Last Saturday, we headed in a northwest direction to Thoroughbred Countryâ€”not to ride horses, but to hear live bluegrass. In fact, we knew nothing of the horsey set, awaiting us in Aiken. We learned quickly.
As it happens, Aiken is known throughout the world as an equestrian training center, claiming National Champions such as 1981 Kentucky Derby winner, Pleasant Colony; 1990 Preakness winner, Summer Squall; 1993 Kentucky Derby winner, Sea Hero; and Kelso, Horse of the Year for five consecutive years in the 1960s.
The source of this equine foothold? Long famed as a winter resort for some of America’s wealthiest familiesâ€”the Goodyear’s, Whitney’s, Astor’s and Vanderbilt’s includedâ€”Aiken is no stranger to leisure class interests and activities. Rolling hills, pine-scented air and pleasant weather will do that to a place.