September 11th, 2012 – Week one of the 2012 Aiken Fall Festival Show series came to a close on Sunday and what a busy week it was. The event in its 5th year took place at Highfields in historic Aiken, SC and is managed by locally based Equus Events, Inc. and show manager J. P. Godard.
The week kicked off on Thursday with plenty of action in both the hunter and jumper rings. The featured class was the $5,000 Open Welcome Stake which took place Thursday afternoon out on the grass field. Hollow Creek Investment’s Boccaccio and rider Angel Karolyi took top honors there with a jump off time of 37.793 just edging out another Aiken based rider Daniel Geitner and Ann Ritter’s Jumbo Jet who finished clean with a time of 37.890. Boccaccio, an 11 year old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Up Chiqui, has had much success with Karolyi winning the $25,000 Equestrian Sport Productions New Year’s Grand Prix in Wellington as well as placing 9th in the $75,000 Nations Cup this winter. Carboni, owned by the Hollow Creek Farm, took home third place with rider Angel Karolyi handling the ride there as well. Following the class, the Aiken Fall Festival Welcome Party took place at The Stables Restaurant at Rose Hill. Exhibitors and sponsors were treated to food and drinks as well as live music by local artist Gavin Reily. Many thanks to The Stables Restaurant for sponsoring the Aiken Fall Festival Welcome Party for the second year in a row. The restaurant features a dining room and bar menu, live music on the patio every Friday, and a full bar all in one of Aiken’s most unique settings. Located just minutes from Highfields accommodations are also available www.rosehillestate.com.
September 12th, 2011 ~ The first week of competition for the 2011 Aiken Fall Festival came to a close yesterday. The two week hunter jumper show series is managed by J. P. Godard and his Equus Events and took place September 8-11 at Highfields Event Center in Aiken, SC. This week’s sold out show was jam packed with many special classes and events and the horse-centric town of Aiken makes it a prime stop on everyone’s calendar. Exhibitors were delighted with the gorgeous weather and the Aiken Fall Festival really stepped it up to make all of its guests feel welcome with good southern hospitality and most importantly a well-organized event. All attending were treated to nightly parties and daily hospitality including breakfast, daily snacks, and an ice cream party on Saturday all courtesy of the show’s hospitality sponsors; Allison Mills, Beaver River Farm, Booth Parker, Christison Stables, Willoughby Stables, DFG Stables, Debi Friedman, Gagne International, Gamboa Veterinary Services, John and Leslie Kasper, Liz Tarumianz, Summit Springs Farm, LLC, The Farm House, The Stables Restaurant, The Wilcox, Travinia Italian Kitchen, and Wendy Arndt and Team IEC. While the VIP tent events are free to exhibitors, donations were taken for this week’s beneficiary Children’s Place of Aiken, SC (www.childrensplaceinc.org). “We are extremely excited with our turnout this year,” said show organizer J. P. Godard. “We are completely sold out this week and even with putting up more stalls next week, we still have a waiting list. In these tough economic times I feel people are picking and choosing what shows to attend and Equus Events is really striving to put on events that are the benchmark in our area.”
The week kicked off on Thursday with the featured class being the $5,000 Open Welcome Jumper Stake. Josh Dolan of Hilton Head, SC guided his Skylands Con Chino Z to the blue taking top honors over Christina Jason and her Tamino who finished second with Claire Lee White and High Roller finishing in third. After the class everyone was invited to an Exhibitor Welcome Party at The Stables Restaurant and Beer Garden at the Rose Hill Estate in downtown Aiken. The party featured food, libations, and the sounds of local Aiken band Preston and Weston with a few Aiken Fall Festival exhibitors even taking to the mic a time or two! A great time was had by all and many thanks to The Stables Restaurant for the wonderful party.
May 13th, 2011 – Competition kicked off this week to beautiful sunny skies at the 2011 Atlanta Spring Premiere Horse Show at the Georgia International Horse Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Aiken, South Carolina resident J. P. Godard and his Equus Events manage the annual two week series which takes place May 11th-15th and 18th-22nd.
The professional hunter divisions took center stage in the hunter rings on Wednesday and Thursday while the jumpers tried their hand in the International Arena at courses designed by international jumper course designer Pierre Jolicoeur. Hunt Tosh of Milton, GA had a stellar start to the week coming away with three tricolors on three Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler owned entries. Tosh took home the First Year Green Hunter Championship aboard Triton Z, the Second Year Green Hunter Championship on Good Humor, and the Conformation Hunter Championship aboard Cloud Harbor. Tosh is no stranger to the winners circle as he capped off an incredible 2010 season with a win in the coveted $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby finals in Lexington, KY on Lonestar as well as a Grand Hunter Championship and Leading Hunter Rider award at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, just to name a few. He was also the recipient of the United Equestrian Federation’s Emerson Burr Trophy in 2010.