Thursday, March 24 2011 by
Spring in Aiken is unfolding in all its glory. Azaleas are in bloom, Banksia roses are open, the city has become a haze of lavender Wisteria
Monday, March 21 2011 by
Several weeks ago when I was the photographer at Sporting Days March Horse Trials, late Sunday afternoon featured the Beginner Novice and Tadpole Division starters finishing their Eventing debuts with the cross country phase. I was struck by how many horses were getting their first serious start at Eventing that afternoon, piloted by some of the most capable in the sport. I’ve put together a collection of photographs of these Beginner Novice horses paired with their same riders at Intermediate and Advanced events over the last year or so. I think it is fun and I hope you do, too.
Sunday, February 20 2011 by
The Waffle House Restaurant, Whiskey Road, Aiken, SC Anyone driving through the South is familiar with that little box with the yellow roofline placed strategically at every interchange of every major highway. While some might characterize The Waffle House as Cheeze Whiz to aged Cheddar, I, for one, am smitten with their Pecan Studded Waffles (877,388,027 waffles served since 1955) and have become a regular breakfast customer. There are three Waffle House restaurants within five miles of my home in Aiken so I can stop on any of my errands to Walmart (two of those in Aiken, too), the tack shop or the feed store for a quick bite to eat. But, a romantic candle lit Valentines dinner for two at the Waf? Reservations needed, no less. Three weeks ago I signed my oh-so-game husband up for a dinner for two and off we went on Valentines Day for a 6:30 dinner date. While we waited to be seated, we were served Sweet Tea (this is the South, after all) and chatted with the hostess
Wednesday, February 09 2011 by
An old friend of mine who was Co-DC of a Pony Club with me in Pennsylvania moved to Aiken several years ago. She came to town knowing not a soul but she did come with a horse and a pony. The horse was a retired three-day event horse which had belonged to a member of the family; the pony was her daughter’s surgery pony when her daughter was in vet school. The pony was basically un-broke but my friend took driving lessons, persevered and now Cindy is broke to drive and she goes out on excursions around town. On a quiet Sunday morning in Aiken my friend and another pony driver met at The Green Boundary, a large estate on Whiskey Road which adjoins the horse district, parked their trucks and tacked up their ponies for a drive through downtown. My horse being a been “there done” that sort of dude rounded out the threesome, although I was mounted
Wednesday, January 26 2011 by
The Low Country Hunt has hosted the Plantation Hunt Weekend only the last four years but already it has established a reputation as the “go to” event for Foxhunters. Following their first soiree, I read a review that was so enthusiastic that I put it on my list of events for the next winter. The following January, when I called one of the Masters to enroll, it was already too late and they were over-subscribed. No room at the inn. The third year, I was on the list, fully paid and my mount unexpectedly went three-legged lame the day before we were to load up. This year, the planets aligned and I rode at the 2011 Plantation Hunt Weekend in lands surrounding Walterboro, South Carolina. Walterboro is located northwest of Charleston, north of Beaufort, inland about twenty miles from the coast, in an area known as “The Low Country”. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the primary cash crop was rice; the clearing of the tidal swamps and the construction of earthen levees necessary for the cultivation of rice is still apparent and it is through these rich agricultural lands that the Hunt chases fox, coyote and bobcat. Rice requires alternate periods of wet and dry and as a result, many of the rice fields are located along rivers to take advantage of the tidal flow which pushes water through the floodgates and into the ditches.
Tuesday, January 18 2011 by
I remember how much I wanted a horse when I was a kid. It was an overwhelming desire to possess such a magical beast, one that could take me many places and not necessarily those located on a map. This wanting, needing starts so early many of us can’t remember a time when a horse wasn’t somewhere in our imaginary universe. I think I wanted a horse even before I had met one in person. So I am watching with a wistful happiness as a young friend of 15 gets her first horse and a love affair begins. She has had Dakota for only a few days but already you can see the bond of affection. It conjures up, in one big swell, a lifetime of gratefulness for the profound influence that horses have had on me.
Tuesday, January 11 2011 by
Snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain tumbled out of the skies over Aiken, South Carolina for 48 hours and shut down commercial and personal life this Monday. The South isn’t prepared for more than a flurry and local weather reports were full of foreboding. But truth to tell, the ice that followed the first few inches of snow overnight would have put any locale into hibernation. Sidewalks and roadways were so icy that every step required concentration. Whiskey Road Hunt hosts out-of-town guests for a week of fox-hunting and socializing during Hunt Week which is but a mere 21 days away. Foxhunters coming from the north as far north as Ottawa, Canada have traditionally counted on mild weather with daytime highs in the 50s and low 60s. But here we are in the middle of a cold spell and the town of Aiken is quiet – a palpable hush, no cars, no noise, no one on the streets. A sight most unusual - snow on the Aiken Standard Newspaper box.
Wednesday, January 05 2011 by
A large storm blew up the Atlantic Coast on Christmas Day and it wasn’t until mid-day that the weather forecasters were predicting snow, and alot of it, for Chester County. All of a sudden, a day which should have been spent relaxing and drinking spiked eggnog in front of the fire became one of hurried preparation. The storm gathered steam late in the day as it picked up moisture over the ocean, then it headed west to drop it all in the form of snow. Atlantic City got about 20 inches, Kennett Square about 8, most of which blew away the next morning in gale force winds. My thoroughbred hates anything in his ears, including snow flakes, and he sure was happy to spend the night in the barn; the pinto could care less.
Thursday, December 23 2010 by
Jake Chalfin is a handsome, upbeat, charming gentleman. Growing up in northern Chester County, drawn to horses at an early age, he joined Pony Club and rode to hounds with Pickering Valley. He went away to college, returned home all grown up, got a day job to pay the bills, then did on his off hours what his heart directed.
Tuesday, December 07 2010 by
"A little Sherry? Why, I don't mind if I do." As if it weren’t enough to have had the Green Spring hounds visit us on Thursday, two days later on Saturday, November 20, Cheshire packed up lock, stock and barrel and drove to Monkton, Maryland for a Joint Meet with Elkridge-Harford Hounds, meeting at Hanlon House, the farm of Mr