100th Aiken Horse Show honored

STAFF PHOTO BY DAN BROWN S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, center, presents a legislative proclamation to Greg Paschal, chairman of the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, celebrating 100 years of the Aiken Horse Show. Pictured, from left, are Dana Massey; Sen. Tom Young, R-Aiken; Harry Shealy; Christine Rolka; Taylor; Paschal; Connie Young; Ilehr Risbin and Gail B. King.

In the shadow of the largest urban forest under private management in North America, one of the oldest sporting events in South Carolina enjoyed a moment in the sun Friday.

The 100th annual celebration of the Aiken Horse Show was honored with a State House proclamation.

Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, presented a legislative proclamation to the board of the Hitchcock Woods Foundation during a ceremony outside the Green House at the entrance to Hitchcock Woods.

The proclamation was authored by Aiken S.C. Representatives Chris Corley, Donald Wells, William Clyburn, Bill Taylor and William Hixon.

“The tourism associated with historic horse events in Aiken and the equine industry, a vital part of the Aiken area economy, form a large part of the local revenue,” said State Sen. Tom Young R-Aiken, reading from the proclamation.

The 100th Aiken Horse Show runs from April 1 to 3 at the Aiken Horse Show Grounds, about a mile inside Hitchcock Woods.

Established in 1916 by Louise Hitchcock, one of the founders of Aiken’s Winter Colony, the annual competition is the Hitchcock Woods Foundation’s signature event.

On April 1, the Centennial Picnic in the Woods will kick off the Aiken Horse Show celebration. The luncheon sponsorship package is $350, with individual tickets available for $25 each. All proceeds benefit the Hitchcock Woods Foundation.

For more information, including entry forms, reservations to the luncheon and the picnic, sponsorship information, to donate to the silent auction or to advertise in the souvenir Centennial Aiken Horse Show Program, visit www.aikenhorseshow.org or call 803-642-0528.

Dan Brown is the city government reporter for the Aiken Standard.