AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA (WFXG) - It’s the Kentucky Derby of the CSRA. The 53rd annual Steeplechase is a tradition for thousands and it just keeps growing. New this year: the races will be streamed live and there will be an activities tent for children.
931 Powderhouse Road. The home of Aiken’s largest equestrian attraction.
“I go out there to try to have a good time and see friends that I haven’t seen for a while," said Rod West, who is attending the event for his second year.
Gates at Bruce’s Field open Saturday at 9 a.m. Dozens of horses from all over the Northeast competing in 6 races - a total purse of $95,000.
Thousands of people from across the country are expected to watch, which poses a challenge.
Aiken Steeplechase Association President Paul Sauerborn said, “We are currently looking for a new venue that would support more people. We feel like we could take this to 40,000 50,000 60,000 people, possibly.”
Sauerborn said the event makes a significant direct economic impact - between $600,000 and $1 million - in the CSRA.
“People go all out for Steeplechase. It’s a time when people show off their best clothes and people show off their best recipes for their tents. And when people just come out to be with different people from different backgrounds and be able to see the horses. If you’re really into it, then the betting gets pretty intense," said Heather Wright, who plans to attend with a large group of friends.
CLICK HERE to connect to the live stream.