2017 - 2018 Aiken Equestrian Resource

Page 50

Dressage in Aiken By Amy McElroy


ressage in Aiken has exploded over the past three decades. I would like to take you on a walk down memory lane to see how dressage life in Aiken has grown. I moved to Aiken in 1983 to fulfill a dressage working student position at Graf Bae Farm. At the time, Graf Bae Farm was well known as one of the elite dressage Hanoverian breeding farms in the country and was the only site on the east coast where they held annual Hanoverian inspections. The farm was owned and managed by Dick and the late Bari Von Buedigen.

head dressage trainer. At that time the farm stood three stallions, including the most famed dressage stallion Domingo. In addition to the breeding farm on Sizemore Road ( which is currently DFG Stable). The Von Buedigen’s also owned the “Pink House’’ located on Easy Street in historic downtown Aiken, as well as the Black Barn on Third Avenue which abutted their backyard. Better known to most as the town barn, where all the dressage riding horses were trained and stabled. A string of FEI horses and some up and coming talented young horses filled the stalls of Graf Bae Farms town barn.

Bari Von Buedigen riding Sheagram - Prix St. George 1990

Graf Bee Farm’s Domingo, 5 time ASHA USET Horse of the Year, Leading Sire of Sport Horses - 1990-2000, with rider Hakan Thorn.

In 1983 they hired Hokan Thorn of Sweden as their Page 48 | Aiken Equestrian Media 2017