruce’s Field. The landscaped 5.85-acre compound is a peaceful sanctuary within tall masonry walls and automatic gates. The elegant slate-roofed residence shows refined craftsmanship in every architectural detail, from stamped copper gutters to intricate wood mouldings. There are five ensuite bedrooms with fireplaces in addition to the stately formal rooms. The kitchen, laundry, pool, and utilities are completely updated. The manicured grounds include an 18-stall stable, a 3-bedroom cottage, a swimming pool with fountains, large paddocks, and ample parking for cars & carriages. Offered for $2,995,000. For details see www.FineHomesOfAiken.com

BURRIS ROAD FARM is an elegant 3 BR/3BA Hardiplank residence in prime East Aiken/302 horse country with a 2-stall barn. A magnificent hilltop setting with pastures and beautiful views. Two covered porches, wood floors, cathedral ceiling & 2-car garage. Pool and propane generator on property. $514,000.

KING’S RIDGE - Magnificent hilltop 7.53 acre Established pasture with scattered hardwood trees overlooking beautiful lakes. Gated equestrian community has riding trails and shared riding arena. Spectacular views from high atop a quiet cut-de-sac location. Build your dream home! $120,500 and $150,000.

GAMBOA PLACE is a serene equestrian facility on

50 acres. House has 3 BR/2BA on main level, 2BR/1BA and movie theater in walkout basement. European style 8-stall barn with space for fully operational vet clinic, boarding/training/foaling/lay-up facility. Pool. Paddocks. Privacy $1,350,000.

The finest farms in Aiken, South Carolina. Call 803-640-0123 for estates, farms, homes & land. 142 Laurens Street, NW Aiken SC 29801

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www.FineHomesOfAiken.com your best friend in real-estate

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June-July 2017


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SECTION 10 18 24 28 30

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News and Notes Aiken Spring Classic Secret Lives: Winston Ride with Reason Ask the Judge

Our cover shows Daniel Geitner winning the $25,000 Carolina Company Grand Prix aboard Vesta de Lavardin, owned by November Hill. More photos from the Aiken Spring Classic on pages 18-19. Photography by Gary Knoll.

SECTION 40 44 48 52 54

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Lovely Bones Polo Training Aiken NYTS Polo Aiken Pony Club Aiken in Summer

Aiken National Youth Tournament Qualifier at New Bridge Polo Club. Summer Kneece and Aiden Meeker in a ride-off going to goal. Read more about youth polo and find many more pictures in Section 2. Photography by Pam Gleason.

SECTION 64 70 72 74 76 84 85 86

Scorz, aka Benji, a Quarter Horse weanling owned by Ina Ginsberg and conditioned by Jeffrey Pait of Pait Quarter Horses. Meet Benji and the rest of Aiken’s Foals of 2017 in Section 3. Photography by Pam Gleason

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Foals of 2017 Jose Alejos, Horse trainer Mustang Success Aiken Charity Horse Show Calendar Directory Classifieds Index


June-July 2017

Aiken

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Horse

Aiken’s Horse Publication P.O. Box 332 • Montmorenci, SC 29839-0332 • 803.643.9960 •

www.TheAikenHorse.com • Editor@TheAikenHorse.com

Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 12 • Number 6

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his May, the USDA issued a warning to Cure, a restaurant in Pittsburgh, after its chef and proprietor, Justin Severino, served horse meat to his guests. It was horse tartare, labeled “Le Cheval”, and was the second course in a five-course meal that was prepared for a group of chefs from Canada. According to Plate, a cooking and dining supplement to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the horse course was served with salt and vinegar chips, cured egg yolk and black garlic mayonnaise. After the USDA sent him the warning, Mr. Severino issued a statement saying that the meal was part of a special Québecois feast and that horse is not normally included on the Cure menu. He went on to say that the meat was “sourced from a sustainable horse farm in Alberta, Canada.” The problem according to the USDA was that this meat was imported illegally. It is not illegal to eat horse meat in the United States. However this country has not had a legal horse slaughterhouse since 2007. This is because a bill passed Congress in 2006 that prohibited the use of federal funds to inspect horse abattoirs. With no inspections, there could be no business conducted, and the last of America’s horse meat factories closed its doors. Even though we now have no legal horse slaughterhouses, about 125,000 American horses go to slaughter every year after being shipped over the border to Canada or Mexico. They are often packaged for human consumption in Europe or Japan, where horse meat is relatively popular. Ever since America’s last slaughterhouses were shut

June-July 2017

down, there have been groups of people demanding that they be reopened. Some of the horse slaughter proponents are upfront about being pro-slaughter, seeing horse meat as a logical part of the horse business. Others couch their opinions in the language of the humane movement, equating slaughter with humane euthanasia (which it, rather emphatically, is not.) Slaughter proponents often cite a 2011 study published by the Government Accounting Office, which concluded that shutting down the slaughterhouses was bad for American horses. The GAO report said abuse and neglect were on the rise and the market value of low- and medium-priced horses had declined by 8-10 percent. Critics said that the report was biased and did not take into account many confounding factors, such as overbreeding and the continuing recession. Recently, pro-slaughter forces have been lobbying hard in traditional and nontraditional ways to try to put American horse abattoirs back in business. America’s wild mustangs seem to be in particular danger from this. Mustangs are managed on the Western range by the Bureau of Land Management. Current budget proposals would cut the money that the BLM could use for care of the horses while also eliminating restrictions about how wild horses could be sold. This would allow them to be sold for meat, something that has been prohibited since 1971. Wild horse advocates fear that if this budget measure passes, it could mean that thousands would end up being killed. Will Americans decide to accept horse meat as a fact of life? It’s a subject with a long and controversial history. The presence of horse meat served as a delicacy at one of Pittsburgh’s most acclaimed restaurants might be a sign – a troubling one to people who think horses should never end up on the table. Not every horse lover is against the concept of horse slaughter, it is true. But those who are uncomfortable with the prospect of its return should be aware of what is going on. None of the laws surrounding the industry can be changed without the consent of Congress. Your representative, especially if he or she is up for reëlection, is likely to be sensitive to constituent demands. We hope you enjoy this issue. We had a wonderful time tracking down interesting stories and had far too many fantastic images. As ever, if you know of a story that we should know be covering, please send us an email. We want to continue to be your horse newspaper.

Pam Gleason Editor & Publisher

The Aiken Horse EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pam Gleason

ART DIRECTOR Gary Knoll

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jean Berko Gleason

LAYOUT & DESIGN Gary Knoll

PHOTOGRAPHERS Pam Gleason Gary Knoll

ADVERTISING

803.643.9960 editor@theaikenhorse.com

Going Out Of Town? Don’t miss future issues of The Aiken Horse. We will send you a one year subscription (6 issues) for $24.00. Send check or CC # & your mailing address: P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 Or sign up on the web at www.TheAikenHorse.com

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Aiken’s Horse Publication

All contents Copyright 2017 The Aiken Horse The Aiken Horse Policies: The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers, editors, or the policies of The Aiken Horse, LLC. The Aiken Horse is owned by The Aiken Horse, LLC.

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News & Notes by Pam Gleason

Nestlings Have Hatched

Last fall the Hitchcock Woods Foundation (HWF) embarked on an effort to bring federally endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers back to the Hitchcock Woods. RCWs (as they are frequently called) were once common in the longleaf pine forests of the Southeast. As these forests disappeared in the second half of the 20th century, the RCW population dwindled to almost nothing. The Hitchcock Woods, where the woodpeckers once lived, had not had a confirmed sighting since at least the 1980s. The good news is that RCW populations are starting to recover, thanks to the dedication of many different groups. The HWF officially became one of these groups in November 2017. That was when, after extensive preparations and consultation with various agencies, the Hitchcock Woods Foundation had five pairs of young RCWs installed in five designated spots in the Woods. The birds themselves came from the Francis Marion National Forest near Charleston. Mark Pavlosky Jr., an RCW biologist with MPJ Wildlife Consulting, LLC, created and implemented the RCW plan. This March, Mark Pavlosky confirmed that at least seven (and perhaps eight) of the translocated birds were still in the Woods, an excellent result. At least two pairs of woodpeckers were actually nesting. In April, the first baby woodpeckers hatched in one of those nests. This was certainly exciting news to fans of the birds, especially to Randy Wolcott, a member of the HWF Board of Directors who

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blue dinosaurs. Mark Pavlosky fitted the two baby birds with bands on each leg. His young daughter, who accompanied Mark and his wife on this expedition, chose the colors. The bands were pink and yellow and silver – they looked like beaded bracelets. Properly identified, the hatchlings could then be deposited back in the nest where their parents will continue to care for them as though nothing had happened. “It’s a myth that birds will reject their babies if you handle them because they will smell like humans,” said Mark. “Most birds have very poor senses of smell. The only ones that don’t are birds like vultures that eat carrion.” According to Pavlosky, the woodpecker parents will continue to care for the babies long after they have left the nest. Before baby woodpeckers learn to fly, they spend a lot of time climbing around on the trunks of trees and may hop and glide from tree to tree as they follow their parents. The adult birds will return to the nest at night to roost, but the baby birds may take a while to learn how to come home when it gets dark. There is at least one other tree in the woods with an active nest, and there may be more in the future. It remains to be seen whether an RCW colony will become established in the Hitchcock Woods, but the signs are certainly promising.

was the driving force behind the woodpecker project. One morning, about eight or nine days after the first baby woodpeckers hatched, Randy and Bennett Tucker, the woods superintendent, accompanied Pavlosky out to the nest to examine and band the young birds. Jake Kneece Memorial at APC The nest was in a cavity high up in a pine The Jake Kneece Memorial Tournament tree. While the parent birds flitted about, was played for the first time at Aiken Polo foraging, tapping tree trunks and talking up Club this May 19-28. The tournament was a storm (RCWs are known for being both social and vocal) Pavlosky climbed a ladder and carefully extracted two young birds from inside the cavity with a special noose. He then dropped them into a bag and brought them back down to the forest floor. There he examined them, weighed them, and fitted their legs with colored bands that will identify them for the rest of their lives. “It’s best to band them when they are this age because their legs are soft and gummy now,” said Mark. “They will harden when they get older, but they won’t get any bigger around. In fact they will get smaller.” Mark declared that one hatchling was about a day older than the other, they both were a good Jake Kneece Memorial winners Livin the Vision. Jesus Ontiveros, Matthew weight, and both looked normal Fonseca, Manuel Ontiveros Lara, Scott Brown. Lindsay, Barbara and Pace and healthy. This is perhaps true if Kneece presenting. you are accustomed to looking at established to honor the memory of Julian baby woodpeckers. They were so young their Pace Kneece IV, who was the son of Pace eyes were not opened yet, and they didn’t and Barbara Kneece. Pace, Barbara and their have much in the way of feathers. To the daughter Lindsay sponsored the tournament uninitiated they looked like little pink and

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June-July 2017


as a way of giving back to the horse community and as a tribute to Jake’s generous and caring spirit. Jake died in November 2011 at the age of 27. The Kneeces own and run Aiken County Farm Supply on Park Avenue in Aiken. Established in the 1960s by J.P. Kneece Jr., Pace’s father, ACFS started out with items for farmers and gardeners. When the equestrian world began to grow in Aiken, the store adapted to the times, selling an increasing array of horse feeds, hays and supplies. Today, it has a full assortment of horse health items as well as varieties of hay, many different brands of horse and other farm animal feed, a selection of vegetables for planting and other gardening items. “Jake was a big part of the business,” said Pace. “Our intention, mine and Barbara’s, was for Jake and Lindsay to run the business after we retired. That changed. But we always try to give back to the community as much as we can, not just to polo but to the Aiken Steeplechase and the Hitchcock Woods Foundation. That is why we decided to have the tournament.” Jake was an animal lover and a big supporter of the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, and today there is a room dedicated to him in the facility. His family also established a tradition of doing random acts of kindness in his memory every year on the anniversary of his death, November 5. “He was a great son,” said Pace. “I wish he would have been here with us for longer. But we will see him again someday.” The tournament itself, a 4-goal, attracted several teams with players who were united in their desire to honor Jake. Some of the professional players put together their own teams and played without a fee. El Cedro Azul/Banks Mill Feed teamed Gabriel Crespo, an established professional player, with Kylie Sheehan and Connor Deal who are members of Team USPA, the United States Polo Association’s training program for aspiring young players. The fourth member of the team was Malia Bryan, a teenager who also played this year in the National Youth Tournament Series where she was named an All Star. El Cedro Azul/Banks Mill beat all comers to make it to the Sunday finals on Whitney Field. There, they faced Livin’ the Vision, an extremely tough foursome put together by Scott Brown. In their first meeting, El Cedro Azul/Banks Mill had eked out a narrow, 6.55 victory. By finals Sunday, however, Livin the Vision was working smoothly as a team, and they were pretty much unstoppable, shutting out their young adversaries until late in the second half on the way to a decisive 7-4.5 victory. At the trophy presentation, there were Best Playing Pony and MVP honors for

June-July 2017

both amateurs and professionals. On the pro side, Matthew Fonseca, who seemed to be everywhere for Livin’ the Vision, was the MVP, while Gabriel Crespo’s Encemado was the BPP. On the amateur side, Malia Bryan took MVP honors while the horse she rode in the third chukker, Rhyo, owned by Owen Rinehart, was the BPP. It should be no wonder that the Livin’ the Vision team was dominant in the tournament. After all, the 4-goal team would become a 6-goal team on June 1, since both Jesus Ontiveros and his brother Manuel Ontiveros Lara would go up a goal, Jesus from 2 to 3 and Manuel from 0 to 1. By next January, it will be a 7 goal team, since Matthew Fonseca is scheduled to go back up from 2 to 3 on January 1.

Eventing News at Rolex

Michael Jung of Germany returned to the Kentucky Horse Park this spring to capture the Rolex Kentucky 4-star eventing crown for the third year in a row. Two other riders have won America’s premier three-day event three times (these are Bruce Davidson and Kim Severson, an Aiken winter resident) but no one has ever won three years back to back before now. Jung’s mount was a 12-year-old

He had two other horses competing at Rolex, and all of them finished in the top ten. Phillip is one of the most seasoned Rolex competitors ever, having completed the demanding course a full 40 times in his career. The name “Rolex” has been synonymous with America’s top three-day event for a very long time. In fact, the watch company has sponsored the event since 1981, during an era when eventing was nowhere near as popular and well known as it is today. This spring, however, Equestrian Events International, which is the company that puts on the event, rebranded the competition as the Kentucky Three Day Event and unveiled a new, retooled website. Soon after that, they put out a press release announcing that Rolex will be dropping its title sponsorship after 36 years. Rolex will still be associated with the event as its watch sponsor – that contract runs through 2021. No official reason was given. It is the end of an era.

Tryon 2018

In the fall of 2018, the World Equestrian Games are coming to Tryon NC, not much more than a two-hour’s drive from Aiken. This is the second time ever that the

Phillip Dutton and Mr. Medicott: USEF National 4* champions.

Württemberger mare named fischerRocana, owned by Brigitte and Joachim Jung. The highest placed American rider was Phillip Dutton, an Aiken winter resident, riding Mr. Medicott, an 18-year old Irish Sport Horse. Dutton finished fourth in what would be Mr. Medicott’s final 4-star event: Dutton announced on his web page that he would be retiring the horse from that level, but that he would “continue competing him for as long as he wants to.” As the highest placed American rider, Dutton became the Rolex/USEF CCI4* National Champion.

WEG will be held on the North American continent (the first time was Kentucky, 2010) and will offer an unparalleled opportunity for horse people in our area to attend a major international competition in our own back yard. The event will comprise eight world championships in the FEI sports: dressage, show jumping, eventing, four-inhand driving, vaulting, reining, endurance and para-equestrian dressage. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, followed by 12 days of intense competition, wrapping

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up with closing ceremonies on Sunday, September 23. Tickets are not yet available for purchase, and ticket prices have yet to be announced. According to the website www. tryon2018.com, tickets will be on sale some time in early July – you can register on the website or follow the 2018 Facebook page to get “advance notice” when it becomes possible to buy them. If you are interested in volunteering, the application is also up on the website and can be filled out and submitted now. The World Equestrian Games will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring. The TIEC is a relatively new facility, and the owners are working overtime to ready it for the games. This includes building a new cross-country course for eventing. This spring it was announced that Captain Mark Phillips is designing the course, with fences built by Eric Bull of ETB construction. Eric, whose wife, Molly Hooper Bull, is an event rider, spends a fair amount of time in Aiken and is responsible for the obstacles on many local courses. He and Captain Mark Phillips also teamed up to create the cross-country course at Aiken’s Stable View. “I’ve probably worked with Mark more than any other designer,” Eric said in a press release. “When I was getting my business started he gave me a lot of opportunities and support, so it’s really special to do this with him.” Again, according to the press release, Bull and Phillips will “coordinate with Richard Nicoll, who is designing the hazards for the driving course. The driving competition takes place after eventing, and a number of the hazards will be combined with elements of the cross-country course. They will share a North Carolina-based theme including the state bird and flower, and notable events in North Carolina history including the first flight of the Wright Brothers, NASCAR racing, and nearby Chimney Rock.” For more information about the World Equestrian Games, visit www.tryon2018.com or follow Tryon2018 on Facebook.

The University of South Carolina Aiken recently expanded its equestrian program to include a Western Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team. “Since this was the school’s first time having a team of this discipline, and it was our coach, Jeff Temple’s first time coaching an IHSA team, it was a learning experience for everyone,” said Kirstin Taylor in a press release. Kirstin, a rising sophomore majoring

credit their coach with much of their success. Jeff Temple is a long-time American Quarter Horse Association professional horseman, trainer, and clinician. He volunteered his time, and gave the team the opportunity to practice at his facility, Mount Vintage Plantation Stables in North Augusta. “Coaching the team through its first season was a rewarding and educational experience,” he said, noting that both he and his team had to learn how the IHSA format works. “It was gratifying for me to see the team members

in secondary education is a member of the new team. During the 2016-2017 season, the USC Aiken Pacers team competed against more established programs at larger universities such as Clemson, Georgia Southern, Lander and Wesleyan College. The new team, with just four riders, was named reserve champion in the team challenge at the end of their very first show at Clemson University in the fall. The fact that some of the teams had as many as 20 riders made this all the more impressive. “I’m very proud of these riders,” said Michelle Hodge, the team’s advisor on campus. We offer a wide range of fencing, including “They displayed tremendous talent equestrian properties and residential and have a lot of privacy fencing. potential. The university is blessed Run in and storage sheds are also available. to have this group establishing what estimates and design assistance we expect will be an enduring program.” Team members

apply what they learned in their weekly lessons and achieve success in the show ring . . . I have high hopes and great expectations to build our program and expand the team. I am already looking forward to next season.” Team members are also preparing for the upcoming season. Some will spend the summer in Aiken, working with Temple and other equestrian leaders in town, honing their skills and building their horsemanship repertoires. Others will ride in their hometowns, located from New England to California. “I believe that having this team will benefit USC Aiken because it will increase the student involvement,” said Kirstin Taylor. “There were people who did not join the [equestrian] team in previous years because it only offered English. Also, as the team grows and we get more recognition, people will consider going to our school so that they can join our team. It is important for a school in Aiken to embrace the fact that horses are such a large part of the history of the town.” Any member of the USC Aiken student body can join the group, regardless of ability or previous experience. Interested? Visit www.usca.edu/equestrian.

USC Aiken Western Team

Free

Contact John at (803) 292-5161

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The Aiken Horse

June-July 2017


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Courtney Conger Randy Wolcott Lee Hedlund Mike Hosang 803.645.3308 803.507.1142 803.221.6831 803.270.6358 Jack Roth Alex Tyrteos Suzan McHugh Thomas Bossard 803.341.8787 203.249.3071 803.292.8525 803.640.2845

Frank Starcher 803.270.6623 Brian Cavanaugh 803.624.6072

803.648.8660 . www.CarolinaHorseProperties.com . 800.880.0108

Boatwright Plantation . Equestrian estate in historic Ridge Spring features grand main residence with 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, 22-stall barn, sparkling pool and outdoor kitchen on 31.64 acres. Original plantation home (circa 1835) was expanded in 2012 to 9,200 square feet. The block barn features 22 matted stalls with automatic waterers, tack room, vet room, laundry and hay loft. Includes large outdoor arena/track, brood mare barn with 4 stalls, dressage arena, fenced pastures, round pen. Call Courtney Conger $1,895,000

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Oak Tree Farm Country contemporary with 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths is nestled in a grove of beautiful old live oaks on over 48 acres of board fenced Bermuda pastures and woods. The sunlit great room and master bedroom both feature cathedral ceilings and window walls with sweeping views of extensive coastal fields. Inground pool with new liner. Center aisle barn has 3 stalls with room for more, tack/feed room, run-in space and hay storage. Call Courtney Conger $699,000

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The Gamekeeper’s Lodge Classic brick Georgian 5 bedroom residence, 3-bay garage with apartment above, sparkling in ground pool, gazebo with pool bath, 7-stall brick stable, and board-fenced paddocks on 4 acres. Borders Hitchcock Woods, over 2,100 acres with 65 miles of sandy trails. Call Courtney Conger or Randy Wolcott $1,495,000

TIMSHEL

CEDAR

Level, partially cleared lots in developing equestrian area with easy access to Aiken, Edgefield and I-20. Riding rings and trails are underway, and homeowners with interests in eventing, hunter jumpers, driving and trail riding are in residence. Best of all, lots from 12.25 to over 14 acres are available for only $4,500 per acre! Call Courtney Conger

Several equestrian lots available, ranging from 6.14 to 11.97 acres of established coastal Bermuda grass with beautiful views. Equestrian amenities include community riding ring and trails. Call Courtney Conger ~ pricing starts at just $105,000

Meadows

Gardens

Cottage at Three Runs . Delightfully decorated cottage

in Three Runs Plantation offers over 3000 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, great room, formal dining room, kitchen with breakfast bay & island and screened porch overlooking established pastures and center-aisle barn on nearly 6 acres. Community amenities include riding rings, clubhouse, pool & cabana, and miles of groomed trails. Call Courtney Conger $725,000

Tinker Creek . Wonderful recreational and timber tract encompass-

es 349 acres with 2 excellent ponds. Improvements include large center-aisle barn (84' x 36') currently configured with 5 stalls, tack room, wash stall and hound kennels and storage. Also there is a manufactured home serving as a caretaker's or hunting cabin. This multipurpose property has some open areas as well as a good stand of mature timber. Call Mike Hosang or Brian Cavanaugh $1,350,000

Wit’s End Farm . Emerald green hay fields roll gently to

beautiful lake on over 140 acres of perimeter fenced woods & fields. Delightful 3,800 square foot residence includes great room with fireplace, state-of-the-art kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, master wing, media room. Includes storage sheds, run-in shed, separate garage/workshop and expansive equipment building plumbed for apartment. Call Courtney Conger $1,295,000

Polo Vista Cottage . Comfort and crafts-

manship are the hallmarks of this delightful cottage with 2929 square feet. Features include open floor plan with 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, cathedral ceilings, stone fireplace, wood floors and window walls overlooking one of New Bridge Polo’s beautifully maintained polo fields. Call Courtney Conger $499,000

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Polo Vista Stables This beautifully constructed center aisle barn is in like new condition and offers 18 large, matted stalls on 22.47 acres overlooking polo field. Included are wash stall, spacious tack room/lounge combo, 2 bunk rooms, laundry room and full bath. There is also an 1800 square foot, insulated equipment shed and 13 four-board fenced paddocks and pastures. Amenities include riding trails, clubhouse and pool. May be purchased in conjunction with 4-bedroom residence across the polo field (see left). Call Courtney Conger $999,000

WAGENER

Acreage

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Pottery Mill Place Delightful residence on 12 wooded acres bordering a lovely lake. Home features 2100 square feet, wide rocking chair porches front & back and open floor plan. Formal living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen with breakfast bay, master bedroom with bath en suite. Attached 2-car garage with unfinished bonus room above. Call Courtney Conger $380,000

85.35 acres on Highway 302 is nearly level and planted in loblolly pines, with many mature shade trees. Laced with sand roads, lots of potential for subdivision, commercial use or equestrian pursuits. $2,500 per acre

River Oaks Farm . Custom iron gates welcome visitors to 120

acres on the Edisto River near North, SC. Beautifully maintained traditional home offers 4,560 square feet with oak and tile flooring, custom kitchen, 7 bedrooms including spacious main level master suite. Stocked pond, fenced pastures, lighted riding ring, 8-stall center aisle stable, several barns and groom’s cottage. Randy Wolcott or Courtney Conger $795,000

Call COURTNEY CONGER or RANDY WOLCOTT

Bridle Creek . New Phase II now open at

Bridle Creek! Lots range from 5 acres to 11.77 acres. Community amenities include miles of trails, gallop, stadium jumps, cross-country jump field, and dressage ring. New community green space added at the entrance of Phase II. Call Frank Starcher or Jack Roth $16,000 per acre

CHIME BELL

Chase

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Solstice Meadow Two partly cleared tracts ready for you to have horses at home! Direct access to trail system with miles of dedicated trails, including the 61 acre Freeman preserve, which has a wonderful pond. Call Randy Wolcott and ask about owner financing! Tract 4 is 28.38 acres offered at just $449,000, and Tract 5 is 28.89 wooded acres at $375,000

Hidden Field . Unseen from the entrance, this 21 acre tract offers approximately 12 acres of cleared pasture with the remainder in woods. Riding trails available in equestrian community. Call Courtney Conger NOW JUST $3,900 per acre

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19.67 acres of beautiful gently rolling pasture planted in well established coastal Bermuda grass. Community cross country course, dressage arena, stadium jump arena and miles of riding trails. Call THOMAS BOSSARD ONLY $245,000

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Windsor Pines Fabulous horse property with updated 4-bedroom home, in ground pool with new liner on 25 acres. Cross fenced with sheds, the farm includes 4-stall center aisle barn with tack room and wash stall, regulation dressage arena with GGT footing, sprinklers and mirrors. Call Suzan McHugh $499,000

Hutto Pond Acreage . Planted in loblolly and longleaf pine timber, this 265.97 acre tract offers opportunities for many uses including horses and hunting. Located off Wire Road in Aiken County, with creek, pond and 72 acres planted in 2 year old loblolly pines. Call Courtney Conger or Randy Wolcott $800,000

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Live Oak Farm . Surrounded by horse trails, this 33 acre farm offers a 2 bedroom huntbox with high ceilings and concrete floors. Also under the new metal roof are a finished tack room, 4 large stalls, hay and equipment storage areas and large covered overhang for additional stalls or storage. Three paddocks with water and grass arena. Call Jack Roth $399,000

Fox Trotter Farm Aiken's Equestrian Corridor offers this picturesque 53.99 acre farm with 9 stall barn, 6 large pastures, 6 small paddocks, water to all fields, outdoor wash rack. Center aisle barn has overhangs on both sides, tack room with water heater. Includes shop with electricity, storage shed, 2 small covered sheds. Very clean 3 BR/2 BA mobile home. Call Randy Wolcott $449,000

The Aiken Horse

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Rolling Oaks Farm Nestled among south side horse farms, here’s 33 acres of beautiful established coastal Bermuda grass pastures with several lovely home sites, large equipment shed and hay barn already in place. Ready to build your home for horses! Call Thomas Bossard JUST REDUCED $259,000

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Calvary Training Center . Picture-perfect property with a host of potential uses in Bluffton, SC includes 43+ acres, beautiful lake, Low Country home with 7 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, education center with offices and classrooms, and extensive infrastructure that could handle a 100-unit development. The world class equestrian facility includes 25 stalls, tack rooms, grooms’ lounge and baths, wash stalls, storage and 42,000 square foot covered arena. Call Mike Hosang or Brian Cavanaugh $4,900,000

Old Buckland Barn . Historic training facility in Aiken’s downtown Horse District has spacious 2,787 square foot main residence, combining 2 original cottages with central great room. Cottage is delightfully renovated with wood floors, granite countertops and all appliances. There are 2 converted race barns with 15 expanded stalls total, board fenced paddocks, grooms’ apartment, dressage arena with mirror. Call Courtney Conger $1, 425,000

Whispering Pines . Horse farm has over 41 acres of open fields and

woods including fenced arena, 25 acres of fenced pastures, 10-stall barn with full apartment, tack room and laundry. Custom home is over 4,000 square feet with 2 spacious master suites, gourmet chef’s kitchen, 4 bedrooms total, 4 full bathrooms, 2 family rooms (one on each floor), and oak & tile flooring throughout. Call Jack Roth $869,000

HATCHAWAY

Bridge Farms

The Stables at Cowdray Park . Equestrian facility designed to accommodate multiple disciplines presently includes regulation size polo field with underground sprinkler system, 5/8 mile training track, covered arena and dressage arena both with underground sprinkler systems, jump field, groom's cottages, office club house, riding trails, hot walker and 3 barns totaling 150 stalls. Also available at Cowdray Park: luxury residence with guest cottage (below), and several large building lots. Call Mike Hosang or Jack Roth $1,500,000

This is a stunning lot in one of Aiken's most beautiful equestrian communities! Lot 5 is 14.4 acres, with open grassy hillside, select trees & pine grove. Walk to community Derby/Grand Prix jump field & Olympic-sized dressage arena.

Shellhouse Lake Farm .

Sportsman's retreat and more located less than 10 miles from downtown Aiken! Sparkling 11 acre lake centers approximately 77 acres mostly cleared and grassed with frontage on Shaw's Creek and Highway 302. Brick 2 bedroom, 1 bath country cabin has spacious kitchen/family room, fireplace and porch overlooking lake. Large outdoor grilling & barbeque area. Call Mike Hosang $948,000

Call JACK ROTH $15,000 per acre

Indigo Cottage . Amazing brand new custom home on an acre in New Bridge Polo & Country Club features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, large kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, luxurious main level master suite, fireplace, finished bonus room with bath, with oak & tile flooring throughout. Entertain outdoors with wrap-around porches and deck overlooking polo field. Call Jack Roth $489,000

THREE RUNS

Plantation

Cowdray Park . Custom built 3 bedroom/3 bath

main residence has 2536 square feet of luxury living space with attached 2-bay garage. Separate 1062 square foot guest cottage has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, all on 8.5 acres in Cowdray Park equestrian center. Distinctive details include hardwood and travertine marble flooring, crown molding, coffered ceilings, quality fixtures, gourmet kitchen and gas fireplace. Call Jack Roth or Mike Hosang $625,000

Pony Up Farm . Turnkey horse farm includes 33.55

acres, and is suitable for multiple equestrian uses - polo, hunter, jumper/ western eventing. 10 minutes to Stableview Training Center. 3 BR, 2 BA custom residence featuring high ceilings and an approximately 396 square foot groom's apartment attached to barn. For horses, there are 16 stalls, plenty of grass pastures, run-ins, round pen, equipment shed, laundry, tack, feed rooms. Call Mike Hosang or Brian Cavanaugh $599,000

Three Elm Farm . Find privacy and quality

craftsmanship on 12.7 acres, where board fenced pastures and paddocks surround this elegant 3 bedroom, 3 bath brick residence with hardwood floors, architectural details and high ceilings. Park-like landscaped yard with lovely shade trees, sparkling in ground pool, 6-stall shed row barn and riding arena. Call Mike Hosang $699,000

Herndon Dairy Farm .

Move right in with room for the whole gang and your 6 horses too! Spacious 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home, 6stall BarnMaster barn with large hay/feed/tack room, competition size dressage arena with mirrors, 2-bay garage plus carport, all on over 5 acres with fenced, grassy pastures. Call Jack Roth $268,000

Beautiful 9.68 acre lot in Phase II of Three Runs has established Bermuda grass. Fenced and cross-fenced and ready for your house and barn. The lot borders riding trail and has access to more than 30 miles of groomed trails, jump rings, dressage arenas and cross country fences. Other amenities include club house, pool and fitness center.

Call COURTNEY CONGER

$222,640

Three Runs . Beautiful property in Three Runs Plantation has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on main floor, with bedroom and full bath upstairs. All 5 acres are fenced and gated. Two car garage, includes all appliances including refrigerator, dishwasher, oven etc, washer/ dryer. Quality oak hardwood, ceramic tile or carpet throughout. Call Jack Roth or Frank Starcher $549,000

Cottage at New Bridge Polo .

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Snaffle Bit Farm Custom built 3 bedroom home in Three Runs Plantation equestrian community on over 5 acres, this Southern style timber frame home features exposed posts & beams, cathedral ceilings, heart pine floors, gourmet kitchen, double fireplace, screened porch, mud room and 2-car garage. Call Frank Starcher or Jack Roth $565,000

Amazing custom home on 4 acres in New Bridge Polo & Country Club features 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, expansive deck with wood fireplace/grill. Open floor plan. Great home for entertaining with the best view of the main polo field! Plenty of space for horses. Adjoining 6 acres available. Call Jack Roth $399,999

BLUFFWOOD

East

Large trees abound on these TWO adjoining level lots, approximately 16 acres each, with plenty of road frontage and beautiful home sites. Many horse farms and large estates surround this east side horse country community.

Call RANDY WOLCOTT JUST $3,200 per acre!

Storm Branch Farm . Turn-key equestrian

facility on 10 fenced acres with custom center aisle barn complete with 4 large stalls. 3 turnouts. Large tack room with laundry, hay shed, equipment shed for horse trailer/tractor. Paddocks and fields with established grass, 2 run-ins and riding arena with observation deck. Lovely home has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths, and there is an attached 2-car garage plus detached 3-car garage. Call Mike Hosang or Brian Cavanaugh $380,000

Sanctuary Lodge . Serene, secluded,

and situated on 70 acres with stocked pond & dock, this home features 4 bedrooms (2 down, 2 up), spectacular 2story great room featuring soaring natural timbers, brick fireplace, large kitchen, separate laundry and spacious formal dining room. Screened back porch, covered front porch and upstairs balcony. Call Mike Hosang $375,000

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Morning Glory Farm Custom ranch has an open floor plan featuring a gourmet kitchen, large Florida room, high ceilings and hardwood floors. Master suite is sumptuous with large tiled shower. Center aisle barn is approximately 36x36 with tack room and half bath. Machine shed provides storage and workshop space. Includes nearly 11 fenced and irrigated acres. Call Alex Tyrteos $549,000

KINGS

Ridge

Big Sky Farm . Turnkey horse farm in Cullum Farms! Custom brick

home features quality mill work, wood floors, high ceilings and gourmet kitchen. 2 bedrooms & 2 baths downstairs and 2 bedrooms & 2 baths upstairs with bonus room and half bath over 2-car garage. Rear pool deck is fenced, and there are 3 covered porches. Includes 5 stall Wicks barn, 3 large paddocks and exercise trail. Call Alex Tyrteos $549,000

Gated equestrian community in popular south side location with beautiful rolling views, riding ring and miles of trails for walking or riding. This lovely 5 acre level lot is mostly cleared and overlooks the ponds. Call LEE HEDLUND ~ now offered at just

$70,000

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Posting Trot Farm Beautifully landscaped home in Fox Hollow equestrian community. The 8.57 acres of established grass are fenced & crossfenced. Meticulously maintained 1,164 sq. ft. home has large bedroom, full bath, living room with gas fireplace, hardwood floors. Attached barn has 3 stalls, tack room, laundry, half bath, storage, well, salt water pool. Call Jack Roth $475,000

Courtney Conger Randy Wolcott Lee Hedlund Mike Hosang 803.645.3308 803.507.1142 803.221.6831 803.270.6358 Jack Roth Alex Tyrteos Suzan McHugh Thomas Bossard 803.341.8787 203.249.3071 803.292.8525 803.640.2845

Quail Hollow Farm . Well maintained turnkey

horse farm with updated home featuring 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, fireplace and in ground pool. Center aisle barn has 4 matted stalls, tack room and wash stall, plus round pen and 2 fenced paddocks making this a truly turnkey equestrian facility with extensive amenities. Call Mike Hosang or Brian Cavanaugh $474,000

Frank Starcher 803.270.6623 Brian Cavanaugh 803.624.6072

800.880.0108 . www.CarolinaHorseProperties.com June-July 2017

803.648.8660 The Aiken Horse

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The Aiken Horse

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Flying high at Highfields. Aiken Spring Classic Horse Show


Photography by Gary Knoll


WHY FEED CHIA SEED TO HORSES? CHIA PROVIDES THE SUBSTANCE ESSENTIAL TO CELL LIFE: A BALANCED PROPERTY OF GIVING OUT (NUTRIENTS) AND READILY TAKING UP (DEBRIS)

WHAT ARE CHIA SEEDS? Chia (salvia hispanica) is an ancient Aztec grain that’s an excellent source of essential oils, antioxidants, minerals, protein, soluble fiber & low NSC (non-structural carbohydrate). The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) classifies CHIA SEEDS as a Dietary Supplement. Its nutritional content complies with the FDA’s strict regulations for a “healthy food”. Banks Mill Feeds imports high quality chia seeds from Paraguay. Non-GMO and Pesticide-Free. Chia seeds are easy to top dress on feed, with a mild, nutty flavor. Horses love them!

BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS Boosts the immune system Good for respiratory system Chia’s water-absorbing properties clear intestinal sand to avoid a common cause of colic Enhances fluid & electrolyte balance Stronger, faster growing hooves

BANKS MILL FEEDS

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The Aiken Horse

Helps prevent laminitis & insulin disorders Eases mare cycles & estrus inflammation Calms hot, nervous temperaments Promotes a healthy, glossy coat Maintains supple joints & connective tissue Repairs & maintains cellular walls

Anti-inflammatory Aids in wound healing Supports a healthy heart & blood circulation Contains anti-allergic properties Encourages a strong metabolism Easy to store, keeps up to two years

803-641-0007 | banksmillfeeds@aol.com | www.banksmillfeeds.com

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           

Joanie Joe McCraw, Realtor

Licensed in SC & GA Mobile: 706.306.1183 Office: 803.279.0999 Email: JoanieMcCraw@icloud.com

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The Aiken Horse

View Our AWESOME Virtual Tour: http://www.tourfactory.com/1775690 Search like a Realtor Locally/Nationally, go to KW.com and download My KW APP and Enter “KW8AD7OX”

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Secret Lives of Horses

Winston, a pony of many talents by Ragan Morehouse, photography by Gary Knoll

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eyrdan First Edition, known around the barn as Winston, is a grey Connemara pony who lives at Winsome Stables in Trenton, just outside of Aiken. Winston has filled many roles in his 22 years. He has been a world-class driving pony, a foxhunter, a trick pony, a show hunter and a confidence booster for children and even a few adults. He is better traveled than most of us, has lived in some very impressive places, has won many prestigious ribbons, and has remained quiet, cheerful and willing throughout the many phases of his life. Winston was born and bred at Teyrdan Hall Farms in Clwyd, Wales in 1995. Teyrdan Hall was the former estate of the aristocratic Holland family and is the current home of Geoff and Mary Benfield and their business, Pigging Good Pork, which specializes in the sale of the meat of rare breed pigs. The Benfields also raise rare breed sheep, and, on the equestrian side of things, Mary Benfield’s active breeding program has been instrumental in preserving British Connemara pony bloodlines. Winston’s grandsire, Celtic Truska Prince, is fairly well known in Britain, although not for the usual reasons that studs become famous. For many years, “Mick” was a teaser pony (a stud who readies mares for breeding) for the Dutch Warmblood stallion Marius, at Chilling Place Stud. Marius was the sire of Milton, a horse campaigned by John Whitaker who became one of the most famous show-jumpers of all time. Several Connemara breeders have joked that it might have been Mick, rather than Marius, who actually sired the great Milton. This is highly improbable, but it does make for a good story. Mrs. Benfield broke and trained Winston as a driving pony and then sold him to Sebastian de Ferranti of Cheshire, England. Mr. de Ferranti was a public figure notable for building Henbury Hall, a magnificent country house constructed in the Palladian style. According to Mr. de Ferranti’s obituary in the Telegraph, he was a polo and foxhunting enthusiast in his younger years and “when too old for these pursuits he took up carriage driving,” hence the purchase of young Winston. When Winston was about 6, he came on the radar of Georgina Frith, a three-time world pony driving champion. Ms. Frith was partnering with an American driver, Lisa Stroud, to put together a four-in-hand of Connemaras, and she purchased Winston and brought him back to her farm in Ireland. In 2003, she took him to Austria to compete in the World Driving Championships, as a spare to her pair. After the championships, Lisa Stroud, who has won the US National Driving Championships several times, imported Winston to the United States. At her farm in Pennsylvania, he became a leader of her four-inhand of grey ponies. “He was wonderful to work with,” says Lisa. “He was super cheery and always happy to see you.” Unfortunately, he did not fit in with her team because, according to Ms. Stroud, “he was a much fancier mover.” Winston was then sold to Chip Alleman, an amateur driver who showed him in pleasure driving at prestigious competitions such as Walnut Hill in New York. Within a few years he was sold again, this time to Louise Mellon in Aiken. Louise drove him singly, as a pair, as a unicorn, and in a four-in-hand. He was also ridden under saddle and taught tricks by the Ukrainian circus trainer, Lioubov Tchepiakova. In 2009, Ms. Mellon put Winston up for sale, showcasing his many talents in a video. The video shows him being ridden as well as driving through the dirt roads of Aiken’s historic district and Hitchcock Woods. He also demonstrates some of his tricks: lying down, sitting up, fetching cones, even painting...and getting lots of treats. The Eaves family, also in Aiken, purchased Winston from Louise Mellon for their daughter Kendall, who began riding him under the tutelage of Laura Hall at Ashbrook Equestrian Center near Three Runs Plantation. Over the next few years, Kendall foxhunted him, showed him, and taught him how wonderful it is to be owned by a little girl.

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Kendall outgrew him when she was 15 and had to find him a new little girl. Enter Kailee Holley. “When Kailee first got him in 2016, it was just ‘hold on and go.’ She didn’t know heels down, foot position, or anything. He just took care of her,” explains November Holley, Kailee’s mother and Winston’s biggest fan. “She fell off of him one time. They were going over a jump and for some reason, his front legs buckled. He fell face first and she went down on his neck and that pony lay there until she rolled off of him and was free of him before he tried to get back up. And he has always been like that; if she moved in the saddle or got out of place, he would slow down to a walk. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his whole body. “He’s also so smart. He picks up on things so quickly. If you put a ball in the arena, he will kick it around and play with you; when you walk up to the horse trailer, you just point to it and he is like ‘I got this’; you take him to a show, you don’t have to tie him up, he’ll just stand there. Even though he is older and smarter, he has not gotten cranky. He is always like ‘whatever you want, let’s go do it.’ He will let any child, doesn’t matter if they are 3 years old, he will let them ride on him and they love him. He has a great personality,” November says with a smile. “I don’t think Kailee would still be riding if not for him. He has taught her so much and given her such a confidence boost. She started showing him when she was 7. . . When she goes to a show, she wants to ride in every class. And to be at his age, in his 20s, he could do eight classes at a show and never get sour about it; never get unhappy. He has been a really great pony.” Last year, The Holleys moved Winston from Laura Hall’s barn to Winsome Stables, which was closer to their home. Winsome Stables is an eventing barn, and after Kailee was introduced to cross country she quickly decided that she wanted to event. She took Winston to a pony club eventing rally and got second place. Then she took him out to The Vista to an event. “That’s when we found out it was too much for him,” says November sadly. “Winston doesn’t have the stamina any more to do the three phases of eventing so we had to get her a second pony.” Kailee’s new pony, Batman, was the 2016 Eventing Pony of the Year. “Without Winston, she couldn’t have moved up to a more advanced pony. He built her confidence a lot,” says November. Winston is now retired, living the good life under fans during the day and out to pasture at night. “I think Winston has earned the right to relax. His last show was September of 2016, the Memory Ride Show at Three Runs Plantation. He showed walk-trot-canter, cross-rails through 2’3”. He was in the top three in almost every class he entered. He has done his job; it is time for him to enjoy himself,” explains November. “Right now there is a lady that will take him out and trail him. He will stay here at Winsome as long as that lady wants to ride. When she doesn’t want to ride anymore, he will come home to the farm and hang out with the other horses. He’ll just stay with us; I would worry too much about him. I would not let anything happen to him. I love him. He is a great pony.” Teresa Kemp, the trainer at Winsome Stables, seconds this opinion. “He is very, very smart. He still teaches walk-trot lessons every now and then, but he enjoys trail riding the most; I think his jumping days are over but he loves his kids. His still knows that Kailee is his kid. As soon as he sees her, he comes to the gate and he follows her.” “He would rather be with kids than anyone else; older people ride him and he turns into a donkey,” November says laughingly. “He is really smart!” From a country manor in Wales, to an English estate, Ireland, Austria, and the top driving shows in America; Winston has found his home with the Holleys, where he will live out the rest of his days, receiving as much goodwill and cheer as he has given.

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Riding with Reason Simulator provides insights by Pam Gleason

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f you want to be a better rider and get the most out of your horse, you need to learn to ride in such a way that you help him perform. You must ride him in balance, with a sympathetic seat, and move in synchrony with his gaits. So says Yvonne Brookes, a riding instructor who has recently relocated to Aiken from England along with her husband. Yvonne, who has more that 40 years of experience as a teacher and trainer in dressage, eventing and showjumping, is certified in natural horsemanship by Monty Roberts. She also holds a Level Three accreditation from Heather Moffett’s school of Enlightened Equitation. Heather Moffett is a British trainer who teaches dressage in the French classical style, helping her students to develop a correct and effective seat, aided by the use of a mechanical riding simulator. Moffett has developed her own line of “Equi-simulators” and Yvonne has brought one over from England and set it up on her farm. It is installed in an air-conditioned classroom and is ready to help students of all levels, from beginner through advanced, improve their riding and identify imbalances and bad habits that might be holding them (and their horses) back. The simulator is shaped like the back of a horse and is designed to move under the rider in a way that mimics a horse’s gaits. Although there are motorized simulators, the one that Yvonne uses requires the rider to initiate and maintain movement through subtle actions of their seat and weight. “This is how everyone should start,” says Yvonne, referring to the simulator. “It doesn’t matter to that machine if you lose your balance or kick it in the ribs. If you start out on the simulator you learn a balanced, secure seat to start with. Then when you get on the real thing, you are way ahead. You have confidence and you will learn quickly how to ride with finesse and lightness.” Yvonne says that simulator lessons are invaluable for any rider who wants to improve, and they are especially helpful for riders who feel as though they are not going anywhere with their riding. “The way we move our bodies can either help or hinder a horse, and most often we hinder him,” she says. “A lot of us have physical asymmetries and those translate to the horse. He relies on our balance for his balance, so if we are out of synch or out of balance, he will just do what he can to compensate. Over time, he becomes asymmetrical, too, and if a horse is not straight, he will not be working to his full potential. “The most common thing we hear is ‘my horse is lazy’ or ‘my horse is naughty’,” continues Yvonne. “There is no such thing. It is the horse telling you he is uncomfortable and we have to work out why. Nine times out of 10, it is something we are doing that we are not aware of.” The Equi-simulator is equipped with a special saddle that has a

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soft tree, which Yvonne says designed by Heather Moffett to provide better comfort and freedom of movement for both horse and rider. In a simulator lesson, Yvonne watches and analyses the rider’s position, identifying and helping to correct flaws that might be holding that rider back. There are some common ones: the rider leans behind the vertical at the trot, rather than inclining slightly forward with the horse’s motion; the rider pushes too actively with the seat during the canter.; the rider sits crooked, and so on. Ideally, directly after a simulator lesson, the rider would then get on her own horse to practice what she learned and develop good muscle memory for the correct position and use of the aids. Yvonne’s set-up includes a riding area and a place for a horse to stay while his or her owner is having a lesson on the simulator. It is not necessary to bring a horse along, however. “I had two women come down from Ontario over Easter,” says Yvonne. “They stayed for three days and spent 12 hours on the simulator, and then drove all the way back to Canada to put what they learned in practice on their horses.” In addition to the simulator, the classroom area also includes a bunk room, so people who come from far away can spend the night if they want to. Yvonne says that she came to her methods of teaching and training because she was looking for a kinder way to ride that would be enjoyable for the horse as well as the rider. “I felt like I had hit a wall with my riding,” she says. “I wondered what the key was. I knew conventional training wasn’t for me, because it seemed forced – you had drive the horse forward into a strong contact, and that wasn’t my style. I came across a British-born Monty Roberts trainer and I actually worked with her for about ten years. Then I got involved with Heather Moffett, and I found that her methods opened so many doors and provided so many lightbulb moments.” Today, Yvonne says that most of her teaching is based on her own style, which comes from many decades of experience and things she picked up from different trainers along the way. Heather Moffett and Enlightened Equitation helped clarify certain concepts for her and gave her new ways of teaching and explaining. “Heather’s mechanical way of explaining things is very simple to teach and people find it simple to understand. I think that is the key. You don’t have to have a degree; you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to learn how to ride a horse correctly. You just have to be prepared to do it.” Interested in learning more? Check out www.ridingwithreason.com

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Ask the Judge

Questions about Dressage With Amy McElroy

Amy McElroy is an FEI competitor, and a USEF S judge. She is qualified to officiate at any USEF recognized national show at all dressage levels. She rides, trains and teaches at Fair Lane Farm in Aiken and judges between 15 and 20 dressage shows and events each year. In her popular Ask the Judge column, she answers readers’ questions about dressage. Do you have a question for Amy? Send her an email at McElroyDRM@aol.com, or visit her website: www.amymcelroy.com.

Dear Amy, I was recently at a dressage show where I watched a musical ride with two riders performing together. It looked like fun. Is this a recognized class? Can anyone participate?

Curious Dear Curious,

Yes, a musical pair ride is a recognized dressage test, formally known as a pas de deux. A pas de deux is a program created by two riders to present their horses to their best advantage in an artistic musical context. It is certainly enjoyable to watch, because it is meant to be an audience pleaser. There are no qualifying requirements and anyone can enter this class. It may be offered at all levels from Training to Grand Prix. This class is most similar to a standard musical freestyle ride. As far as the test scoring goes, there is a technical execution side, and an artistic side. The technical side is scored in full or half points (7 or 7.5 for instance.) The artistic side is scored in increments of one tenth of a point – you could get a 7.3 or a 7.6, for instance. Under the technical side, the required movements and the forbidden movements for each level are the same as in the USDF freestyle test for that level. For example, if you did a First Level pas de deux, you would be required to show leg yielding, but you would be forbidden to do flying changes (these are legal at Third Level and above.)

Scoring: the technical side

The technical side has five scoring boxes, each worth a possible 10 points. 1. Required elements: each level has certain movements or transitions that must be included in any freestyle or pas de deux at that level. For instance, in First Level there are seven required elements: free walk and medium walk (20 continuous meters of each); leg yielding at the trot (right and left); 8-10 meter trot circle (right and left); lengthening the stride in the trot; 15-meter circle at the canter (right and left) and a change of lead through the trot (right and left.) The required elements scoring box has a coefficient of three (it counts three times.) 2. Performance as a pair: this score takes into account the spacing of the two horses, their alignment and their synchrony. This scoring box has a coefficient of four. 3. Gaits. This score reflects the rhythm and quality of the gaits of both horses. (There is no coefficient for this scoring box.) 4. Impulsion. The energy, elasticity and engagement of the horses, which should be appropriate for the level at which they are competing. (Again, no coefficient) 5. Submission. The horses’ willingness to respond to their riders’ aids. The scores for each of these boxes will be tallied for your technical score. The technical scores may be adjusted if you omitted any required movements: you will get a one-point deduction for each omitted movement. If you included any forbidden movements, you would get a four-point deduction for each one.

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Scoring: the artistic side

The artistic side has four scoring boxes, each with a maximum of ten possible points. 1. Harmony between horse and rider. The judge will be looking for the fluency of the performance. This scoring box has a coefficient of three. 2. Choreography. The judge will be assessing the cohesiveness, the use of the arena, the creativity, the difficulty and the balance. This scoring box has a coefficient of four. 3. Music. The judge will consider the seamlessness and the suitability of the music to the routine and the horses. This box has a coefficient of two. 4. Interpretation. The judge determines how well the music expresses the gaits, taking into consideration the use of phrasing and dynamics. Your artistic score includes the sum of all the boxes, with a deduction of one point for going overtime. The maximum time for Training through Intermediate I is five minutes. The maximum time for the Grand Prix is six minutes. There is no minimum time. Your final score is a combination of the total technical score and the total artistic score, divided by the maximum points available.

Interesting Facts about the Pas de Deux

1. Any type of music can be used, including vocals. 2. You can use leg wraps (these are strictly forbidden in other types of dressage test.) 3. You are encouraged to use similar equipment: the similarity of the horses’ and riders’ turnout is taken into account in the artistic score. 4. Horses that look alike and have similar movement will naturally present a pleasing and harmonious picture, but it is not mandatory that the horses resemble one another in color, or even in size and shape. 5. You can enter the arena in single file or as a pair. 6. You can compete side by side, as mirror images, in tandem, on opposite sides of the arena or in any combination of these configurations. There is no set requirement for how to present the two horses. 7. Letters of the arena serve as markers only, so movements do not need to be executed at specific letters as long as their placement is clear and logical. 8. Horses are not required to be the same level. The lower level horse determines the maximum level at which you can compete. For instance, you can match your First Level horse with a Fourth Level horse, as long as the test you perform is at the First Level. When creating your test, remember to show your horses to their best advantage, maximizing their strengths. Try to use the entire arena in as imaginative a way as possible, with balance between the left and right directions. Be creative: do not use a standard dressage test as the basis for your routine. Don’t be too creative, however: make sure that your performance is composed of actual dressage movements and that it is clear to the judge what movement you are performing. So find yourself a partner, pick some enjoyable music and start practicing. These tests are becoming more and more popular, especially right here in Aiken. If you are at a show here, be sure to catch Laura Klecker and Sara Odom and their well-matched mounts, who perform the pas de deux at many of our shows. Hope to see you out there!

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Individualized Training Lessons & Sales

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Inside 40 44 48 52 56

Lovely Bones Polo Training Aiken NYTS Aiken Pony Club Aiken in Summer


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10:41 AM


The Lovely Bones

Functional Anatomy with Pamela Eckelbarger by Pam Gleason, Photography by Pam Gleason & Equus-soma

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amela Blades Eckelbarger is keeping her old horse Petey in her garage in Aiken. It is not the whole horse. It is just the skeleton, cleaned, disinfected and polyurethaned. Petey’s leg bones and vertebrae are labeled and laid out in a careful display on a set of tables, arranged around his strangely expressive skull. His ribs are in a plastic tub nearby. There are some pictures of him too, from back in the day when he was a horse of flesh and blood. He was a lovely chestnut with a kind expression, and in his pictures he is jumping on the cross-country course with Pamela aboard. “He loved to jump,” says Pamela. “He always had a smile on his face.”

practices are not a good idea. She started to think that it would be helpful to have her own horse skeleton so that she could take parts of it around with her, to show her clients the anatomical structures where their own horses were having difficulties. “But to buy a skeleton is very expensive,” she says. “It costs $9,000 to $12,000. I learned this, and then I thought ‘I know where there is a skeleton.’ So I went and broke the news to my husband: we are digging Petey up.” Last summer when she was back up in Maine, she called the man who had helped her bury her old horse in the first place (ironically, he was also named Peter), and he returned to the farm with his excavator. Petey was buried deep, and he had been laid out flat in his grave. Peter used the excavator to dig down several feet, and then, as soon as they saw the first hint of horse bones, the excavator was sent away and Pamela climbed into the pit to do the rest of the digging and uncovering by hand. “It was like an archaeological dig,” she says. “It was cool.” She uncovered Petey as carefully as possible, photographing the process along the way. Then she started removing the bones, studying how they went together, and labeling each one before carrying it out. She let the bones dry in the sun and then assembled them for cleaning with hydrogen peroxide. After a decade underground, almost everything that was not bone was gone. That made the task easier for Pamela, both physically and emotionally. Essentially the only organ that was left was the remains of his brain, which had to be removed from his skull. “That part was hard,” says Pamela. “Because I looked at it and I thought, that was Petey. That was my horse.” Last fall, when Pamela and her husband came down to Aiken, she brought Petey with her in a set Petey uncovered: his skeleton was perfectly intact. Photo: www.equus-soma.com of plastic tubs, then unpacked him and arranged Petey, properly Hail to Peter, was bred for the racetrack, but never him in her garage where she was able to study all the bones more made it there because he bowed a tendon when he was two. Seven years carefully. She learned a lot. later, when Pamela, then a marine scientist, wanted to get back into “First, I learned that he had a fused hock,” she says. Horses have a large riding, her family, who owned the horse, sent him to her. She evented joint in their hock, which is what allows their hind leg to bend. Below him for many years, retiring him when he was in his early 20s. When he it, there are three smaller joints that contribute to the leg’s mobility. She was 23, he developed tumors in his lungs and had to be put down. He holds up Petey’s right hind cannon bone, which has two small, flat tarsal was buried on the Eckelbarger’s farm in Maine, and there he lay for ten bones firmly attached to it; the two normally moveable joints between quiet years. them are completely gone. Arthritis in a horse’s hock joints is quite Meanwhile, Pamela had gone through some career changes. First, she common and is a major cause of hind limb lameness. When the arthritis was a professional horse photographer, running a successful business progresses to a point that the bottom joints fuse together, many horses called Hoofpix. Then, she became interested in helping horses whose become sound again. This seems to be what happened to Petey. performance was limited by physical problems, so she started learning Pamela found other places on his skeleton that indicated that he how to do equine bodywork. She soon had a company called Equus might have been in some kind of pain for at least part of his career. Soma, conducting business out of her home base in Aiken during the “There is something called Wolff ’s law that says that wherever a bone colder seasons and from her farm in Maine during the summers. is stressed, more bone will grow in that place to stabilize the area,” she “I took a three-day class in whole horse dissection a few years ago, and says. “That’s something that really fascinated me, finding extra bone on it was amazing,” says Pamela. This experience convinced her that it was his skeleton that shouldn’t have been there.” crucial for people to have a personal acquaintance with equine anatomy. One place she found extra bone was on his vertebral column, where he If they could see what was inside their horses and how the bones and showed symptoms of having “kissing spines” meaning that the top edges the joints fit together, then they would have a far better understanding of the vertebrae on his back touched and rubbed against one another. of how equine movement works. They would also be able to see all Kissing spines are thought to be caused by the weight of the rider the things that can go wrong and why certain training methods and pressing down on the back. He also had extra bone at the vertebra where

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his neck joined his body (T1) and on the right side of his sacroiliac joint, where his vertebral column connected to his pelvis. (Did this have something to do with his fused right hock? Perhaps.) “He didn’t really have symptoms of anything that I recognized, but every once in a while, he would be off. I might not have been sophisticated enough at the time to knowwhat was wrong,” says Pamela. “Doing this is kind of like ‘CSI.’ That’s why I love it.” Aside from these small abnormalities, Petey’s bones are in excellent condition and show no signs of deterioration. They are clean, cool, pleasant to the touch, and completely odor free. Pamela encourages people to pick them up and examine them, to put the joints together and see how smoothly the bones glide back and forth. The bones are of different weights and thicknesses, depending on their function. Petey’s cannon bones are heavy and dense – they feel as strong as steel. His ribs are flat and lightweight, seeming almost birdlike by comparison. You can examine all the bones in his legs and his feet, see his hoofwall – he is even still wearing a shoe. You can pick up the navicular bone, that small, boat-shaped structure that can be the cause of so much lameness. Petey’s is smooth and perfect, with no bone spurs or other abnormalities. “Petey’s new job is teaching,” Pamela says. In addition to taking specific bones and joints around to her bodywork clients to help them visualize structures inside their own horses, Pamela has been inviting interested people to come to her garage to see the entire skeleton. “I’ve had about five groups of people so far,” she says, adding that this summer, when Petey goes back to Maine with her, she is taking him to the local Pony Club there where they will have a ‘bone rally’ to help them learn equine anatomy. Over the winter, Petey was even joined by two more skeletons, an 8-12 year old former polo pony (she is called Jane Doe, because Pamela does not know her name) and a 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly named Winnie, who was put down after suffering multiple problems, including ataxia in her hind legs. Both of these skeletons were given to Pamela here in Aiken, and both have contributed to her understanding of equine anatomy and the way incorrect riding and conditioning might affect a horse’s bones. “This is my prize,” she says, pointing to the skeleton of the 3-yearold. She holds up one of the filly’s vertebrae, which is not solid like the vertebrae of the older horses. Instead, at its end it has a separation that looks almost like a fracture. It is not a fracture: it is a growth plate. “I had always heard about growth plates, but I had never seen them. It was just a phrase to me,” she says. “But to see them like this was a real eye opener. Horses’ growth plates fuse down low in the legs first, so that the foal can get up and run. The last place they fuse is in the vertebral column, and that happens when a horse is 6 to 8 years old. This means those vertebrae have not finished turning into bone; they are still

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partially soft tissue. You have to think about methods of training, how you might take a young horse and put him on the lunge and maybe he acts up a little and you jerk on the rope. That might be enough to cause the growth in his neck to get asymmetrical. Trainers need to be aware of these things with young horses.” Another training issue that Pamela hopes to raise awareness of is the negative consequences of using tight bridles and drop nosebands. She likes to bring Petey’s skull with her when she travels to the different stables where she works. She puts a bridle with a flash noseband on the skull to demonstrate where the straps put pressure on the horse’s head. “There is a very important facial nerve called the trigeminal nerve that comes out of the skull in three places. One is where the flash noseband goes. If you put pressure there, it can cause a lot of pain and make the horse resist.” Pamela and her bones have gone back to Maine for the summer, but when they return in the fall, she is hoping to have more people come to see them for themselves so that they can gain a better understanding of equine anatomy. She is also hoping to collect some more skeletons, although she says they have to fit certain criteria. First and foremost, they must be horses that have been buried for long enough that only their bones will be left, since she would not be equipped to handle them otherwise. “I’d love to have more horses between 3 and 8 years old, to look for growth plates and congenital deformities.” (Although she says she is not a vet and can’t be sure, she may have found a cause for Winnie’s ataxia: an area of extra bone growth on one side of one of her neck vertebrae that may have impinged on her nerves.) “I’d also love to find skeletons of horses that had issues people couldn’t figure out. But I can’t get too many,” she adds with a laugh. “Or my husband will kill me for taking over the garage.” Pamela lifts the top half of Petey’s skull to show how his jaw hinges onto it at the temporal mandibular joint. Turning it over, she points out the chamber where his brain was and the complicated, fluted hollows of his nasal cavity. Then she puts the skull back down on the jaw and pats it affectionately. “People ask me if it is upsetting to me that this was my own horse. It really isn’t – maybe it helps that he was buried for ten years,” she says. Does she feel like he is back with her? That they are partners once again, this time working together to educate people rather than to get the best score at the horse trials? She smiles. “No. Maybe. I do talk to him,” she admits. She looks at the skull and pats it one more time. “Petey, you are such a good boy,” she says. (Learn more or contact Pamela at info@equus-soma.com)

June-July 2017


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Young Players Make a Mark Youth Polo Training in Aiken by Pam Gleason

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iken has held an important position in the polo world for well over a century. Before Florida was developed as a resort, Aiken was a major winter destination for players from the Northeast and Midwest who wanted to keep playing during the colder months. With its sandy soil, quiet atmosphere and plentiful opportunities for competition Aiken quickly developed a reputation as a fantastic place to develop young polo ponies. Aiken’s first famous polo pony trainer,

Fred Post, had as many as 100 young horses at a time working on Aiken’s fields during the 1920s and 1930s. Today, Aiken is still considered an important green horse center, but it is also gaining renown as place for young players to learn the game. Not only does Aiken have a thriving junior polo school run by Tiger Kneece, a former 7-goal player, it also serves as something of a home base for several United States Polo Association initiatives to help bring up the next generation of players. One of these initiatives is Team USPA, a comprehensive training program created by the association in 2010 for aspiring professionals and serious players aged 18-23. Team USPA is not officially based in Aiken, but Aiken is the location of the Team USPA stable where they keep horses donated to the program. In the spring and fall, Team USPA holds training sessions in Aiken, and many team members spend time here in mentoring relationships with some of Aiken’s professionals. “Aiken’s pros have been amazingly supportive,” says Kris Bowman,

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who is the executive director of USPA club development. “They have really gotten behind the program and been generous with their time and with providing mentoring for Team USPA members. They have also been very good to us with horse donations.” Team USPA currently has 15 donated horses in its stable, all of them seasoned ponies who can help a player move up to the next level. Kris explains that all the donated horses are carefully evaluated, and that those that are good horses but might not be suitable for an ambitious young player in outdoor tournaments can be transitioned to

a college program, where they might be ideal. Collegiate programs have arena polo, which is less stressful for horses that might have an old injury, and easier for horses that might be a bit too excitable playing on the grass. “We’ve sent a few to Yale, Culver, Texas Tech, Roger Williams. It depends on need,” says Kris. “We send each horse to the program where it will work out best.” A different, but related initiative that often has activities in Aiken in the USPA’s Young Player Outreach program. Young Player Outreach started out as an informal way to extend the coaching and mentoring benefits of Team USPA to a larger group of young players. Today there are formal clinics, lectures and other opportunities for young people serious about the sport. There have been several Young Player Outreach sessions in Aiken, including one last fall and one this spring. Participants include teenagers who are too young to be considered for Team USPA, as well as other players who may be applying to Team USPA in the future. This spring’s Young Player Outreach session afforded participants the chance to learn from, and play with, some of the best in the business.

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There was formal instruction, lots of riding, and a very competitive round robin tournament at about the 8-10 goal level held at Owen Rinehart’s farm, Isinya. Adam Snow and Owen Rinehart (both former 10-goal players) each captained a team, as did Pelon Escapite (6 goals.) Owen, Adam and Pelon played hard, coaching their young teammates along the way. Meanwhile, members of Team USPA were on hand to act as umpires. Team USPA players are required to become certified umpires, and this game gave them the opportunity to officiate at a game as part of their official certification. When the match was over, the players posed for official team pictures – not so much for the pictures themselves, as for the experience of getting their picture taken, along with some advice on how to present themselves. “You don’t go to the trophy picture carrying a drink, you take your sunglasses

off, you have your shirt tucked in. If you are playing for a sponsor you have their cap on, you look forward and smile. It’s important for them to learn all those things,” says Kris. In addition to these programs, Aiken has also been the location of several National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) qualifying games over the past four years. NYTS was started by the USPA in 2013 to encourage youth participation. It holds qualifier tournaments for young players at several clubs around the country. At the end of each qualifier, judges select a number of All Star players. These players are eligible to represent their region in the national finals, held at a different location each year. The Aiken NYTS qualifier this spring, which took place at New Bridge Polo Club, was the second largest ever, with 28 young players participating at three levels. The lowest level (not officially part of the NYTS series) included some very young players who have just gotten started in Tiger Kneece’s junior program. The middle level showcased the talents of some of Tiger’s more experienced players, while the highest level was composed of accomplished tournament players. In addition to local talent, the tournament also attracted an impressive

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contingent of young players from the Blue Water Creek Polo Club in Alabama. This year’s NYTS National Championship will be held in Santa Barbara over the Labor Day weekend. The young players who are benefitting from these programs in Aiken are also finding themselves in more and more demand to fill out the rosters of local tournaments. This spring, there have been a number of young players who have been very impressive at Aiken, Wagener and New Bridge Polo Clubs. Hope Arellano, 13, participated in the Young Player Outreach and has been an integral part of many winning teams this spring. Connor Deal, a member of Team USPA, has been in high

demand at all the clubs. Malia Bryan, selected as an All Star in the Aiken NYTS tournament, was a big factor in getting her team, El Cedro Azul, to the finals of the Jake Kneece Memorial 4-goal at Aiken Polo Club. (Other members of that team included Connor Deal and Kylie Sheehan, also a member of Team USPA.) According to Kris Bowman, youth polo is up over 300 percent nationwide, thanks in part, to USPA programs designed to help young people get into the sport. In Aiken, young players are certainly getting more visible, especially at Aiken Polo Club, which has held several games for children as well as some family games as part of doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons this spring. Aiken’s reputation as a place to bring along young horses is well established. If current trends continue, it may soon be equally as well known as a place to train young players.

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Aiken NYTS Qualifier, New Bridge Polo Club


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Aiken County Pony Club An Overview

by Ragan Morehouse

What is Pony Club?

The Aiken County Pony Club (ACPC) is a local chapter of the United States Pony Club (USPC). The USPC has over 600 clubs throughout the country along with over 10,000 members. Pony Club itself is active in 27 countries with more than 125,000 participants worldwide, making it the world’s largest equestrian organization for junior riders. Pony clubs are non-profits dedicated to “developing character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports.” (From the website, www.ponyclub.org).

same geographical region. “Rallies are our big thing,” explains Kim Weinholt, the district commissioner of the ACPC. “They are the equivalent of a show; we get points and ribbons. They are like a regular show plus horse management. The riders are graded very heavily on how they are managing and taking care of their horses during the rally. We always say, ‘It is more than a ribbon, it is about the relationship that you have with your horse.’ Pony Club stresses taking care of your horse first. The responsibility really equips the kids for life, not just for Pony Club. “Rallies are easy to understand,” continues Kim. “But ratings are different. They would be something that I would compare to titles you can earn as a Girl or Boy Scout. Kids come into the club as a D1 and they go through D2, D3 on up, until they get to be an A candidate. We are really training them to run facilities and become professionals. When you look at the people in Aiken who are successful professionals and look at their resumes, they were in Pony Club. That’s how they started. It’s where it all begins.”

The Aiken Chapter

ACPC members audit clinics and volunteer at local facilities “What I love about pony club is that these are not kids who hand the horses to a groom when they exit the ring,” says Emile Labuschagne, the father of two pony clubbers. “They know how to pick a hoof; they know how much their horse eats; they are actually training to become horsemen, not just riders.” Many professional equestrians got their start in pony club. Doug Payne, a four-star level event rider based in Aiken, recently welcomed the ACPC to tour his facility and meet his horses. “My sister and I were both active in pony club,” reports Doug. “It was a great start.” All new members enter pony club at the ‘D’ level. As pony clubbers’ knowledge and riding skills progress, they receive more advanced certifications known as ratings. Ratings are assessed at rallies, which are team competitions typically held amongst the different clubs in the

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The ACPC has been in existence for close to 30 years. It was created by Joannah Glass, the owner and founder of Sporting Days Farm in Aiken, and herself a B rated Pony Clubber. Joannah was the first district commissioner and several people in Aiken have headed up the club since then. Lane Mitchell was the DC starting in 2012, and he passed the torch to Kim Weinholt in January. “This year, we started running the club a little differently in that we decided there was so much to do that we needed a board to run the business side of things,” continues Kim. “I am the DC, Lane Mitchell and Rebecca Gutierrez are Joint DCs, Tracey Smith is the secretary, and Doug Davisson is the treasurer.” To help plan and organize events, the ACPC put together another board; this one is made up of local professionals. Jessica Miller, an A pony club graduate, has been instrumental in forming a new advisory board. “This is a separate board from the board which oversees the day-to-day business of the ACPC,” explains Kim. “There are between 20 and 30 professionals on the board who represent a wide range of equestrian sport. We have met once so far and they advised us on how to attract more members, how to use their facilities better, which professional to go to if we have a rally to prepare for. Many of them are willing to host us at no charge, or very little charge. For example, Sporting Days and The Vista have been overwhelmingly supportive. “One of our main goals this year is to reach out into the community of Aiken - you would think Pony Club would be extremely easy to build here in Aiken but it is actually not as easy as one would think. We find ourselves in huge competition with an inundation of horse activities. Children are already busy with polo or showing, to the extent that they don’t really know much about Pony Club. Our number one goal this year is to establish relationships with horse-people in the community.” In keeping with this goal, the ACPC is involved in a wide variety of activities. “We ride with lots of local professionals,” says Kim. “We participated in a clinic with Valerie Swygert and had mounted meetings with Ray Wheeler, Kylie Cahoon, Richard Lamb, and Gonzalo Garcia, to name a few. We ride with the Aiken Hounds and we compete in the Aiken Horse Show in the Woods. Jessica Miller helped us pull together a quadrille team which performed at the

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Memory Ride in September. We have a booth at the Fall Steeplechase. Caroline Mustay, the Rescue Manager at the Equine Rescue, came and did a clinic on horse massage. We went to the Aiken Tack Exchange. They opened up the store to us and Ariel Ostrov spent time telling us about all the equipment. We also volunteer in the community. We have been the jump crew at shows. We even went to the rodeo together in Edgefield. We are way more than a riding club, more than just an eventing group, we are the whole kit and caboodle.” By forming ties with local horse professionals, the ACPC hopes to build enough momentum and community involvement to host rallies in the Aiken area. “It is always a challenge getting to rallies because they are three to four hours away,” says Kim. “The ACPC is a member of the Carolina Region, which includes both North and South Carolina. But here in Aiken, being so close to Georgia, we sometimes find ourselves competing in several regions. For games, for example, we could go to the Georgia region. We might go to the Virginia region for games as well. Unfortunately, almost all the rallies we attend are a distance away. It would be great to host some rallies more locally.” Despite the need to travel, there are many benefits to belonging to a smaller club. “One of the things we have found in having a small club in a small town like this is that you get to do a lot more than you would in a huge club. In a big metropolitan area, you might not get to do all of the rallies. At Doug Payne's stable this spring We went to the eventing rally last weekend and it was so much fun because we were with our family. We rented a house together and it was different than going with a big club where you don’t know the people quite as much. With this club, we all know each other and we all help each other. We had a ball!” In addition to rallies and events, club members come together once

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a month for an unmounted and a mounted meeting. “We do them at one shot,” says Kim. “For example, if we are meeting at The Vista, we meet for the whole day. We bring in a local professional and they run the lesson for us, often at a very discounted price. We get huge exposure to these professionals for very little. Our most successful event was with Melissa and Darryl Vaughn at Stable on the Woods. I really can’t thank them enough. They hosted a two day clinic with Caitlin Silliman, a four star eventer. We focused on dressage and stadium at Stable on the Woods and then scooted over to The Vista for the eventing side. It was a wonderful experience.” Using input from the advisory board and reviewing the successes of the past years, the ACPC recently put together their new five-year plan. “Our number one mission is to increase membership by showing the value in pony club. We also want to elevate our club’s reputation in the community,” says Kim. “We need to get our name out there and tell people what we are doing. We also want to recruit voting and nonvoting sponsors. People can sponsor the club; they can give donations to the club. We now have a Paypal account and you can go right to our page and donate.” In an attempt to increase membership, the ACPC is opening up some of their events to the public. “We have an eventing camp June 10-11 at The Vista. At the end of July, we will have a mock-rating camp. It will be a great opportunity because not everyone gets to go to a rally. We will teach kids how to do rallies and what ratings are all about.” One other benefit of Pony Club is that it exposes young riders to so many different aspects of the horse world, especially here in Aiken where there is such a diversity of equestrian sport. “If you want to go up in the organization then you need to learn more than one discipline, you need to be good at all of it,” says Kim. “It is more than just riding around on your horse. You need to know how to take care of your horse for the long term; you need to know how expensive it is, what’s involved in taking care of the horse. For the D3 rating they have a three month log where every day they have to log what they have done with their pony: how they conditioned it, what they fed it, what vet care, what dental. So these kids, by the time they are at the D3 level, they are 10, 11, 12, 13 years old and they can tell you what’s involved - how often their farrier comes, what’s involved in floating the teeth. They don’t have to become horse professionals but many of them do and they have fun in the meantime and that’s our whole goal. And in addition to the indepth horse knowledge that you get, you do make friends for life.” For more information on the USPC, please visit their website at www. ponyclub.org. To connect with the ACPC, visit their Facebook page at www. facebook.com/aikencountyponyclub.uspc/ or give Kim Weinholt, the district commissioner, a call at 240-431-0334.

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Aiken In Summer How to Beat the Heat by Ragan Morehouse

ompared to the other seasons, summer in Aiken is a much slowerC paced time of year. The snowbirds have definitely flown the coop, seasonal equestrians have retreated to cooler climes, and event calendars are a bit bare. For those of us horse-folk who are unable to flee the heat and humidity of summer in the South, a bit of strategy is required to keep ourselves and our horses cool and entertained.

How to Beat the Heat

There are a number of fairly obvious things to do once the heat hits. Number one is to make sure your horse has access to clean, cool water at all times. To encourage horses to drink more, make sure salt blocks are accessible both in their stall and in the pasture. If you notice that your pony just isn’t drinking enough, misting his hay with salt water

What to do in Aiken during the summer

Summer is a great time to trail ride under a leafy canopy. Take advantage of Aiken’s best equestrian resource, The Hitchcock Woods. It is almost always several degrees cooler in the Woods than anywhere else in Aiken. Visit www.HitchcockWoods.org for maps and guidelines. For the competitive diehards out there, there are a number of farms that are hosting summer events. Full Gallop Farm will put on combined training shows and horse trials throughout June, July, and August. Highfields will offer a Progressive Show Jumping series hunter-jumper show each summer month. Lellie Ward, at Paradise Farm, will teach “Ride Better” clinics in June and August. Stable View will host several dressage shows and a horse trial during the summer. If competing under the hot sun doesn’t sound appealing, Jumper Nights at Stable View Farm will continue on the first Wednesday of every month. Held in the late afternoon and evening in a covered arena that is normally noticeably cooler than the outside air, Jumper Nights seem to be the most sensible way to deal with the 90-plus degree temperatures if you simply must go to a horse show.

Easy Escapes

The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) also hosts evening jumper shows, although most of us will have to spectate rather than enter. Just a couple of hours away from Aiken in Mill Spring, North Carolina, world-class jumpers will vie for big money ($100,000+) several Saturday evenings during the summer months. If jumpers aren’t your thing, Gladiator Polo will make its debut at TIEC on the evening of June 24th. According to Gladiatorpolo.com, “Gladiator Polo™ is a professional arena polo league that combines the world’s best polo players with modified rules that keep the play fast.” Live music, an Argentine Asado, kids activities and Gladiator Games will amplify the energy. A bit less exciting, perhaps,and a lot more old-world, the 94th Annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show in Blowing

can increase his thirst, and prompt him to drink more. Horses who are in work, who do not drink enough, or who sweat a lot may require an electrolyte supplement. You can add electrolytes to your horse’s diet by dissolving them in your horse’s bucket or trough, or by adding them to their feed. Some horses are picky drinkers so if you do decide to put electrolytes in the water, make sure they have a plain water source as well. Another obvious way to deal with the heat is to turn our horses out when it is coolest. Many Aiken horsemen keep their horses stalled under fans during the day and kick them out to pasture at night during the hotter months. If your horses have to be out during the day, be sure they have some sort of shade in their turn-out. Applying zinc oxide or a water-repellant sunscreen to the noses of grey or light-skinned horses will prevent them from getting a painful sunburn. When your horses are stalled, use fans, both for ventilation and for temperature regulation. Clipping horses who do not shed out well or who normally have a thick coat can also help keep them cool. For those who feel the need to ride when temperatures soar, ride in the cool of the early morning or evening. If you must ride during the heat of the day, keep your sessions short and don’t overdo it; better to ride twice a day than risk heat stroke. Recognizing the signs of heat stroke in a horse is critical. If your horse’s respiration is faster than 40-50 breaths per minute, his heart rate is faster than 80 beats per minute, and/or his temperature is greater than 103 degrees, do what you can to cool him off as quickly as possible. Give him an alcohol and cool water sponge bath, scrape him off, put him in the shade with a fan, and provide lots of cool, clean water for him to drink. Other signs of heat stroke include a lack of appetite, listlessness, stumbling, and, most worrying, collapse. Older horses and horses in poor health are most susceptible to heat stroke.

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The Aiken Horse

Rock, NC, is an excellent excuse to escape to the mountains for a long weekend. The Saddlebred Show will be held June 8-11 and the Hunter Jumper Show July 25-30 and August 1-6. Twenty-five miles of trails in the Moses Cone Memorial Park surround the Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve if trailing out is preferable to being judged. Although the mountains are lovely, summertime means the beach. Sadly, most of the horse-friendly beaches are only open to equestrians during the winter. However, Seabrook Island in Charleston County allows horses and riders to frolic in the ocean foam year-round. You are welcome to stable overnight at the Seabrook Equestrian Center, ride down the beach-grass lined path to the shore, and make your own Black Stallion movie moments. Just don’t ride on the dunes. (www. discoverseabrook.com)

June-July 2017


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Foals of 2017 Jose Alejos Mustang Makeover Aiken Charity Horse Show Calendar Directory Classifieds Index


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June-July 2017


Breeding in Aiken The Foals of 2017

Stories & Photography by Pam Gleason

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iken has long had a reputation as a place to train young horses. It has not, however, always been considered a great place for horse breeding. Until fairly recently, most of the horses training in Aiken were actually bred somewhere else. Ask an American horseman where the best place is for breeding, and the first response will probably be Kentucky. Virginia and Maryland may not be far behind. There are many people who will tout the advantages of upstate New York, Pennsylvania, various parts of Colorado, Texas and even Florida. Aiken is unlikely to make the top-ten list. That is changing, however, driven by the recent influx of year round horsemen. In earlier times, Aiken’s equestrian world tended to be seasonal. Horsemen from colder parts of the country came down for the winter, bringing their horses with them to train in the mild climate. When spring came, they returned home, taking their horses with them. If they had a breeding program, they would arrive back North just in time to see their broodmares foal out at home. They would spend the summer watching their foals cavorting on rich summer pastures. It is little wonder that these horsemen did not consider breeding in Aiken. If they did, they would not have been around to see their babies grow up. Now that so many horsemen have moved to Aiken permanently, breeding here is getting a second look and a new life. Aiken has an immense diversity of equestrian disciplines, and the foals born in the area represent that diversity well. There are polo ponies and racehorses, European warmbloods and Spanish horses, Saddlebreds and Arabians, Quarter horses and show ponies. Some of the breeders here have well-established commercial operations, while others breed a few mares a year. Still others are amateur horse owners, breeding their favorite mare for the simple pleasure of seeing her legacy carried on to the next generation. Many of the people who breed horses in Aiken acknowledge that it has some drawbacks. The main problem people note is the quality of the summer grass, which is generally not considered to be as good as it is in Kentucky or Virginia. Kentucky in particular is famous for its lush bluegrass pastures as well as for soil that is rich in limestone, which is said to help young horses develop sturdy bones. Pasture grass in Aiken tends to be Bermuda or Bahia, which can have excellent nutritional value, but tends to be at least somewhat mineral poor, reflecting the quality of our soil. As a result, many mares and foals in Aiken will require hay, grain and supplements throughout the year, even if they are on pasture all the time. “A lot of people get hung up on the grass,” says Del Walton, who breeds polo ponies at Walton Farm in Blackville outside of Aiken. “And yeah, I can see that. Maybe the grass isn’t as rich as it is in Kentucky or Virginia, and maybe you are going to have to feed more hay. But the grass is just one plus. I think if you add up all the plusses and minuses, Aiken is better. If you take care of your pastures here you can get the grass pretty rich. And it doesn’t get so cold here in the winter and you can plant winter grass and have your horses on fresh grass all year. In

Kentucky and Virginia, it snows and you’re going to have to feed hay in the winter anyway. So the way I see it, the only benefit you have somewhere like Virginia is in the summers. The rest of the year, you’re somewhere where the land costs more, and the expense of living is more, the taxes are higher and you are far away from Florida, which is where the market is.” Another relatively new benefit to breeding in Aiken is that the local veterinary community provides an exceptional depth of talent and expertise when it comes to equine reproduction. Nearly all the latest breeding technologies are now available in Aiken, including such things as embryo transfer, which has become almost commonplace. (This is the practice of breeding a valuable mare and then flushing out her embryo to transfer into the uterus of a designated “recipient” broodmare.) Those who stand stallions at stud can do cooled or frozen semen and even ship it internationally. Embryos can be frozen to be stored for another year, or shipped across the country. Other advanced treatments for equine infertility that are available locally include ICSI (Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection), which involves removing an egg from a mare, fertilizing it, and then implanting it into (usually) another mare who will carry the foal to term. ICSI has been used to treat human infertility for a long time, and has now made its way into the equine reproduction field. Another relatively new technology that is available right here in Aiken is genetic testing of embryos, which is often done in conjunction with embryo transfer. “We can test embryos for genetic diseases, and remove embryos that are carrying these diseases from the gene pool,” says Dr. Sabrina Jacobs, the owner of Performance Equine Vets in Windsor. “We can test for the sex and the color, too. This allows breeders to plan their foal crop. For instance, say they are hoping to have a colt this year; through genetic testing, we can be sure that the embryo we are implanting is a colt. We might save an embryo that is a filly for another year. It means that we won’t be creating any unwanted foals.” Considering all that Aiken has to offer, it is no wonder that breeding is becoming more common here. With so many foals being born and raised in Aiken’s stables and pastures, we thought it might be interesting to go out and meet a few of the ones born here this year, take their pictures and learn something about their stories, which is what we have done. In the following feature, we will introduce you to four foals of 2017. They are horses and ponies of four different breeds and they will be headed in very different directions in the coming months and years. Our plan is to follow up with these foals once or twice a year to trace their progress and see how each one develops. We have no idea where this project will lead us, or if it will even work out at all. In this way, it is a little like horse breeding itself. According to the old adage, you breed the best to the best and hope for the best. We certainly hope for the best for these four foals, and for the breeders who will be investing so much time, energy and passion into their care and training.

Left: Underwood, a polo pony filly at Walton Farm. Above: Winston, a sport pony colt at Orchard Hill Farm

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Underwood Polo Pony Filly

Owned by Walton Farm Polo Morning Star out of Machitos Mimicha

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nderwood, born at Walton Farm on April 23 to a surrogate mother, is polo pony royalty. Her sire, Morning Star, was an American horse, bred and played by Joel Baker, a high goal professional in California. Aside from being a talented polo pony in his own right, Morning Star has earned a stellar reputation as a producer of polo ponies, especially after Adolfo Cambiaso rode his son, Chocolate, in the Argentine Open in 2013. Chocolate was named Best Playing Pony in the Open that year, an incredible accomplishment for an American bred horse. He went on to BPP awards in the 2015 Tortugas Open and, back in the U.S., in the 2017 USPA Gold Cup. Today, Morning Star stands at stud at Walton Farm in Blackville, just outside of Aiken, where Underwood was foaled. Underwood’s genetic dam, Machitos Mimicha, comes from the famous Los Machitos breeding program in Argentina. A daughter of Durazno and granddaughter of the renowned Pucará (sire of more than 50 top horses in the Argentine Open) she had a career as a high goal pony played by a sponsor before her retirement to the breeding shed. Embryo transplant technology has enabled her to have a number of foals over the past few years, including two this spring. Although she has not met her genetic offspring, she, too, lives at Walton Farm.

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Underwood and her surrogate dam are spending their summer turned out in a big group with the other mares and foals at Walton Farm where they can graze and play and sleep to their hearts’ content. “What I like about polo ponies is that you keep them natural,” says Tessa Walton, who owns and runs the farm with her husband Del Walton, a professional polo player. “I think they are better for it. They can live like a horse; there’s no real pressure on them when they are babies. If this filly gets a scrape because she’s playing with her pasture mates, that’s fine with us. We’re free range parents here.” At about five weeks old, Underwood has a curious and self-assertive personality, although she is still something of a “mama’s girl.” Befitting her pedigree, she loves to run, and she is already fast and agile, the way a polo pony should be. It will be several years before she is put under saddle and starts to learn the game, so for now her job is to eat, play, grow and become the healthiest, strongest horse she can be. Will she become part of Del’s string, or go on to play under someone else? That hasn’t been decided yet. “We hope she is successful in her polo career, whether she plays for a sponsor or for a pro,” says Tessa. “That’s really our goal; to see her be successful.”

June-July 2017


Southern Storm Warmblood Filly

Owned by Antea Kubicek C. Quito out of Alight

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outhern Storm, owned by Antea Kubicek, is the first of her family’s horses to be born in Aiken. Antea moved to Aiken last June from Oregon, joining her mother Julia Kubicek who had relocated a few months earlier. They brought a number of horses with them, including Tess (officially “Alight”), a Dutch Warmblood mare who had been bred to C. Quito, an imported Belgian warmblood stallion. Storm, the filly Tess was carrying, was born at the Kubicek’s home in Aiken on March 27, 2017. Today, she lives nearby at Breeze Hill Plantation, where she shares spacious grassy fields with her mother and her older full sister, Winifred. Julia Kubicek, a hunter trainer, has been breeding for many years, and Storm’s dam Tess was born in her program. “She was the nicest horse that I bred in terms of her movement and how athletic she was, but she had a hoof injury when she was a foal, so she ended up a broodmare instead of a show horse,” Julia explains. Storm is Tess’s third foal. The first, Echo, is 6, while Winifred is a yearling. All three foals are by C. Quito, who lives in the Western Rockies and shows in hunter derbies, high performance and amateur hunters. Julia has another 6-year-old named Hero who was also sired by C. Quito. When he was a 2-year-old, Hero won the West Coast Hunter Futurity Championship and the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF Hunter Breeding Championship. “We chose C. Quito as a sire because he has scope and such a wonderful attitude,” says Julia. “He’s the kind of horse that will jump

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for an amateur or a professional, and that’s what you want.” “I like his mind,” adds Antea. “I like that he is freakishly talented, but also amateur friendly.” In the short term, Antea is planning to spend the next few months allowing her filly to play and grow while also teaching her barn manners and exposing her to all the sights and sounds she will encounter as a show horse. Storm will be weaned at about 4 months old since Tess doesn’t like to nurse her babies much longer than that. Antea hopes to show her on the line as a yearling, and looks forward to developing her as an International Hunter Derby horse. The Kubicek’s training program is slow and steady, taking into account the fact that Warmbloods mature slowly; their 6 year olds are just hacking out now, hopping over a few logs in the woods, rather that training strenuously and showing. “They aren’t Thoroughbreds,” says Julia. “And we want them to end up with good legs.” In their pasture, Storm and her sister are playful, inquisitive and friendly. “Storm is definitely smarter than her brother and sister,” says Antea. “She learns things much faster. She already knows how to pick up all her hooves. I can clip her whiskers, and she loves to be bathed and groomed. Once she understands what I want her to do, she does it. She’s also very funny and likes to play games. I have high hopes for her. I have high hopes for all of them to be nice horses.”

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Scorz

Quarter Horse Gelding

Owned by Ina Ginsberg My Intention out of Pick Me a Winner

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corz, known in the stable as Benji, is the oldest of the foals in this group. Born on January 7, by early June he was already gelded, weaned and ready to go to school. It’s a good thing, too, because, compared to the other babies, he is on an accelerated career path. Bred to be a competition halter horse, he will be learning his job over the summer, and will be in the show ring by the fall. Scorz was born at Pait Show Horses in Aiken, and is conditioned by the 11-time World Champion trainer Jeffrey Pait. He was bred by Gerri Leigh Pratt, a renowned owner and competitor who has horses with Jeffrey. When Scorz was a few months old, Gerri Leigh sold him to Ina Ginsberg, another one of Jeffrey’s clients who recently relocated to Aiken from New Mexico. Last year, Ina bought a mare from Gerri Leigh (Secretz Galore) and has had a successful season showing in the aged mare divisions. This spring, Ina was interested in finding a young gelding to show in addition. “I was out looking, and I just couldn’t find anything I really liked,” says Jeffrey. “But I did like him, and he fit right in for what Ina needed. Gerri Leigh and Ina are good friends and I don’t think she would have sold him to anyone else.

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“We’ll be working with him all summer to get him fit up,” Jeffrey continues. “We’ll teach him how to stand up and show and then in September, he’ll go to Iowa for the Breeders Halter Futurity in Des Moines. After that, he’ll go to Ohio for the Quarter Horse Congress in October, and then we’ll see about the World Championships.” Jeffrey will be showing him in the professional divisions, while Ina will be presenting him in the non-pro. Getting a Quarter Horse weanling ready for the show ring is extremely challenging. For one thing, horses in their first year of life tend to go through many awkward stages; for another the weanling’s exercise and feeding program must be carefully tailored to ensure correct bone and muscle growth, setting the horse up for a sound and healthy future. But according to Jeffrey, Benji (he is named after Ina’s grandson) shows a lot of promise. He has a strong build with balanced conformation, a pretty head and a glowing coat. Crucially, he has that little spark, that element of self-regard that says “Look at me,”and attracts the judge’s eye. “He’s pretty proud of himself,” says Jeffrey, with a little laugh as the young gelding canters around in the paddock. He and Ina seem like they are pretty proud of him, too.

June-July 2017


Winston

Sport Pony Colt

Owned by Orchard Hill Ponies Orchard Hills Dragonflyy out of Khemchallis Pearl

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inston was born on May 5 at Orchard Hill Farm in Aiken. Out of an Arabian mare who had a career as a hunter pony, his father was Orchard Hills Dragonflyy (Wesley), a Welsh-Thoroughbred cross with amazing conformation and potential. As a yearling and a 2-yearold, Wesley won multiple blue ribbons, championships and best young pony awards, starting in Aiken and going on to the most prestigious shows in the country. At 2, he went to Devon where he won all three of his classes and was named the Grand Champion. A month later, he repeated his success at Warrenton, again earning three blues and the grand championship ribbon. Sadly, Wesley only bred a few mares before he came down with a rare illness that killed him last year at the age of just 5. Winston (this is just his barn name: he doesn’t have a registered name yet) is his last foal. Sara McCormick and her husband Jon Hickey, the owners of Orchard Hill Farm, have high hopes for the colt, who has a certain star quality – at just 6 weeks, he loves to pose for the camera and be admired. “I am not sure what I will do with him,” says Sara. “Will we sell him? Sentimentally, no. But will he be a stallion? I can’t look at him as a weanling and say ‘this is a stallion prospect.’ I can look and say ‘we’ve got potential.’ Then I can look again when he is a yearling, and if he still has potential, we can wait it out and see what he turns into. Right now, he is

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really correct. They also have to have that will to win, and he has that, he wants to be looked at. We’ll see.” Orchard Hills has an active breeding program, foaling out some 1520 babies each spring. They also stand six pony stallions at stud, collect semen and ship it out across the country; they are so busy that during the season they generally ship semen every day. Their breeding program centers on pony hunters and sport ponies, but they also breed their pony studs to some large European warmblood mares to produce smaller warmbloods with the soundness, hardiness and sensible attitudes of a good pony. This summer, Winston will be spending his days resting in the stall with his dam or cavorting in the paddocks and fields with the other Orchard Hills babies. If he does have a career showing on the line, it will start next year, when he is a yearling. If he is like his sire, it won’t take much to get him to be a show horse. “His father was a freak,” says Sara. “You didn’t have to stand him up in the show ring because he did it himself. Even when he was out in the field, he was posing. People would send me pictures that they took with their cell phones when they were driving by, and he’d be out there, trying to get you to look at him.”

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Jose Alejos

Horse Trainer Extraordinaire

by Lauren Allen, Photos by Emilia Alejos

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ose Alejos has made an international career starting young horses. Every sport horse, regardless of age, personality, athleticism, and eventual specialization, starts at the same place: that place where his young life changes from what was a single-minded pursuit of grazing, resting, and reacting to the world, to the seismic shift, where the horse must learn to curb his own reactions and submit to control from a foreign body above. In the beginning a young horse must be taught not only to carry a rider but also to accept the rider’s cues and his authority to command. It’s not (usually) so hard to strap a saddle on a green horse, but how exactly do you teach a young horse to understand a rider’s leg and hand? How long does it take to teach him to cooperate without tension or resistance? Some experts would say it takes years. For Jose Alejos it usually takes about 10 days. Alejos has worked for acclaimed grand prix show jumpers and dressage riders, 10-goal polo players, even with the King of Saudi Arabia’s endurance horses. He recently stopped for 10 days near Athens, Georgia to start a set of young horses (and to work with a few complicated older individuals) at Maggie’s Menagerie, a Holsteiner breeding farm. His results were astounding. Without resorting to preliminaries such as exhaustive lungeing or prolonged round pen work, Alejos introduced himself to each unstarted and otherwise totally uninitiated horse by spinning him around inside the round pen once or twice on a long rope, allowing him to sniff the saddle, and then matterof-factly putting it on, cinching it up and spinning him around again. The horses acclimated quickly to the saddle and then the bridle, and within minutes, Alejos was climbing up to begin installing the cues that will be forever imprinted on their minds and bodies. It is immediately apparent that one of Alejos’s gifts is his relaxed fearlessness. A fearful rider is tense, and tension only magnifies the horse’s own fears. A fearful rider is over-controlling, afraid to give the horse the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. “I need the horses to make mistakes,” says Alejos, “that is how I can help them.” His goal, he says is not to desensitize, “I want the reaction; I want sensitivity, not dullness!” It is also rapidly obvious that another of Alejos’s strengths is his ability to ride out a buck. His past experience as a professional bull rider gives Alejos the confidence, balance, and timing to stay on when a horse attempts to unseat him, and to remain in charge rather than to become reactive. Horses quickly give up on bucking and rearing. They just, as Alejos says with a wide smile, “learn that bucking is a lot of work!” Most of the young horses barely attempt much in the way of debate with their new trainer; it is those horses who have won arguments in the past that are the tougher nuts to crack. One mare in this clinic has been restarted several times by different trainers because of her tendency to fight. And when Alejos works with her, she bucks with vehemence, getting so carried away that at one point that she runs into the wall of the round pen. Alejos points out to the observers that when horses are getting into trouble he always straightens their neck so they can find their balance. The riders in attendance just shake their heads in admiration. Most would have fallen off, and for those with the grit to stick out a long series of bucks, even fewer would be able to stay ahead of the action enough to think about helping the horse to stay balanced. But balance is clearly something that Alejos uses to help or to disable his ride’s reactions. Along with his past at the rodeo, Alejos also has a background in extreme sports – BMX and trail biking – as well as an expertise in Judo (a martial art emphasizing defense using leverage and technique in turning opponents’ force against them.) This certainly augments his super-fast reflexes. As he approaches each new horse, Alejos immediately and accurately

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sizes up the horse’s individual personality, saying things like “I like this one. He’s very cocky, like, I got this, but he’s also scared!” Or “This one thinks very fast, he wants to go a million miles an hour.” He compliments every single horse, in a way that pleases each of the owners but also feels very genuine. He frequently points out that horses are smarter than many people give them credit for.. As soon as he has made his point during a training session he moves on. “Horses don’t learn through repetition,” he says. “They build muscle through repetition but they don’t need to do things over and over to understand an exercise.” Appreciating each horse, and embracing his individuality is another attribute that makes Alejos an exceptionally good young horse trainer. Alejos credits some of his skills to heredity. “I come from ten generations of horsemen,” he says proudly, tracing his ancestry back to Spanish conquistador horsemen who settled in Guatemala. His whole family rides, and his children are also skilled participants in his young horse training business.

Training horse trainers is just as important to Alejos as training young horses. When asked what qualities a trainer of young horses needs, Alejos has a long list. “Guts,” he says, “The fear is always there but you have to control it. Fear is good – it keeps you sharp – but you have to control it with your mind.” Toughness is important, he says, as is timing. “You need to be very sharp - aggressive and soft at the same time.” Respect is vital. “Cautious doesn’t mean you’re afraid, it means you’re experienced.” Humility, rhythm, technique, and the ability to say no to unreasonable people are all crucial components. Just when the list seems impossibly long, Alejos crinkles his eyes, “You don’t have to have all of these skills before you start working with colts.” Most important, he states, a young horse trainer needs to be passionate about working with horses.

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Extreme Mustang Makeover

Nicola Bolt and Coraline are Reserve Champions by Ragan Morehouse

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hen it comes to training horses, 126 days is not much time. But that is how long the Aiken-based horse trainer Nicola Bolt had to take an untamed and unbroken mustang fresh from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) holding pens and turn her into a quiet and tractable riding horse for this year’s Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) contest. Nicola met her competition horse, Coraline, on January 14, 2017, in Unadilla, Ga. She rode in the final competition in Jacksonsville, Fla. on May 20. Although this was Nicola’s first time to compete in the EMM, she led the competition through the first three phases until the final, and most anticipated, event of the evening, the freestyle. Unfortunately, her lead was not enough to stave off Marsha Sapp, a repeat winner. Just three and a half points shy of the championship, Nicola received the reserve championship ribbon, a belt buckle, a new pair of chinks, and $2300 for her performance. “I was so nervous about the whole thing,” says Nicola. “It was packed. Where they had the freestyle, the bleachers were full. She [Nicola’s mustang Cora] didn’t care too much about the crowds previously, but when it was a stadium full of people there was a lot of energy. Even though she is a pretty calm horse, she still felt all of that energy and was more ‘up’ going into the freestyle than she had been for other things.” The freestyle phase of the competition is a chance for the riders to showcase their horse’s talents. Competitors are expected to bring props and to dress up for the crowds who will soon be bidding on their horses in the auction that ends the event. Entertainment is the aim; selling for the highest price is the goal. “We performed to ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ by Kiss,” Nicola says. “Cora and I dressed up as Gene Simmons from Kiss for our costume because Cora always sticks her tongue out. We were just trying to think of a fun theme, something entertaining and that was what we came up with.” “The freestyle went well, sort of. We kind of got off pattern really early on,” she continues. “I don’t know if this is appropriate to report, but she stopped to poop when we went to back up and she couldn’t poop and back up at the same time so I had to change what I was doing. At that point, I just didn’t know what to do anymore. I was so nervous that I couldn’t remember anything. I just literally made it up after that. I had this whole pattern elaborately planned out and then as soon as it didn’t go right I had to fudge the rest.” Nicola did not have much time to reflect on her freestyle because the auction was held immediately following her performance. “Cora sold for $4600 pretty quickly. She was the second highest. The woman who won had the highest seller. I think there were four horses who sold for over $4000, and then a couple that sold for $1000 to $2000, and then the rest sold for a couple hundred bucks. There were a couple that were still a little bit wild. Every horse is different. Some don’t domesticate as nicely. Most of the ones that sold really low, the trainers bought back,” she adds. “I did register to bid and if Cora had sold reasonably cheaply, I was going to buy her. When we rode in, I put the bidding card under my leg and was going to use it if I could. But when I registered to bid, they had told me there was a lot of interest in her.” During the two-day competition, the audience is encouraged to get

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to know the mustangs. “We had two ‘Meet the Mustangs’ over the weekend and at both Meets I talked to this lady and her daughter. The first time I met her, she had a whole herd of children with her,” Nicola says. “The second time, her daughter stood with Cora and rubbed her head and played with her and just loved on her. Cora was falling asleep in her arms. They got along very well right from the start. It was an hour-long thing and she was there the whole time. I was thrilled when I realized they bought Cora.” Although selling Cora was a bittersweet experience for Nicola, she does plan on entering the competition again. “You couldn’t have

expected her to do any better. She was a total rock star. Everything I asked her to do, she tried her heart out to do it. She was awesome. I miss her but I know she is loved,” says Nicola. “It was a great experience.” When asked about the best thing she did to prepare, Nicola is quick to answer. “Definitely the traveling. I took her to work with me regularly. She went to a hundred different farms and she had so much exposure to different things and places and people. I definitely think that makes a big difference in their personality just to get used to standing in the trailer, hanging out and going places. I would take her with me wherever I was working and I would just chuck her out in a paddock and she would eat. She didn’t get stressed out about going places because she would just hang out, that was just life for her.” Life is definitely different for Cora because of Nicola. In three and a half months, Cora went from being a wild mustang in a crowded BLM dry-lot to being the pampered pony of a little girl. Cora hit the jackpot. For more information: visit www.extrememustangmakeover.com.

June-July 2017


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Aiken Charity Horse Show: Bruce’s Field in the Aiken Horse Park


Photography by Pam Gleason


Aiken Area Calendar of Events

JUNE 2-3 2-4 2-4 3 3 3 3-4 3-4 4 7 7 7-11 8-11

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Blythewood Community Center Rodeo. Blythewood Community Center Park (exit 27 off I-77), Blythewood, SC. www.ipra-rodeo.com HJ Show. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com SC Palomino Exhibitors Assoc. Horse Show. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. Ashleigh Griffith, 803.730.0260, www.scequinepark.com GQHA Novice Show Series. Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers, GA. Debbie Lisabeth, 678.478.7071, dl7693@aol.com, www.gqha.com Running Start Derby Cross. Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark.com Camden Equine Circuit Local HJ Show. Pine Tree Stables, Camden, SC. www.camdenequinecircuit.com USEA/USEF Poplar Place Horse Trials. Poplar Place Farms, 8191 US Hwy 27, Hamilton, GA. 706.582.3742 x209, donna@ poplarplacefarm.com, www.poplarplacefarm.com Atlanta Youth Dressage Challenge Summer Show. Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers, GA. missliz@ taramiaridingschool.com Full Gallop CT Show. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www.fullgallopfarm.com Yappy Hour. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar Jumper Night. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. www. stableviewfarm.com Tryon Summer II - USEF AA/CSI 4*. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com The 94th Annual Blowing Rock Charity Saddlebred Show. L. M. Tate Horse Show Grounds, Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, Blowing Rock, NC. www.blowingrockhorses.com/blowing-rock-charityhorse-show

PSJ Series HJ Show. Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, Johns Island, SC. 803.649.3505, psjshows@gmail.com, www.psjshows.com 9-11 Dressage Show. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. Janet Hennessey, softwindfarms@gmail.com, www. scequinepark.com 10 Dog Wash. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 10 Schooling Show. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com 10 Rolling Hills Saddle Club Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www. willspark.com/equestrian-calendar 10 Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Champions Book Signing. 2-4pm. Aiken County Museum. 433 Newberry St SW, Aiken, SC. www. aikenracinghalloffame.com 10-11 Ride Better Clinic with Lellie Ward. Paradise Farm, 4069 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lellie Ward, 803.640.4918, paradisefarmaiken@ gmail.com, www.paradisefarmaiken.com 10-11 Eventing Camp. Sponsored by Aiken County Pony Club. The Vista Schooling & Event Center. 859 Old Tory Trail, Aiken, SC. 10-11 GHF/Massey Ferguson Annual Dressage Show. Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers, GA. www.goodhorseman.org 11 Dressage, Show Jumping, Combined Test, 3-Phase, Cross-Country Schooling Show. Poplar Place Farms, 8191 US Hwy 27, Hamilton, GA. 706.582.3742 x209, donna@poplarplacefarm.com, www. poplarplacefarm.com 11 Save the Horses Charity Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/ equestrian-calendar 11 Bombproofing Your Horse Clinic. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org 9-11

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15-18 15-18 16-17 16-18 16-18 17 17 17 17 17-18 18 18 18 19-23 20-21 21-25 22-25 24 24 24 24-25 24-25

ADC Board Meeting. 6pm. St Thaddeus, 125 Pendleton St, Aiken, SC. Suzan Sallstrom Ponies3@Comporium.net. 914.204.4189 USEF/USDF “Summer Solstice” Dressage Show. Stable View, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. 484.356.3173, www.stableviewfarm.com Twilight Jumpers. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com The Atlanta Summer Classic I at the GIHP. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. 770.860.4190, www.georgiahorsepark.com Dressage “Fix-a-Test” with Marilyn Payne. Stable View, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. 484.356.3173, www.stableviewfarm.com SCQHYA Show and Ken Smith Maxi Circuit. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. Jackie D Barnes, 843.607.5614, mrsjackiebarnes@bellsouth.net, www. scqhaonline.com/events Harmon Classics Derby Mania. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org Tryon Summer III - USEF B/Level 3. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Katydid Obstacle Clinic. $60. Katydid Farm, 359 State Park Rd Windsor, SC. www.Katydid Farm.com Good Old Summertime Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. Cheryl Sims, 404.518.9198, www. willspark.com/equestrian-calendar Tryon Summer Dressage I presented by Adequan®. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Full Gallop Dressage Show. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www.fullgallopfarm.com Historic Stable and Barn Tour. Rye Patch Parking Lot, 100 Berrie Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.643.2121, 803.642.7631, halloffame@ cityofaikensc.gov, www.aikenracinghalloffame.com Derby Cross. The Vista Schooling & Event Center, 859 Old Tory Trail, Aiken, SC. 803.262.5263, www.vistaschooling.website/derbycross-registration/ WHES Schooling Day (D, XC, SJ). Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark. com USDF/USEF Recognized Dressage Show Poplar Place Farms, 8191 US Hwy 27, Hamilton, GA. 706.582.3742 x209, donna@ poplarplacefarm.com, www.poplarplacefarm.com Full Gallop USEA/USEF Horse Trials. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www. fullgallopfarm.com Katydid Cones Clinic. $25. Katydid Farm, 359 State Park Rd Windsor, SC. www.Katydid Farm.com WHES June Horse Trials, CT & D. Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark. com Area III Young Rider Camp. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing. com SCDCTA Junior Dressage Clinic. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. Jill Allard, 809.361.1230, bridlerack@gmail.com, www.scequinepark.com The Atlanta Summer Classic II at the GIHP. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. 770.860.4190, www.georgiahorsepark.com Tryon Summer IV - USEF B/Level 3. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Champions Book Signing. 1-3pm. Barnes & Noble, 3450 Wrightsboro Rd, Augusta, GA. www. aikenracinghalloffame.com American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture Regional Meeting, Equine Rescue of Aiken. 532 Glenwood Drive, Aiken, 29803. 8 am-4 pm. www.aava.site-ym.com. Saturday Night Lights- Gladiator Polo. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com PSJ Series HJ Show. Highfields, 147 Warehouse Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.649.3505, psjshows@gmail.com, www.psjshows.com Dressage Show. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com

June-July 2017

24-25 USEA/USET Recognized Horse Trials.. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. www.stableviewfarm.com 24-25 Elite Show Jumping HJ Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. Charles Russell, 678.858.7192, eliteshowjumping@gmail.com, www.eliteshowjumping.com 28 Twilight Jumpers. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com 29-30 Stephen Hayes Dressage Clinic. Breezy Hill South, Beech Island, SC. Justine Wilson, Justine@scdcta.com, www.scdcta.com 29-Jul 2 Stars & Stripes Circuit. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.gqha.com 29-Jul 2 Tryon Summer V - USEF AA/CSI 2*. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com 30-Jul 1 Fence Equestrian Center Pro Rodeo. Fence Equestrian Center, 381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. www.ipra-rodeo.com

JULY 1 1 1-2 3-9 5 5 5-9 7-9 8 8-9 8-9 12 12-16 12-30 14-15 15 15 15 15-16 15-16 15-16 16 16

Running Start Derby Cross. Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark.com Saturday Night Lights. $86,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 2*. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Cheryl & Co. Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/ equestrian-calendar GQHA Big A Circuit. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.gqha.com Jumper Night. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. www.stableviewfarm.com Twilight Jumpers. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com Tryon Summer VI - USEF AA/CSI 3*. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Area III Eventing Championships. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www. chatthillseventing.com Saturday Night Lights - $130,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI3*. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com PSJ Series HJ Show. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. www.psjshows.com Ticket to Ride HJ Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/ equestrian-calendar Stable View Schooling Dressage. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. www.stableviewfarm.com Tryon Summer VII - USEF B/CSI 2*. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Elite Showjumping Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/ equestrian-calendar Katydid Obstacle Clinic. $60. Katydid Farm, 359 State Park Rd Windsor, SC. www.Katydid Farm.com WHES Schooling Day (D, XC, SJ). Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark. com Camden Equestrian Circuit HJ Show. Voxton Equestrian Center, 226 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. www.camdenequinecircuit. com Saturday Night Lights. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com PSJ Series HJ Show. Highfields, 147 Warehouse Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.649.3505, psjshows@gmail.com, www.psjshows.com H. J. Fox “Wounded Warrior” Classics I & II. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.HJFoxClassics.com Robert Lauze Equine Emergency Rescue Clinic. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org Full Gallop CT Show. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www.fullgallopfarm.com Katydid Cones Clinic. $25. Katydid Farm, 359 State Park Rd Windsor, SC. www.Katydid Farm.com

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WHES July Horse Trials, CT & D. Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark. com Twilight Jumpers. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com Tryon Summer VIII - USEF B/Level 6. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Yippy Yi Yea Summer Sizzler. T. Ed Garrison Arena, Clemson, SC. www.scqhaonline.com/events/ GQHA Novice Show Series. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.gqha.com Dressage, Show Jumping, Combined Test, 3-Phase, Cross-Country Schooling Show. Poplar Place Farms, 8191 US Hwy 27, Hamilton, GA. 706.582.3742 x209, donna@poplarplacefarm.com, www. poplarplacefarm.com Saturday Night Lights. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Full Gallop Schooling Horse Trials. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www. fullgallopfarm.com The 94th Annual Blowing Rock Charity HJ Show. L. M. Tate Horse Show Grounds, Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, Blowing Rock, NC. www.blowingrockhorses.com/blowing-rock-charity-horse-show PSJ Series HJ Show. Highfields, 147 Warehouse Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.649.3505, psjshows@gmail.com, www.psjshows.com South Congaree Championship Rodeo. South Congaree Arena, South Congaree, SC. www.ipra-rodeo.com Camden Summer Classic HJ Show. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. Janet Black, 828.606.0708, threesprings@windstream.net, www.scequinepark.com GHF/Massey Ferguson Summer Dressage Show. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.goodhorseman.org Full Gallop Open Horse Show and CT. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www. fullgallopfarm.com

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Equine Pasture Management Workshop. Three Runs Plantation, 125 Three Runs Plantation Dr, Aiken, SC. Cece Bulkley, ceceb@ email.com, www.threerunsplantation.com The 94th Annual Blowing Rock Charity HJ Show. L. M. Tate Horse Show Grounds, Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, Blowing Rock, NC. www.blowingrockhorses.com/blowing-rock-charity-horse-show Jumper Night. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. www.stableviewfarm.com Ed Brown’s 49th Annual IPRA Championship Rodeo. Blacksburg, SC. www.ipra-rodeo.com Katydid Obstacle Clinic. $60. Katydid Farm, 359 State Park Rd Windsor, SC. www.Katydid Farm.com Dressage, Show Jumping, Combined Test, 3-Phase, Cross-Country Schooling Show. Poplar Place Farms, 8191 US Hwy 27, Hamilton, GA. 706.582.3742 x209, donna@poplarplacefarm.com, www. poplarplacefarm.com

25-26 25-27 26-27 26-27 26-27 27

Schooling Show. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com PSJ Back to School Show. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www. billpickettrodeo.com GDCTA Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/equestriancalendar Katydid Cones Clinic. $25. Katydid Farm, 359 State Park Rd Windsor, SC. www.Katydid Farm.com USEF/USDF “Too Hot To Trot” Dressage. Stable View Farm, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC. www.stableviewfarm.com HJ Show. Chattahoochee Hills Eventing, 9445 Browns Lake Rd, Chattahoochee Hills, GA. www.chatthillseventing.com Camden Equine Circuit Local HJ Show. Pine Tree Stables, Camden, SC. www.camdenequinecircuit.com Running Start Derby Cross. Carolina Horse Park, 2814 Montrose Rd, Raeford, NC. 910.875.2074, www.carolinahorsepark.com Rolling Hills Saddle Club Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www. willspark.com/equestrian-calendar Georgia State Championship Extreme Cowboy Race. Chicopee Wood Agricultural Center, 1855 Calvary Church Road, Gainesville, GA. www.southernobstaclechallenges.com Ride Better Clinic with Lellie Ward. Paradise Farm, 4069 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lellie Ward, 803.640.4918, paradisefarmaiken@ gmail.com, www.paradisefarmaiken.com H. J. Fox Summer Classics I & II. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www. HJFoxClassics.com Tryon Summer Dressage V presented by Adequan®. TIEC, 4066 Pea Ridge Rd, Mill Spring, NC. www.tryon.coth.com Dressage, Show Jumping, Combined Test, 3-Phase, Cross-Country Schooling Show. Poplar Place Farms, 8191 US Hwy 27, Hamilton, GA. 706.582.3742 x209, donna@poplarplacefarm.com, www. poplarplacefarm.com GQHA Novice Show Series. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.gqha.com Full Gallop USEA/USEF Horse Trials. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www. fullgallopfarm.com R1 - Stepping Stone III PSJ HJ Show. Highfields, 147 Warehouse Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.649.3505, psjshows@gmail.com, www.psjshows. com The Jump Ahead Benefit Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/ equestrian-calendar The Good Horseman Foundation Summer Schooling Show. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www.goodhorseman.org Upper South Carolina State Fair. Greenville, SC. www.ipra-rodeo. com Annual Sandy Oaks IPRA Pro Rodeo Round-Up. Edgefield, SC. www.ipra-rodeo.com Palmetto Paint Horse Show. South Carolina Equine Park, 443 Cleveland School Rd, Camden, SC. Anne Louise Miller, millawayranch@windstream.net, www.scequinepark.com PSJ Series HJ Show. Highfields, 147 Warehouse Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.649.3505, psjshows@gmail.com, www.psjshows.com Southern Classic Appaloosa Show. The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy NE, Conyers, GA. www. georgia-appaloosa.com Brownwood Farms Horse Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. 770.338.0143, www.willspark.com/ equestrian-calendar Full Gallop CT Show. Full Gallop Farm, 3828 Wagener Rd, Aiken, SC. Lara Anderson, 803.215.6590, www.fullgallopfarm.com

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Business Cards TheDalyGrind_TAH.qxp_Layout 1 4/14/17 1:34 PM Page 1

KarenDalyRealtor_TAH.qxp_Layout 1 4/14/17 1:17 PM Page 1

Skills: entity Visual Id g Brandin Design Cohesion e r Servic Custome

• residential

• equestrian • land

creative services • graphic design • web design

www.karenadaly.com 803/215.1082 • karendaly70@gmail.com

June-July 2017

KAREN DALY REALTOR®

803/649-8103 • kdaly@meybohm.com

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Serving Aiken year round

EAST COAST EQUINE DENTISTRY Lou Heffner

Quality work at an affordable price.

20+ years experience

80

803.649.9343 home 610.960.2405 for immediate response

The Aiken Horse

June-July 2017


Mortality FarM liability Care/Custody/Control shawna dietriCh

800-942-4258

Louisville, KY • Aiken, SC

betsy Minton

803-617-8353

www.dietrich-insurance.com

June-July 2017

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Directory of Services BARNS, CONSTRUCTION & REMODELING Cooper Home and Stable. For Equestrians by Equestrians. A unique design and build general contractor specializing in equestrian construction and farm development, architecturally designed custom homes, historic renovations, remodeling and additions. Contact J. D. Cooper, cell 502-417-2307, office 803335-3527, www.cooperhs.com. Joshua Jackson Builders. Building custom homes, barns, and estates in and around the Aiken area. Acreage available for sale. www.JoshuaJacksonBuilders. com 803-642-2790 Larlee Construction, LLC. Fine Equestrian Facilities. 1096 Toolebeck Road, Aiken SC 29803. 803.642.9096. www.larleeconstruction.com.

BLANKET CLEANING & REPAIR

Aiken Horse Blanket. Servicing equestrians with high quality horse blanket repair, wash and waterproof. or your convenience, drop off locations are; Aiken Saddlery, 1044 E. Pine Log Rd, Aiken, 29803 or the 302 General Store, 4746 Wagener Rd. Wagener, 29164. www.aikenhorseblanket.com; on fb Aiken Horse Blanket Group. Contact Elisa @803-640-3211.

BOARDING/TURNOUT/TRAINING/SALES Chime Ridge Stables. Stalls w/turnout, full, partial or d.i.y.. Jumping fields, wooded trails and more. Fun, friendly, adult atmospher. Convenient to town, South Aiken. 803.508.3760. The Stable On The Woods: Elite boarding & training facility and home to trainers Darrell and Melissa Vaughn. With access to Hitchcock Woods, our barn sits on 70 acres and boasts a full size dressage arena with mirrors, show jumping arena and high-quality grass pastures making this the ideal place for you and your horse. Training program to meet your needs, whether your discipline is Dressage, Eventing, Hunters, Jumpers or Foxhunting. www.thestableonthewoods.com 603.785.0435 Sarah Kuhn Equestrian. Beautiful training facility just 3 miles outside downtown Aiken. Huge grass paddocks, mixed fiber dressage arena, 2 jump arenas, gallop track and trails. Huge 12x12 stalls. Lessons and training available for eventing, dressage and jumping. Exceptional care provided. www.sarahkuhnequestrian.com. (617) 999-2150 Vaughn Equestrian: offering training, sales, and boarding. Professionalism is the guiding principle of owners Darrell and Melissa Vaughn in shaping every component of Vaughn Equestrian. Dressage, Jumpers, Eventing & Young Horses. training and sales. www.vaughnequestrian.com (603)-785-0435 Wolf Head Springs: Full/Partial board with 12x12 matted stalls. Field/paddock turnout. 300 x 200 riding area with show jumps. Look for us on Facebook! Mobile home-next to stable; 3 BR, Furnished, W/D, Heat/AC. Ready October 1st. 410610-5085; 803-649-1493.

COMPANION ANIMALS, CARE & SERVICES Horses & Hounds Aiken, Pet & Horse-Sitting. Reasonable Rates, Bonded & Insured, Vet Assistant. 803-643-9972/803-443-8303. horsesandhoundsaiken@ gmail.com; www.horsesandhoundsaiken.com. Palmetto Dog Club. Training classes, puppy socialization, obedience, rally & agility. 803-262-9686. www.palmettodogclub.org. Trinity Farms Terriers: Norfolk Terriers & Russell Terriers. Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of great temperaments. Health/dispositions guaranteed. Breeder of terriers for 30+ years. Donna Fitzpatrick. 803.648.3137. www.easyjacks.com & www.trinityfarmskennel.com & trinitynorfolkterriers.com.

FEED, SUPPLEMENTS & SUPPLIES

Aiken County Farm Supply. 1933 Park Ave., Aiken. 803.649.2987. Aiken Saddlery & Supply. Full service tack & feed store. 1044 E. Pine Log Rd., Aiken. 803.649.6583. www.aikensaddlery.com HAY Hoss Luva Hay! Exceptional quality Coastal Bermuda. Real fertilizer and lime to Clemson specs, not chicken litter. Never rained on. Square and round bales. Competitively priced. Can deliver state-wide. Fully enclosed truck. Satisfaction guaranteed. Jim McClain. 803.247.4803.

HOME & FARM SERVICES

A & A Septic Service. Pump septic system, build and repair leach lines and septic systems. Serving Aiken, Edgefield and Lexington counties. 803.507.1024 Be Fly Free. Automatic fly systems for barns and sheds. No unpleasant odor, no synthetic insecticides, no petroleum distillates. Call Carlos: 803-645-0361. www. beflyfree.com; carlos@beflyfree.com. Craps Small Engine Repair: We Service small engine equipment including blade and chain sharpening. We also pickup and deliver for a small fee. We Sell Grasshopper, Ariens and Echo equipment. www.crapssmallengine.com. 3212 Wagener Rd, Aiken South Carolina 29801, 803- 648-9155

INSURANCE

Betsy Minton, Dietrich Insurance Company, 803. 617. 8353. Providing competitive comprehensive insurance for horses and farms. Excellent professional and personal service always delivered with a smile. www.betsyminton.com. 800 942 4258

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Hutson-Etherredge Company. Insuring Aiken farms since 1876. Your hometown independent insurance agency can customize your equine property coverage by choosing the best company to fit your needs. We are a full service insurance agency. Call Sandi Vogus for a quote! 803-649-5141

INSTRUCTION/LESSONS

Amy McElroy. USDF Gold Medalist and USEF S judge. Instruction and training at all levels. Visit www.amymcelroy.com or call 803.640-4207. Aiken Horsemanship Academy. Your naturally inspired adult learning resource! Offering Clinics, Courses, Starting Young Horses, Evaluations, and Lessons. www.JulieRobins.com 803-641-4715. Jodi Hemry Eventing. Three-Star Eventer offering professional training, sales, boarding, instruction, horse shows, located in the heart of Aiken, SC. 803-6406691 JodiHemryEventing@gmail.com www.JodiHemryEventing.com

PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN SERVICES

Fraulein-Design is committed to providing equestrian professionals and all industry professionals with marketing designs in a perfect balance of professionalism and visual aesthetics. Each project is designed to fit the needs of the client & to solve the visual communication problem effectively and efficiently from conceptualization to publication. Lynsey Ekema. 858-208-6027. Lynsey. Steinberg.Ekema@gmail.com. www.fraulein-design.com Gary Knoll Photography.com. Commercial, portrait, weddings, advertising. Pet portraits. Complete wide-format video service. 803.643.9960 410.812.4037. www.garyknollphotography.com

REAL ESTATE/ RENTALS

Aiken Fine Homes and Land. Specializing in selling or renting homes, farms, land & barns for short or long term leases. 28 years experience in helping people find the property of their dreams, even if it takes building it! Call Barbara Lawrence, 803-439-0778 for honest & realistic answers to your real estate questions. Aiken Luxury Rentals. Distinctive accommodations for horse & rider in beautiful Aiken, SC. Downtown fully furnished cottages, historic stables. Executive relocation; corporate housing. Short & long term. www. aikenluxuryrentals.com; info@aikenluxuryrentals.com. 803.648.2804. Carolina Real Estate Company. Fine homes, estates and horse properties in Aiken, South Carolina. Let us welcome you home to AIKEN, Home of Horses, History & Hospitality! www.carolinahorseproperties.com. (803) 648-8660 Black Sheep Farm. Unfurnished 3 Bed/ 2 bath cottages for long term rental and small furnished loft apartment, small guest house for short term 2 night to seasonal rental, charming pastoral setting yet proximate to downtown Aiken, and Hitchcock Woods. Horses and pets welcome.904-234-9596 Magnolia Shadows Equestrian Retreat: Where European hospitality meets Southern charm. Offering horse boarding and bed & breakfast with the traveling horseman in mind. Charming 1895 plantation house, guest cottage, barn apartment, RV sites, matted stalls, 7 paddocks with run-in sheds, arena & riding trails for long- and short-term stays. 20 minutes from historic downtown Aiken in Ridge Spring. Dog boarding also available. www.magnoliashadows.com / 803522-1226 / info@magnoliashadows.com. Sharer Dale, RE/MAX, Tattersall Group. “Where town meets country.” sharerdale@gmail.com. www.sharerdale.remax-carolina.com 803.522.3648. Suzy Haslup, Meybohm. “Your Aiken Horse Real Estate Specialist.” Buying or selling in the most celebrated equine community in the South. ww.aikenhorserealty.com; 803-215-0153 Tracey Kenworthy Turner, Meybohm. Specializing in marketing & selling Aiken’s horse country properties for 15+ years. www.southernhorsefarms.com 803-2154734.

TACK & TACK REPAIR

Finally Found it Equestrian has some of the horse world’s favorite brands & products. Specialized attention. Place orders from your phone! Specializing in JPC and Equine Couture products. Also stocking gently loved items. I will buy used tack ,bits ,bridles etc. No consignment items. Tack shack at 3914 Wagener Rd. Aiken, S.C. Appointments preferred or by chance. www.finallyfounditequestrian.com. 803-640-2339 for monthly specials. The Saddle Doctor. Saddlery and harness repair. 538 Two Notch Rd. HollyMacSpencer@aol.com. 803.642.5166.

THERAPY Therapy Laser Treatments performed with 30 watt cold laser. Treats injuries on soft tissue or bone. Treatment times are quick and painless. Speeds recovery of injuries by as much as 50 percent. Also perform laser alignments of the spine on equines along with TMJ and poll. www.therapylasercare.com, therapylasercare@ gmail.com. 803-341-7822.

YOGA/FITNESS

Aiken Yoga. At Aiken Yoga we are passionate about sharing the benefits that regular Yoga practice has on one’s wellbeing, energy level and state of mind. In addition to Yoga classes, including Yoga for Equestrians, we offer Pilates, Barre and Teacher Certification. Sarah Acord, RN, 116B Pendleton St. Aiken. 803-5248833, sarah@aikenyoga.com; check www.aikenyoga.com for schedule.

The Aiken Horse

June-July 2017


Classifieds Horse Property For Sale Across from Sporting Days Farm & minutes from town, Hitchcock Woods, horse shows, polo, eventing. Pastures already board fenced with no climb wire, established in exceptional, lush grass with access to trails galore! Several attractive homesites. 5 to 10 acres available to create your own equestrian paradise. Owner financing a possibility. Call 803.646.8606

Spring Meadows Equestrian Subdivision

Beautiful private lots, close to I-20, Stableview and 20 minutes from Aiken center. Trails, riding field, low HOA dues, Lots available from 7-17 acres, priced from $5000-$5500 per acre. Owner financing available. Visit www.sclandforsale.net Or call 508-341-8387

Magnolia Shadows Equestrian Retreat Where European hospitality meets Southern charm. Offering Horse Boarding and Bed & Breakfast Services with the traveling horseman in mind. Charming 1895 plantation house, guest cottage, barn apartment, RV sites, matted stalls, 7 paddocks with run-in sheds, arena and riding trails for long- and short-term stays. 20 minutes from historic downtown Aiken in Ridge Spring. Dog boarding also available on the premises. www.magnoliashadows.com / 803-522-1226 / info@magnoliashadows.com.

BOARDING/TURNOUT Two Stalls Available Across From Hitchcock Woods in Aiken SC. Retired hunter rider will take horses year round or seasonally. Rode with top Grand Prix rider for 30 years, winner of many Nations’ Cups and hunter championships. Horses receive excellent care. References available. Serious inquiries only. Contact Meg: 803-618-2639. Training, Lessons, Boarding: Beautiful facility just 3 miles from downtown Aiken. Eventing, Dressage, Show Jumping. sarahkuhnequestrian.com or (617) 999-2150 Chime Ridge Stables. Stall and pasture board, short and long term, full or self care. Use of facilities and minutes from town. 803-508-3760 BUILDING/REPAIRS Building & Repair: Carpentry, Doors, Windows, Decks, Cabinets, Trim, Stairs, Railings, Gates, Wood Siding, Floors,

Classified ads are $20 for the first 30 words & 40 cents for every word thereafter. Photo Classifieds for horses: $35; (limit 30 words & one picture) Photo Classifieds for real estate, etc. $45; (limit 60 words & one picture)

June-July 2017

Framing, Repairs. Licensed, bonded, insured. Contact Paul Dyches. paul.t.dyches@gmail.com. 803-645-6645. HAY Round and Square Bales. Oakwood Farms – 3593 Silver Bluff Road, Aiken SC 29803 - $60 / bale– round hay bales and $7.00 / Bale – square hay bales – Will deliver for a small fee – Please call 706-830-2600 or 803-8270864. email garymcelmurray@ glmconstruction.net HELP WANTED Horse Farm looking for a handyman. Must have some experience in all things farm; able to make minor repairs to sprinkler systems, assist in putting in fence lines and repairing existing runin shelters, checking grease/oil levels in equipment, have some experience with airless sprayers and rough carpentry, etc. 2 to 3 days per week to start. Hours and days are flexible. Johnston. 803 522-1170

Pasture Board

Short or long term pasture board in 302 area close to eventing & polo. 5 acre field with wooded area & water. New fence. 40 acres private trails to ride or drive with some small natural fences. Several other riding & schooling areas. Self or full care; owners on premises. Other options available on the farm; run-in sheds being built. Quiet & private.

803-643-9960

PETS&SERVICES Horses & Hounds Aiken, Pet & Horse-Sitting. Reasonable Rates, Bonded & Insured, Vet Assistant. 803-643-9972/803-443-8303. horsesandhoundsaiken@gmail. com; www.horsesandhoundsaiken. com. Black Russian Terrier puppies available now. Good pedigree. 803-646-8606, karenphillis@ yahoo.com Trinity Farms Terriers: Norfolk Terriers & Russell Terriers. Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of great temperaments. Health/ dispositions guaranteed. Breeder of terriers for 30+ years. Donna Fitzpatrick. 803.648.3137. www.easyjacks.com & www. trinityfarmskennel.com & trinitynorfolkterriers.com. Palmetto Dog Club. Training, obedience, rally, agility. 803-262-9686. www.palmettodogclub.org. REAL ESTATE & RENTALS Aiken Luxury Rentals. Distinctive

Advertising in The Aiken Horse

The Aiken Horse, P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 Email: Editor@theAikenHorse.com We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover. Call for American Express. Pay online: www.TheAikenHorse.com or Call us: 803.643.9960

Display Ads available in a range of sizes. For detailed rate sheet :

www.TheAikenHorse.com

Advertise in the August/September issue! Advertising deadline: July 21, 2017 Publication date: August 3, 2017

accommodations for horse & rider in beautiful Aiken, SC. Downtown fully furnished cottages, historic stables. Executive relocation; corporate housing. Short & long term. www. aikenluxuryrentals. com; info@aikenluxuryrentals. com. 803.648.2804. Property for Sale. Save yourself on commission costs. Cute affordable property in Hatchaway Bridge Farms development. 4.62 acres fenced, cleared, planted with Bermudagrass. Great for seasonal or year round equestrian. $12,000 per acre. 608-513-8115. For Rent: 10 acres, 10 stalls. 2-bedroom, 2-bath. Close-in to town. $2,000 per month. 803-4745194 TRAILERS & EQUIPMENT 1999 4-Star Polo Trailer fits 6 horses; has partition & extra large dressing / tack room. Water tank with pump. Excellent condition & ready to pull. 803-646-8606. karenphillis@yahoo. com

Going Out Of Town? Don’t miss future issues of The Aiken Horse. We will send you a one year subscription (6 issues) for $24.00. Send check or CC # & your mailing address: P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 Or sign up on the web at www.TheAikenHorse.com

The Aiken Horse

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Index of Advertisers

Advertiser

86

Section

Page

Advertiser

Section

Page

Adams Horse and Pet Supplies

2

46

Lightning Protection Systems

2

57

Aiken County Farm Supply

2

59

Mark Lexton

1

23

Aiken Fine Homes and Land

1

21

Marrinson Stables

2

54

Aiken Horsemanship Academy

2

57

Matrix Corporate Park

1

32

Aiken Luxury Rentals

1

26

Meybohm RE Haslup

1

3

Aiken Pet Fitness

2

54

Meybohm RE Vaillancourt

1

2

Aiken Pet Fitness

2

57

Meybohm Realtors (Turner)

1

31

Aiken Saddlery, Inc.

1

33

Meybohm Realtors Stinson

1

4

Aiken Tack Exchange

1

27

Oak Manor Saddlery

2

43

Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue

2

43

Paradise Farm

2

43

Auto Tech

2

54

Pat Blewett

2

41

Banks Mill Feeds

1

20

Progressive Show Jumping, Inc

2

58

Barnware

2

50

ReMax -S.Dale

1

16

Be Fly Free

2

50

ReMax -S.Dale

1

17

Biddle Realty

1

11

Retired Racehorse Project

3

87

Bridlewood Farm

2

47

Riding with Reason

2

46

Carolina Real Estate Company

1

14

Scribble Horse

1

22

Carolina Real Estate Company

1

15

Shadow Trailer World Inc.

3

88

Christina Power Photography

1

23

South Carolina Equine Park

3

73

Deceased Pet Care, inc.

3

73

Southern Equine Service

1

10

DFG Stables

2

57

Southern States

1

13

Downtown Dog

1

21

SPCA

1

26

Epona

1

22

Stable View Farm, LLC

2

47

Equine Divine

1

23

Sweet PDZ (PDZ Co. LLC)

3

73

Equine Rescue of Aiken

3

62

The Patchwork Ranch

2

51

Equus Events

2

38

The Stables at New Bridge

2

50

Estancia La Victoria

2

55

The Tack Room

1

27

Estrella Equine

1

22

Therapy Laser

2

46

Fencing Solutions

1

12

Three Runs Plantation

1

36

FOTAS Aiken

3

63

Tod's Hill/ReMax

2

60

Happily Ever After Dressage

2

54

Trailer Country. LLC

1

35

HarborChase of Aiken

1

34

Trinity Custom Homes

1

34

HP Veterinary Services

2

50

Triple Crown Feeds

2

39

Ina Ginsberg

2

51

Twiffy Lane Farm

1

34

Keller Williams Augusta

1

22

Warhorse

1

34

Larlee Construction

1

5

Warneke Cleaners

1

27

The Aiken Horse

June-July 2017


June-July 2017

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Volume 6 • Number 3

Summer 2017


2

The Dog & Hound

Summer 2017


Summer 2017

P.O. Box 332 • Montmorenci, SC 29839-0332 • 803.643.9960 •

www.TheDogAndHound.com • Editor@TheDogAndHound.com

Time Dated Material • Periodicals • Volume 6 • Number 3

A

s we were working on this issue, we got a message through Facebook: there was a dog in a shelter that needed our help. The message came from Pointer Rescue Organization, a national group dedicated to rescuing purebred English Pointers. We have been volunteering with PRO for about six years, ever since we were introduced to the English Pointer breed by Coleman, a starved and abandoned hunting dog that we found on the side of the road and nursed back to health. The dog in question this time was a 7-month old beauty named Zoey that had been found as a stray in rural South Carolina. Although we have a full house of dogs and didn’t think we could fit any more, we agreed to make the 2-hour drive to pick her up when her stray hold expired. We ended up having her for two weeks before sending her to her longterm foster in New York, and she was a joy, charming people and dogs alike with her sweet and playful personality. Just as we were finishing this edition, we drove her to Columbia to meet her transport north. Transport consisted of a relay of volunteers, most of whom drove her for about an hour before handing her off to the next driver. She passed through nine volunteer drivers and spent one night in the Washington DC area. Her long term foster picked her up the next day, and she is now happily learning the rules of her new temporary home. There are already adoption applications on her, and she is going to make someone an exceptional companion.

Summer 2017

Zoey, like every other dog we have fostered or transported, is a fantastic dog, and we would have loved to keep her. We are glad to have been involved in her journey, as was everyone who helped her. A Facebook chat group from her transport is filled with pictures and of people exclaiming on her cuteness and her sweetness. Pictures from her overnight look as if she was at a dog sleepover party – and she was. Far from being a grim, frightening necessity, her trip was a joyful celebration of her freedom and her new life, a celebration that people were thrilled to share. All over the South, a new paradigm in dog rescue is transforming the way we handle the shelter overpopulation problem. There are two main things that have vastly improved the situation. The first is a new attitude that goes along with knowing that these dogs are not unwanted everywhere, even if they might be unwanted here. The second is that ordinary people have gotten involved as volunteers. When it comes to saving southern dogs, volunteers make all the difference. And volunteering can be an uplifting experience. Forget the sad-eyed creatures in the ads with the Sara McLachlan music. Sure, there are sad, frightening and horrible things out there. But a lot of the work that needs to be done is just plain fun, and pretty much all of it is rewarding. So, this summer, if you are not already volunteering to help animals in your community, why not give it a try? Together, we can change their world. We are off for the summer: our next issue, Fall 2017, will be out in October. We hope you enjoy this issue. As ever, please let us know if you have an idea for a story or something we should be covering.

Pam Gleason Editor & Publisher

The Dog and Hound EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pam Gleason ART DIRECTOR Gary Knoll ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jean Berko Gleason LAYOUT & DESIGN Gary Knoll ADVERTISING 803.643.9960 editor@thedogandhound.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Pam Gleason Gary Knoll

Going Out Of Town? Don’t miss future issues of The Dog and Hound. We will send you a one year subscription (4 issues) for $14.00. Just send us a check or credit card & your mailing address: P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 editor@thedogandhound.com Or sign up on the web at www.TheDogandHound.com

About the Cover

About the cover:

Our cover shows Hayden Boling of the Camden Hunt in the Junior Exhibitors class, 6-and-under division, at the Carolinas’ Hound Show, Springdale Racecourse in Camden SC. Photography by Pam Gleason The Dog and Hound Policies: The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers, editors, or the policies of The Aiken Horse, LLC. The Dog and Hound is owned by The Aiken Horse, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

All contents Copyright 2017 The Dog and Hound

The Dog & Hound

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Table of Contents 6 8 12 16 18 20 22

4

Dog News Railyn, Miracle Dog Carolinas’ Hound Show 2017 Silver Paws: Carter, Polo Dog Humane Society of McCormick County Regional Calendar In Memoriam: Andy

The Dog & Hound

Summer 2017


Summer 2017

The Dog & Hound

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Dog News by Pam Gleason

Canine Flu

This spring, canine influenza is sweeping across the region with confirmed cases in eight states including North and South Carolina. Canine flu is a highly contagious disease with symptoms that mimic kennel cough. Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and a discharge from the nose and eyes. The virus spreads through the air (it can travel up to 20 feet) and it can be passed through contact with contaminated items and surfaces. Up to 80% of all unvaccinated dogs who come in contact with the virus will contract it, though not all dogs will show symptoms. Dogs that do get sick will typically exhibit symptoms 24-28 hours after they are exposed. Sick dogs may remain contagious for as long as four weeks. This particular strain of canine flu, H3N2, emerged in the Chicago area in 2015, when it spread to dogs in 30 states. The current outbreak appears to have started at two dog shows this May: one in Florida and the other at the Georgia National Showgrounds in Perry. Reaction in the dog show world has been swift, with hundreds of dogs pulled out of dog shows in North Carolina, and at least one major show, the Kennel Club of Texarkana 50th Anniversary show, has been canceled. Most dogs do not have any natural immunity to the flu and it may also spread to cats. Although most dogs recover from it without complications, it is occasionally fatal. In fact, two North Carolina dogs have reportedly died from it this year. Anyone who suspects that their dog might have come down with the flu is urged to isolate him from other dogs and cats and take him to the vet as soon as possible. Concerned dog owners, especially those who are traveling or taking their dogs to dog shows or dog parks are best advised to discuss vaccination and other precautions with their veterinarians.

Woofstock Winner

The much anticipated showdown between the two-time Doxie Derby Champion, Si, and the two-time runner-up, Freddy Couples, resulted in a win for the underdog at Woofstock on May 6th. Woofstock is the annual fundraising festival put on by the Aiken Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) held this year at Citizen’s Park in Aiken. The Doxie Derby, a race for Dachshunds, is the highlight of the event. Both Si and Freddy won their heats, earning them entry into the finals. All eyes were on the rivals as they lined up. When the starting boxes

Jenny Spiro and Freddy Couples

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opened, the wiener dogs surged onto the field. Freddy took the early lead and held it, staving off a late bid from another racer to clench the win. Surprisingly, Si did not finish in the top three. “I stood well behind the finish line this time so he wouldn’t slow down,” explains Jenny Spiro, who is Freddy’s owner. She had noticed the year before that most of the owners encouraged their dogs from the finish line. However, the owner of the winner called her dog from further away, which meant that he kept running at top speed to the finish line and beyond. The other dogs slowed down as they approached their people. Determined to win this year, Jenny and Freddy had been practicing and developing a winning strategy. “The strategy worked! Our training paid off ! He won everything!” Jenny declared. In addition to his victorious run in the derby, Freddy was awarded the “Best Kisser” title. Freddy’s wins earned him a front page picture in the Aiken Standard, two jars of goodies, two baskets filled with treats and toys, and $100. “Freddy shared all of his winnings with dogs in the neighborhood and donated his prize money back to FOTAS,” says Jenny proudly. The event was a success for all involved. “We were thrilled with the turnout,” says Ellie Joos, who is the FOTAS event coordinator. “There was a lot of community support for the event and, in turn, for the homeless animals at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. “We look to expand our events to include more contests and more races for all breeds. The dog contests provide many laughs for everyone,” she continues. “We also want to bring in demonstrators from local dog obedience schools.” Next year’s Woofstock will be held at Citizen’s Park on May 5th, 2018. Save the date to cheer on Freddy for the repeat win! “We will be there!” promises Jenny, already honing her strategy for next time. – Ragan Morehouse

Be Fair to Your Dog

There are many good reasons to treat your dogs fairly. One reason is that if you don’t they will know it. In fact, a recent study conducted at the Messerli Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna has demonstrated that both dogs and wolves have an innate sense of fairness. The results of the study were published in the journal Current Biology. In the study, dogs and wolves were taught to press a buzzer to get a treat. Once they learned that, the experimenter began giving their partner a treat whenever they pressed a buzzer. Both dogs and wolves quickly stopped pressing the buzzer when they saw what was happening. They also stopped pressing the buzzer when doing so resulted in their getting a smaller treat or lower quality treat than their partner. On the other hand, if the experimenter did not give either animal a treat, both the dog and the wolf continued to press the buzzer for a long time. “This showed that the fact that they themselves had not received a reward was not the only reason why they stopped to cooperate with the trainer,” wrote Friederike Range in a news release. Range conducts research at the Wolf Science Center of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria “They refuse to cooperate because the other one got something, but they themselves did not.” In earlier studies, humans and other primates have been shown to have an innate sense of fairness. It is thought that understanding fairness contributes to our ability

Summer 2017


to live together cooperatively. Earlier studies conducted on dogs also confirmed that they understood fairness, but in the past it was believed that this understanding stemmed from their domestication: in other words, perhaps they learned about fairness from us. The fact that wolves appear to have a similar concept of fairness suggests that a “sensitivity to inequity” is not the result of domestication. Interestingly, higher status dogs and wolves in the study got frustrated by being treated unfairly much more quickly than lower status dogs and wolves. Range wrote that she believed this might have been because the higher status animals were not accustomed to seeing another animal get something that they didn’t. You can almost hear them say it: “Do you know who I am?”

Meet Dr. Doll

Dr. Olivia Doll’s resume claims that she is a senior lecturer at Subiaco College of Veterinary Science and a former associate of the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies. Her research interests include “abdominal massages for medium-sized canines and the “role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in aging males.” She sits on the editorial board of seven international medical journals, and she has been asked to review a number of important research papers, most recently one on the management of tumors. The publications that call on her expertise include journals specializing in respiratory medicine, drug abuse and psychiatry. She has even been made the associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine. Pretty impressive for a 5-year-old rescued Staffordshire Terrier. In real life, Dr. Doll is just Ollie the dog. She lives in Perth, Australia with Mike Daube, a professor of Health Policy at Curtin University and a specialist on issues related to public health, tobacco and alcohol. He created fake academic credentials for his dog because he was suspicious that medical journals did not scrutinize their editorial reviewers very well. It turns out he was right, since none of them flagged Dr. Doll as, well, a dog. Professor Daube told the West Australian that he first created Ollie’s

Summer 2017

academic persona as a response to email scams that he had received, but that the fact that she was accepted as a legitimate academic highlights some very real and serious issues. For instance, there has been a new development in which journals charge as much as $3000 to publish studies written by researchers who are desperate for publications. “While this started as something lighthearted, I think it is important to expose shams of this kind which prey on the gullible, especially young and naïve academics from developing countries,” Professor Daube is quoted as saying. “It gives all researchers paws for thought.” Since Ollie was outed as a dog, her name and picture have been removed from a few of the web pages where she was featured as a respected scientist (the picture was actually of Kylie Minogue, an Australian singer and actress.) She has gotten pretty famous on the web, however, and has been hailed as the “world’s smartest dog.” That ought to make her former colleagues at the Shenton Park Dog Refuge Home wag their tails with pride.

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Railyn the Miracle Dog Back on Her Feet by Pam Gleason

Y

ou wouldn’t know it to look at her today, but eight months ago, Railyn was a quadriplegic. Railyn is a typical mixed breed Southern dog – maybe she has some Pit Bull in her, maybe some hound or some Pointer, maybe even some Whippet. (That’s what they thought at the shelter where she came from.) She’s a medium-to-large sized white dog with large orange patches. When she is happy, she has a wide, human-like grin. She is most likely to demonstrate this when she is near her owner, Rhonda Burgess, who lives in Aiken. Rhonda laughs. “She isn’t really my dog,” she says. “She’s my granddog. Officially she belongs to my son Brandon. But she stays with me.” Rhonda got Railyn from the shelter in Lexington, S.C. when she was a puppy. Poor Railyn had been found with her head stuck in a fence. Her picture went up on social media, where Brandon saw it and knew he needed his mother to go get her. Rhonda, a dog lover her entire life,

couldn’t resist either, and so Railyn joined the family, which already included another adoptee, Vega, also found on social media. “She was the perfect dog for Brandon because she had this energetic personality,” says Rhonda. It was 2011 and Brandon was in his early 20s at the time. “She was so klutzy she would run on the wooden floor and slide into stuff. We just loved her.” Although Railyn spent time with Brandon, one way or another, she ended up living with Rhonda and her husband. She quickly became the boss of the other dogs in the house. It wasn’t that hard for her at first, since Vega is very mild mannered. Later, it became more of a challenge when Rhonda added a large Pit Bull puppy to the mix. But the three dogs enjoyed playing in their back yard, roughhousing with one another and swimming in the pool. Railyn was living the good life in a dogcentric household. Then one evening in September 2016, Rhonda came home from work

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and Railyn did not meet her at the door. “I came in and I heard some snorting sounds,” says Rhonda. “I stopped to look at the mail for a minute, and didn’t think anything of it. And then I said, where is Railyn? It’s not like her not to come to the door. That’s when I found her flat out on the floor, not moving. Immediately I thought that she had gotten into a fight and was hurt.” But there was no evidence of a fight anywhere. Rhonda called her vet, Dr. Cindy Brown of Aiken Animal Hospital, but found out that Dr. Brown could not see her after hours because she had just had knee surgery. “It was 7 p.m. and I had to take her to the 24-hour clinic in Augusta,” continues Rhonda, who managed to carry her strangely immobile dog to the car and drive to the clinic, about 45 minutes away. “It was the longest drive,” she says. Railyn had always been a tough and strong-willed dog who never whined or whimpered, but she was crying in the car. “I was afraid I was going to lose her.” At the 24-hour clinic, the vet examined her and was at a loss to explain her sudden paralysis. Looking in her mouth he saw what looked like some little puncture wounds in her cheek. He thought that she might have been bitten by a coral snake. If that were true, the paralysis might be progressive. “You need to get her to a place where they have a machine to assist with her breathing,” the vet told her. It was 11 p.m. and this meant driving another two hours to the University of Georgia in Athens. Rhonda called Brandon who was working out of state. She called her husband, a contractor who was working in Iraq. They both agreed that she should do whatever it would take to save Railyn. So Rhonda and her dog got back in the car, arriving in Athens around 1 a.m. Rhonda left Railyn there so that they could run tests and she went back home. After an MRI, it was discovered that Railyn had a herniated disc in her neck that was putting pressure on her spinal column. She stayed at UGA for about a week where they tried to do some rehabilitation work with her, but without much success. Railyn was miserable. She wouldn’t try for them; she wouldn’t even eat for them. Rhonda spoke to Dr. Brown who advised her to go pick up her dog. “She needs you,” Dr. Brown said. “And when you get home, go see Dr. Sybil Davis.” Dr. Davis owns and runs Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehabilitation, a facility specifically created to provide physical therapy for dogs with all manner of musculoskeletal and neurological problems. Dr. Davis helps to slim down overweight dogs, to restore lame dogs to soundness, and to put formerly paralyzed dogs back on their feet. She estimates that approximately 25 percent of her caseload is dogs with some kind of paralysis, which is not necessarily as devastating or as permanent as it might seem. “Almost all patients who start therapy right away improve,” says Dr. Davis. “Obviously ones with paralysis from cancer being the biggest exception.” Dr. Davis says that anyone who has a dog that suffers from sudden paralysis needs to see a vet right away for a diagnosis. For some dogs, surgery is recommended. If the owner chooses not to do the surgery, or can’t afford it, getting the dog into a good rehabilitation program as soon as possible is crucial. The best outcomes are for dogs that undergo a combination of acupuncture, hydrotherapy and neurological retraining exercises. “There is a window of opportunity in recovery when neurological retraining is effective,” she says. “I’ve found that window is usually up to about six weeks. After that time, recovery is less likely. If an owner is able to manage the paralyzed dog, I recommend one to two weeks of therapy. If there are small daily improvements, then those dogs usually recover to an acceptable quality of life and I recommend continuing to get the best outcome. If there are no or minimal improvements, those

Summer 2017


Summer 2017

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dogs often do not make a full recovery. Paralysis is not painful, so even paralyzed dogs can enjoy a full life if their owners are dedicated to their care,” she adds. Rhonda drove back to Athens to pick up Railyn one week after she brought her there. “They wheeled her in to me on a cart like you would put lumber on at Lowes. It took her a second to realize that it was me, but then she did her best to get off that cart. She put her head on my belly and rubbed against me. It was the most movement they had

seen from her all week. It was pitiful.” Rhonda paid her bill (it was not a small one), loaded up her dog, and drove home. The next day, she brought Railyn to see Dr. Davis. Despite her good success with so many dogs suffering from paralysis, Dr. Davis was not optimistic about Railyn. “She was a quadriplegic with minimal neurological responses,” says Dr. Davis. She was also about 50

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pounds, making to difficult to manage her – paralysis caused by disc problems is common in Dachshunds and some other small dogs, but not so common in larger dogs like Railyn, which is a good thing. But Rhonda was devoted to Railyn. Dr. Davis put her on an aggressive program that included three sessions a week of acupuncture, laser treatments and work on the under water treadmill. Rhonda went home with special harnesses to make it easier to support her dog’s weight and a stability ball to put under her stomach for standing exercises. “At home I would roll her back and forth on the ball and I would massage her feet,” says Rhonda. She explains that her job as a leasing agent for Meybohm Realtors made it easy for her to rearrange her schedule and devote herself to her dog’s recovery. Within about a week, Railyn was able to take a few small wobbly steps. Within two weeks, she was walking for real. As Railyn improved, Rhonda continued to take her in for regular therapy, cutting back from three times a week to twice a week. Three months later, Railyn was close to normal, and her rehabilitation visits were reduced to once a month. Today, Railyn walks and runs like a normal dog. She is playful and happy. The only obvious hint of her trouble is that when she gets tired, one of her front paws starts to buckle. She may soon be over that, too. “Railyn’s recovery was nothing short of miraculous,” says Dr. Davis. “She and other paralyzed dogs that I have worked with have shown me that these dogs do recover when given a chance.” Dr. Davis credits Railyn’s remarkable recovery to Rhonda’s dedication and hard work. “She was so devoted to her care, and it’s not easy carrying and doing exercises with a 50 pound dog!” But Rhonda has a different explanation. “I think she got better because she’s such an Alpha dog,” she says. “She knew she had to get better, because she couldn’t be weak. She needed to maintain her spot.”

Summer 2017


s ’ t e P r u Yo ! t e V r e Oth

Sybil Davis DVM: Rehab & Acupuncture Certified 307 Willow Run Rd. Aiken SC 29801 info@petfitnessandrehab.com

Summer 2017

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Junior Exhibitors

Carolinas Hound Show 2017 by Pam Gleason

he Carolinas Hound Show, held May T 5-6 at the Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C. attracted 19 packs of hounds

from around the region and beyond. This included 14 Foxhound packs along with three packs of Bassett Hounds and two packs of Beagles for a total of over 300 hounds. The Foxhounds are used for mounted foxhunting, while the Beagles and Bassets are so-called foot packs that hunt rabbits and other small game while their masters follow them on foot. The show was sanctioned by the Masters of Foxhounds Association. The hound show featured classes for many different categories of hounds, with the different packs all vying for bragging rights. The most popular classes of the day,

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however, were for junior handlers. These were divided into age groups and included many children who were noticeably smaller than their charges. A total of 33 juniors paraded into the ring while their parents and guardians watched and called out encouragement. The hounds, for the most part, were good natured, happy and compliant, eager to obey their handlers’ commands, especially if those commands came with a kiss and a treat. This was the 41st annual Carolinas Hound Show. The show got its start with the Moore County Hounds in Southern Pines, North Carolina and has been hosted in Camden by the Camden Hunt for almost a decade. Next year, it departs Camden to return to Southern Pines once again.

Summer 2017


Forecast for October 9, 2017

ItÕ s going to be raining golf balls

FOTASÕ 4th Annual Helicopter Ball Drop & Playing Fore the Pets Golf Tournament

Your Chance to Win $1000.00 on the Ball Drop Raffle Pre-numbered golf balls will be dropped from 300 feet over a designated hole at Woodside Plantation Country Club in Aiken, SC in conjunction with FOTASÕ Playing Fore the Pets golf tournament. Donate $10.00 to FOTAS for a ball drop ticket. The corresponding numbered ball that lands 1st in the hole or closest to the hole wins $1,000.00

To purchase your golf ball raffle tickets contact FOTAS at golf@fotasaiken.org

Proceeds benefit the

Aiken County Animal Shelter Visit www.FOTASAiken.org for golf tournament entry information 14

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Summer 2017


Summer 2017

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Silver Paws

Carter the Polo Dog by Pam Gleason

W

hen Carter turned 15 on March 10, 2017, she had a birthday party. There were 11 people in attendance, along with 15 dogs. Everyone had hotdogs and hamburgers: it was a festive occasion. Carter is a Border Collie/Lab mix who is possibly the most well-traveled dog you will ever get to meet. Her owner, Kris Bowman, is the executive director of club development for the United States Polo Association. Her job there has taken her all over the United States. Carter, a veteran polo dog, always comes along. “She’s one of the few dogs that has been to 110 polo clubs across the country,” says Kris, who now has a home in Aiken. “And there are only four states she hasn’t been to: Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota and Vermont.” She has also visited scores of national parks, both in the United States and in Canada, has done a lot of hiking and camping, and has flown in the cabin of commercial airlines curled up at Kris’s feet. Loyal and intelligent, she has been Kris’s faithful companion her whole life, always staying close by her side. When that wasn’t possible, she could always be relied on to stick near Kris’s truck. “I lived in so many different spots, for her, the truck was home. I could leave her with the truck – I never had to tie her up. She would always wait for me,” says Kris. The downside of this loyalty is that her devotion has always been exclusive to Kris. When Kris has to leave her behind for some reason, she mopes. “She is a real one-person dog. When other people take care of her, she will just lie by the front door waiting for me to come back.” Even Kris’s husband, Will, could never do much with her. “I would call and ask how she was doing, and he would say, She’s just lying around, pouting, waiting for you to come home. She’s no fun at all.” Kris got Carter as a 6-week-old puppy in 2003. Kris says that she has always been a Border Collie person, but was currently dogless: her last dog had died and she wasn’t ready to get a new one. Will, not yet her husband, was a hardcore Lab person, also currently dogless. They had toyed with the idea of getting a dog as a couple, but it seemed impossible to find one that would satisfy both of them. “I thought Labs were big dumb oxes, and he thought Border Collies were neurotic,” says Kris. That summer, Kris, who lived and worked at a polo club in Vero Beach, Florida during the colder months, took a job managing a polo club in Middleburg, Virginia. Not long after arriving there, she picked up a local newspaper and saw an ad for some puppies. They were listed as Border Collie/Lab mixes. “I called Will, who was still in Florida, and I said ‘This is the best thing ever! Border Collie for me, Lab for you – it’s perfect; it’s divine intervention.’ But he wasn’t really sold on it.” Kris called the people who placed the ad anyway, and they confirmed that they had a large litter of 11 Border Collie/Lab mix puppies. But they were in demand and going fast: there were only six that were not yet spoken for. Again Kris called Will. He was still not sure, and thought it would be better to wait until he came to visit, and then they might pick out a dog together. But when Kris called the puppy people back a day or so later, they told her there was only one left. “By this time, I had already made up my mind,” says Kris. “I literally already had a collar. So I called Will back and said I was not going to wait.” Kris drove up into the mountains near the Appalachian Trail to pick up her new puppy. She even already had a name. As Kris explains it, the name “Carter” had been following her around in a strange way that spring. First, while staying with a friend in Florida, she had frequented a store called Carters. Then, she boarded her horses in Virginia at a farm off Carter’s Run Road. When she went to the store in Virginia to buy a collar for the puppy she was planning to get, the clerk at the store introduced herself as Carter. That was the final straw. “I decided that Carter had to be the name.” The people who had the litter had said that half the puppies looked like Labs, half like Border Collies. Carter looked exactly like a Border Collie with no Lab traits evident at all. “So of course, when Will met her, he said, So, you got yourself a Border Collie,” says Kris with a laugh.

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As Carter grew up, she proved that her looks were not deceiving. She had a Border Collie temperament, very intelligent and sensitive. She never liked rough play or too much handling. “She never chased a stick; she never chased a ball,” says Kris. She also never committed any typical puppy errors: never had a housebreaking accident, never chewed on anything she shouldn’t have (after that one shoe!) “I thought that was very extraordinary.” One thing that she did enjoy doing very much was hunting, and she used to go on expeditions around the grounds of whatever polo club she was in to catch groundhogs and rabbits while Kris was busy working. She was quite good at it, and Kris can remember more than one occasion when Carter nearly caused a scene by showing up at a formal event, proudly displaying a headless hunting trophy. Carter always got along well with other dogs she met on her travels, but she only had one true, deep canine friend in her life. This was a huge rescued Poodle/Portuguese Water Dog named Bear, who also lived at the polo club in Florida where Kris spent many winters. “The only time Carter ever left my side was when she went on rabbit hunting expeditions with Bear. She would come back happy and covered in burrs. She never had another friend like that.” Two summers ago, when she was 13, Carter had a terrible health scare. She and Kris were out in Wyoming where Kris was working, and suddenly, on a Friday afternoon, Carter lost control of her rear quarters. Kris took her to a vet, who diagnosed her with immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) a disorder of the blood that had caused her spinal cord to become compromised. The vet offered to treat her with a human cancer drug, which he said might work and might not. Kris agreed to try it, gave Carter the medication and took her home for the weekend. “She couldn’t walk. I had to hold up her hind end with a polo wrap,” remembers Kris. “I spent two days taking her out like that. It was a hard weekend. As a dog owner, when you have a dog that is 13, you have already made peace with what is coming, and you know eventually you will have a horrible choice to make. So over that weekend, in my mind, I was thinking that this was it. There was no way she could be the outdoor dog that she was and be paralyzed. It gave me a few days to wrap my head around the idea that this was the end.” Kris had another vet appointment on Monday afternoon, and thought it would probably be Carter’s last. But on Monday morning, when Kris went to take Carter out to relieve herself, Carter started walking away – not perfectly, but it was an immense improvement. By the time she got to her veterinary appointment that afternoon, she was walking almost normally. At the vets, they hailed her as a miracle dog. By the fall she was back to her old self. At 15, Carter has definitely slowed down quite a bit. Last year, at 14, she was still able to accompany Kris when she went on trail rides with her horse. This year, those adventures are in the past. She can no longer hear, and some of her other habits have changed, too. For instance, she never cared much for food her whole life, but now, she has become “completely shameless.” “She was the type of dog, you could put a hamburger in front of her on the table and she would never eat it. It was beneath her to steal food,” says Kris. “Now, if a kid walks by at a barbecue with a plate full of food, she’ll just take it. I don’t even know what to say to her. She doesn’t care anymore.” “We’ve had a really great relationship,” continues Kris, noting that Carter was with her during many phases of her life, including her wedding, when she stood up with the couple as they said their vows. “She matches my personality perfectly, and we work as a unit. I don’t call her, I don’t tell her what to do. She just knows, and I don’t know how she knows. I never tried to make her stay by my side, it was just an agreement between us. It worked.” Dogs’ lives are much too short, and Kris knows this relationship can’t last forever. But for now, she and Carter are back on the road, traveling from Aiken to Wyoming for another summer of polo and adventure. Kris has to pay more attention to her, and has to help her in and out of the car, but she says it is definitely worth it. “We’re taking one day at a time,” she says. “I am so lucky to have her.”

Summer 2017


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Summer 2017


Making a Difference

The Volunteers of McCormick Humane Society by Pam Gleason McCormick County, South Carolina is the second smallest county in the state. It is also one of the poorest, with a median income under $40,000 per year and a large proportion of its residents living below the poverty line. It sits on the western border of South Carolina along the edge of Lake Strom Thurmond. This is an artificial lake created in the 1950s when the Army Corps of Engineers built the Strom Thurmond Dam on the Savannah River. One of the bright economic spots in the county is Savannah Lakes Village, a recreation-based development at the lake that attracts nature-lovers and retirees from around the country. The city of McCormick has a quaint downtown, a visitors’ center, a library and various government services. One thing it does not have is a county animal shelter, or a department of animal control, or even an animal officer. This is not especially unusual for the area: many rural counties in South Carolina do not have a budget for animal control, meaning that animals that need assistance are on their own, unless and until some private citizen steps in to help them. Judy Haywood, a Minnesota native who now lives in Augusta, came to McCormick County in 2001 to assist her father who had retired to Savannah Lakes Village. She has been volunteering with the McCormick Human Society ever since. “I still have newspaper clippings from that time,” she says. “There were articles about stray dogs turning wild and chasing people out of cemeteries, killing farm animals. Dogs and cats were being run over in the road because they had nowhere else to go but the streets. The situation was really terrible.” The stray and unwanted animal problem was extremely disturbing, especially to people who had moved to Savannah Lakes Village from a different part of the country and were not accustomed to seeing so much animal suffering. In 1999, three women, Paula Lechel, Marilyn Zuch and Sharon VanTiem, got together to form the McCormick Humane Society. Their goal was to find homes for the stray dogs and cats in the county, provide spay and neuter services, and generally improve animal welfare in the area. The McCormick Humane Society is a decidedly grassroots organization. Incorporated in 2000, it started out as three women saving stray dogs out of their homes and is now a respected nonprofit that occupies 25 acres of donated land. It has a new dog shelter with 12 runs, including isolation areas for animals that have just arrived and a small office-cum-storage room. There is a cat barn with separate areas for cats and kittens, and an outdoor enclosure for cats with conditions that might make them difficult to adopt. There is also a new building under construction that will provide better facilities for everything when it is finished. In addition, there are shaded trails so that dogs can be taken for pleasant walks, a fenced-in play area called Woof Wilderness, a training area and a new agility field. “We are a 100 percent volunteer organization” says Jan Burttram, who is the society’s vice president. Jan, who is originally from Ohio but has lived all over the country, has been with the society for eight years. “Everything we have here is the result of donations,” she adds. “We get some grant money too, but all of that goes to spay and neuter.” When Jan says that the organization is all volunteer, she really means it. Volunteers feed and care for the animals, clean the kennels and cat rooms and do everything else. Even the labor to install the fencing and construct the new facilities is volunteer. Jan estimates that the society

has about 150 volunteers, including approximately 55 who come to the shelter regularly. About 80 percent of them live at Savannah Lakes Village. “Our oldest volunteer is a 91-year-old woman who comes here every Sunday by herself to help socialize the cats,” Jan says. “Our youngest volunteer is 10. She helps with the cats and she comes with us when we go to do adoptions.” The dog runs and cat rooms at the shelter are typically full, and essentially all of the animals in residence are former strays, since the society is not equipped to accept owner surrenders. Onsite adoptions are rare, so a group of volunteers takes adoptable dogs and cats to PetSmart in Aiken each Saturday. It’s a little more than an hour away, but very much worth the drive since there are many more adopters in Aiken than in McCormick. A good number of animals are also adopted through pictures and descriptions on PetFinder, Adopt-a-Pet and other adoption websites. A growing number get sent to out of state rescues such as Home for Good Dogs in New Jersey and Last Chance Animal Rescue in New York. The dogs and cats sent North are typically adopted right away. “We had a dog here for a year and no one wanted her,” says Jan. “But she went North and she was adopted in eight days. We had another dog that went up last week, that we had for a year, and he was adopted over the weekend.” The society also transports some kittens North. They, too, find homes in short order. “All our kittens are adopted within a week,” says Teresa Atwell, who works on the cat team. “We had a shy kitten that I thought would be hard to adopt. She and I had bonded and I could handle her, but when she saw a stranger she got nervous. She went to Last Chance and even she was adopted in three days.” Since McCormick is a no-kill shelter, getting animals adopted quickly is crucial to the mission: the sooner an animal is adopted, the sooner the shelter can take in another one. In addition to working with, caring for, and adopting out the animals in their shelter, the volunteers at McCormick Humane do their best to be good ambassadors in the community. They promote spay and neuter services as aggressively as they can, and will get cats and dogs spayed and neutered at low or no cost, depending on how much money they have in their budget. They donate food to families that are having a hard time feeding their pets. They provide humane education to the fifth graders at the public school. “That really makes a difference,” says Judy Haywood. “Because the kids take what they learn home with them.” Has McCormick Humane made a big difference in the county? The flow of animals coming into the shelter never slows, and so, to the volunteers, it can sometimes feel like they have barely touched the problem. But there is no denying that things are immensely better than they were 17 years ago when the society was founded. “I have had people in the community come to me and say ‘You’re doing a great job. It used to be that we saw dogs by the road all the time. We saw dogs starving; we saw cats and kittens coming out of nowhere, and we don’t see that anymore,” says Teresa. “We are definitely making a difference.” For more information about McCormick Humane: www. mccormickcounty.petfinder.com

Left: Jan Burttram, Vice President; Teresa Atwell, cat team; Jeannie Kocik, adoption chairperson; Above: Kitten in the cat barn

Summer 2017

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Regional Spring Calendar JUNE

Adoptions at Petco. Petco, 251 Fabian Dr, Aiken, SC. 803.845.6010, www.petco.com/shop/PetcoStoreEventsView?catalogId=10051&sto reId=10151&stlocId=2528 4 Fast and the Furriest 5k & Festival! 7:30am-12pm. Large Pavilion at Brook Run Park, Dunwoody, GA. www.angelsrescue.org 7 Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 9 Foundations for Ring Readiness. 7-9pm. GCOC Training Facility 947 S. Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 9-11 GSDC Dog Show. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. Holly Bryan, 470.239.7067, www.willspark. com/equestrian-calendar 9-11 Brightside Summer Kickoff 2017. The Brightside, 2032 Jones Phillips Rd, Dacula, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs.com 10 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 10 Pints and Paws for a Cause. 12-5pm. To benefit St. Francis Farm. Thomas Creek Brewery, Greenville, SC. 864.605.1166 9-11 Palmetto Obedience Training Club Obedience Show and Rally. Northwest Recreation Center, 701 Saxon Ave, Spartanburg, SC. www.palmettotrng.com 11 Animal Rescue Fair. Wills Park Equestrian Center, 11925 Wills Rd, Alpharetta, GA. www.willspark.com/equestrian-calendar 14 Dog Ears: Reading to Shelter Animals. 1:30-3:30pm. Reservation required. Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 16 Foundations for Ring Readiness. 7-9pm. GCOC Training Facility 947 S. Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 16 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 17 Polo for Pets. 11am-2pm. Atlanta Regional Polo Center, Atlanta, GA. 770.712.5541, jennykepano@comcast.net 17 Hound Dog Social - Summer on Augusta 2017! Festival benefitting The Greenville Humane Society. Augusta Village, Greenville, SC. www.onlyonaugusta.com 23 Foundations for Ring Readiness. 7-9pm. GCOC Training Facility 947 S. Stadium Rd, Columbia, SC. www.gcoc.net 24 Barks & Books! 10am-1pm. A special adoption event for Lucky Pup Rescue. M. Judson, Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC. 864.603.2412 24 Free Agility “Try It” Day. 11am-12pm. Free. Astro Kennels, 418 Scuffletown Rd, Simpsonville, SC. www.astrokennels.net 30-Jul 2 Chestnut Hill/The Dogs Place North America Diving Dogs Trial. 4314 East Cherokee Dr, Canton, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs. com 3-4

JULY

Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 8 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 12 Dog Ears: Reading to Shelter Animals. 1:30-3:30pm. Reservation required. Aiken County Animal Shelter, 333 Wire Rd, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 21 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 27-30 Greenville AKC Dog Show. TD Convention Center, 1 Expositon Ave, Greenville, SC. www.greenvillekc.org 5

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AUGUST

Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 4-6 Chestnut Hill/The Dogs Place North America Diving Dogs Trial. 4314 East Cherokee Dr, Canton, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs. com 9 Atlanta AKC Dog Show. Atlanta Exposition Center South, 3850 Jonesboro Rd, Atlanta, GA. www.apps.akc.org 12 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 12-13 High Flyer Dog Agility Show. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org 18 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 18-20 Brightside Air it Out! The Brightside, 2032 Jones Phillips Rd, Dacula, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs.com 24-27 Blue Ridge Dog Agility Show. FENCE, 3381 Hunting Country Rd, Tryon, NC. 828.859.9021, www.fence.org 2

SEPTEMBER 1-4

Chestnut Hill/The Dogs Place North America Diving Dogs Trial. 4314 East Cherokee Dr, Canton, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs. com 6 Yappy Hour. 6-8pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 9 Dog Wash. 10am-2pm. SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken, SC. 803.648.6863, www.letlovelive.org/ calendar 15 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 23-24 West Columbia Dog Show. South Congaree Horse Arena, 301 Oak St, West Columbia, SC. www.akc.org 23-24 AKC Rally and Obedience Trial. Riverside Park, 4431 Hardy McManus Rd, Evans, GA. www.akc.org

OCTOBER

Brightside October. The Brightside, 2032 Jones Phillips Rd, Dacula, GA. www.northamericadivingdogs.com 6-8 Augusta Dog Show. North Augusta River Park, 100 Riverview Dr, North Augusta, SC. www.augustakennelclub.org 7 Polo Under The Stars FOTAS fundraiser. Raindate Oct 14. 3289 Camp Rawls Rd, Wagener, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 9 FOTAS’ Playing Fore the Pets Golf Tournament + Helicopter Ball Drop. Woodside Plantation Golf Club, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken. org 14-15 AKC Rally and Obedience Trial. Simpsonville Senior and Activity Center, 310 West Curtis St, Simpsonville, SC. www.akc.org 19-22 Atlanta Dog Show. Atlanta Exposition Center South, 3850 Jonesboro Rd, Atlanta, GA. www.akc.org. 20 “Furever Friends Friday.” The Aiken County Visitor Center, 133 Laurens St NW, Aiken, SC. www.fotasaiken.org 27-29 Bulldog Show. Piedmont Kennel Club Showplace, 13607 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC. www.akc.org 6-8

Summer 2017


Classifieds ADOPTIONS/PUPPIES Black Russian Terrier Puppies now available. Good pedigree. 803-646-8606, karenphillis@ yahoo.com Trinity Farms Terriers: Quality family dogs with proven calmer dispositions. Generations of gre.at temperaments. Health/dispositions guaranteed. Breeders of terriers for 30+ years. Donna Fitzpatrick. 803.648.3137. www.easyjacks.

com & trinityfarmskennel.com & trinitynorfolkterriers.com. Albrecht Aiken SPCA. Dogs, puppies, cats and kittens for adoption. 199 Willow Run Road, Aiken. Hours of operation: MonSat. 11 am - 5 pm., Sat 10 am- 3 pm; Sun 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm. www. LetLoveLive.org 803.643.0564 Adopt a Shelter Dog or Cat from the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Many beautiful, healthy, friendly

animals to choose from. 333 Wire Road, Aiken. See the pets at www. fotasaiken.org. 803.642.1537. Pointers! Many beautiful purebred Pointers of all ages available for pets or hunting. www.pointerrescue.org. ANIMAL CARE Horses And Hounds Aiken. Pet & Horse-Sitting. Reasonable Rates, Bonded and Insured, Vet Assistant. 803-643-9972/803-443-8303.

horsesandhoundsaiken@gmail. com. www.horsesandhoundsaiken. com TRAINING Palmetto Dog Club. Training classes, puppy socialization, obedience, rally & agility. Check out the website for class schedules and more information. Join us! 803-262-9686. www. palmettodogclub.org.

Advertising in The Dog & Hound Classified ads are $25 for the first 30 words & 40 cents for every word thereafter. Photo Classifieds are $35; (limit 40 words) Business Cards: $70 per issue, or $300 a year (local business discount: $60 per issue or $220 per year)

Summer 2017

Editor@theDogandHound.com The Dog & Hound, P.O. Box 332, Montmorenci, SC 29839 We accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and AMEX Pay online: www.TheDogandHound.com Or Call us: 803.643.9960

For detailed rate sheet & publication schedule, visit

www.TheDogandHound.com advertise in the FALL 2017 issue! Advertising deadline: September 15, 2017 Publication date: October 2017

The Dog & Hound

21


In Memoriam by Michael Thomas Ford

“Good luck, dad.” The woman in the waiting room touches my arm as I go by. I appreciate her words, but I know that they won’t help. I have run out of luck. For the past 20 minutes, the woman and everyone else in the waiting room has watched me cry while holding Andy, my elderly Chi-Terrier, who is wrapped in his favorite blue-checked blanket. Andy himself is asleep, or something like it, his head resting on my forearm. He’s been this way since I picked him up an hour earlier to bring him to the vet. This is our third visit in 24 hours, our second of the day. And I know in my heart that it will be our last. As I walk toward the assistant who has just called Andy’s name, I almost turn and run out the door with him, much as many of the dogs on their way to the exam rooms scramble toward it in an attempt to get out. Maybe if I get him outside and take him home, I think, everything will be fine. But he is not fine. He was, yesterday. Yesterday, he walked around the yard as he always did, unsteadily but happily, sniffing at the flowers, exploring the barn for spilled horse feed, barking at the birds. That evening, though, he seemed tired, and cried when I picked him up. An emergency trip to the vet revealed nothing, and we were sent home with pain medication.

This morning, he was worse, and we came in again. “He may just be ready to go,” the vet said kindly. But he gave Andy a steroid shot, just in case. We went home, and Andy spent all day asleep in his bed beside my desk, where I watched him anxiously. When he woke up, he ate dinner, and I had hope. But only moments later, he walked over and looked up at me with his big brown eyes, asking for help. When I picked him up to comfort him, he immediately closed his eyes and settled down. That’s when I knew. I drove as slowly as I could, praying that the one light between us and the vet would be red, giving us another two minutes together. In the waiting room, I thought about the first time I saw Andy. Just three days earlier, I’d celebrated the 14th anniversary of adopting him from a shelter in San Francisco, where he’d been brought after being hit by a car. I remembered the little cow toy I’d brought him to play with during the weeks he had to recuperate there before coming home. I remembered how I almost took him back after the first manifestations of his difficult personality, and how I’d changed my mind when he climbed into my lap to say he was sorry. I remembered the two crosscountry moves with him whining in his crate in the back seat, the day he wandered out of the yard and I thought he was lost to me forever, the midnight outings when he was sure there was something in the back yard that required his inspection. How had the time gone so quickly? In the exam room, we once more meet with the vet. “Is there anything else we can do?” I ask. When he shakes his head, I can’t breathe. I’m terrified of making the decision too hastily, of robbing Andy of even one minute of enjoying the sunshine, of driving home without him.

22

The Dog & Hound

I sign papers, make decisions about cremation, pay the bill. The entire time, Andy remains in my arms, never stirring. Then he’s given a sedative and we’re left alone. I rock him and sing to him, stumbling over the words to “Lavender Blue,” the song I always sing to him to comfort him. “You are my own heart,” I whisper into his ears, even though he’s been deaf for several years and can’t hear me. My thoughts race. I know time is slipping away. I try to stop it. Everything is happening so quickly. Part of me wants it over with, this terrible thing that is happening. Another wants to freeze this moment forever, stop time so that I can sit with Andy in my arms until I’m ready to let go. But I’ll never be ready. The vet comes back. “I want to hold him,” I say as he reaches for Andy. He starts to object, then nods. It all goes as smoothly as it possibly can. I know the moment when Andy’s spirit has left his body, because suddenly he feels heavier, the weight of flesh and bone without animation. But I wait for the vet to check for a heartbeat. When he says, “He’s gone,” I allow myself the release of tears. There are things I am grateful for. I am grateful that Andy didn’t decline to the point of suffering. I am grateful that he was happy right to the end. I am grateful that I was able to give him the easiest possible death, and that he wasn’t afraid. Mostly, I am enormously grateful that we had 14 years together. For many of us, dogs are far more than just dogs. Living with Andy, I learned about myself. Watching him move through the world, I discovered new ways of looking at things. In many ways, we were very much alike: stubborn, curious, mercurial. He was a fine companion, and I loved him as much, if not more, than anyone else in my life. A few days after Andy’s death, my friend Paul Magrs, best known as a novelist but also a wonderful artist, sends me several sketches he’s made of Andy based on the last pictures I took of him. In my favorite, Andy’s tongue is sticking out and he’s wearing the ridiculous belly band he wore for the last three years of his life. I put it on a table along with the box containing Andy’s ashes and a bowl holding one of Andy’s canine teeth that was knocked out during an altercation with my friend Melissa’s Dalmatian. It’s a shrine of sorts, I suppose, or at least a memorial. I have a complicated relationship with things like the question of souls and an afterlife. But I want to believe that there’s something after this current adventure, and that the relationships we share have meaning on a larger scale. Apart from the separation from him, the most difficult aspect of Andy’s death for me is the feeling that everything he was is just gone, here one minute and erased the next, only a memory in my mind. I like to think that his spirit has gone on to something else, that the experiences he had during his life are in some way added to the experiences of every other living thing, and that whatever form his spirit now takes, it retains something of him. I like to believe that maybe we’ll get to meet each other again, that someday I will see in the eyes of another human or dog or other animal a little bit of him and we will recognize one another. Life is a strange thing. In a waiting room, a child hugs a wriggling puppy in her arms, excited about all the days they will have, while three seats away a middle-aged man cradles an elderly dying dog as he thinks about how quickly their days together have passed. You welcome a dog into your life knowing that someday, far too quickly, that dog will break your heart. When he does, you say you will never do it again. But you know that’s a lie. I think about Andy every day. I miss him every day. Writing this, my heart breaks all over again at the loss of him. But I am also reminded that because we said yes to each other 14 years ago, both of our lives were forever changed. Farewell, my little big-eared friend. Until we meet again. Michael Thomas Ford’s most recent novel, Lily, is a Tiptree Award long list title, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a Shirley Jackson Award finalist. Visit him at www.michaelthomasford.com.

Summer 2017


Summer 2017

The Dog & Hound

23


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