Aiken Steeplechase continues bringing families together

A record turnout of more than 20,000 showed up Saturday
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 10:39 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The 56th annual Aiken Steeplechase took place on Saturday. A record turnout of more than 20,000 people showed up for a family tradition enjoyed by those near and far, but especially those who call Aiken home.

“The horses themselves are entertaining,” said Pete Sampson. “Love the race, love the actual activity of racing.”

The real love takes place off the horse track.

“Primarily, we come out here for good friends and food,” said Sampson. “We just have made it kind of a family tradition.”

Generations of families make this a tradition each year.

“Our family has been coming out here probably 43-44 years,” said Sampson.

Time passes on, but one thing remains the same.

“It’s the fellowship, having a good time,” said Fayeth Tubbs. “Just being able to be together.”

It’s a lot of preparation work to come together at the track each year.

“We get it done and everybody has a good time,” said Tubbs. “It’s just a good time to get out and have a good time.”

“This is a record attendance,” said Frank Mullins, Aiken Steeplechase Association president. “It’s bigger than we’ve ever had. It’s bringing in a lot of new riders and higher quality horses that have never been here before. So that brings in more people, brings more more attention to Aiken and it benefits everybody.”

The third and final leg of the Aiken Triple Crown is next Saturday with the Pacers and Polo tournament. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. at Powder House Polo Field.