‘A yearly tradition’: Fall Steeplechase returns to Aiken

Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 12:10 AM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The fall Steeplechase returned to Aiken and was the last race in the season on the National Steeplechase Association’s calendar.

Over 15,000 people attended the races and were cheering on their favorite horses, hoping they’d win.

“You don’t have to be a horse person to enjoy the horse races,” said Anne Uskup, who attended the races.

The races bring in people of all ages.

“It’s just a yearly tradition to spend time with friends and family and kids and it’s an Aiken tradition,” she said.

A tradition so important, people fly in from all over the country.

Todd Richardson traveled all the way from Pennsylvania.

“I flew in last night. Just a quick trip in and leaving tomorrow morning just to be with friends I haven’t seen for a very long time,” said Richardson.

And for some families, Steeplechase goes back multiple generations.

“It’s so much fun to see that children of the past riders, you know this, this is like almost three generations of people,” said Joannah Glass, a retired board member and trophy chairman.

Even though Steeplechase is full of tradition, they try to add something new every year. This year, they added a permanent tower that overlooks the track.

“It’s never exactly the same here. The tents are a little bit different. The races are a little bit different. There’s always something if you look around, you’ll see we’re where we tweaked it a little bit,” said Frank Mullins, Steeplechase president.

But it’s the one thing that never changes that keeps bringing people back.

“Once they come charging down and there’s 10 horses running past at full gallop going over jumps at the same time. It stops your heart. It’s amazing,” said Richardson.

Their goal next year is to have permanent barns on the property.