Aiken Trials begins three weeks of horse events

Triple Crown will include Steeplechase, Pacers and Polo
Mikki Fincher rides Friscan to victory in the second race of the 2011 Aiken Trials. The 2013 Trials is Saturday.

THE AIKEN TRIALS will kick off the Aiken Triple Crown – three weekends of horse events – on Saturday, March 16.


The Trials was started in 1942 as a way to let the young horses being trained in Aiken stretch their legs in front of a cheering crowd.

The event at the Aiken Training Track, 538 Two Notch Road SE, draws close to 10,000 spectators. Gates open at 10 a.m. for tailgaiting. The first of six races starts at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 advance plus $10 parking or $15 plus $15 parking at the gate. A tent party starts at 11:30 a.m. and is $75 for adults and $25 for children, advance only. See


THE AIKEN SPRING STEEPLECHASE, where spectators will see horses racing to clear each fence, is set for Saturday, March 23, at Ford Conger Field, Audubon Drive at Two Notch Road.

Gates open at 9:30 a.m. with the first race at 1 p.m. A carriage parade will be after the first race.

Tickets are $15 advance or $20 at the gate. See or call (803) 648-9641 for details.


THE PACERS AND POLO COMPETITION on Saturday, March 30, rounds out the Aiken Triple Crown.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m. at Powderhouse Polo Field on Powderhouse Road in Aiken, and the first match begins at 1 p.m. (Rain date is March 31).

Tickets are $8 advance and $10 at the gate or $5 for ages 12 and younger $5. VIP tickets are available. For more details, call (803) 641-3486.