Taking a walk around the cross country course at the $50,000 LiftMaster Grand-Prix Eventing at Bruce’s Field is a lot like seeing the dollhouse of your dreams come to life. Course Builder Eric Bull has outdone himself. The detail of the fences is outstanding — it’s like a teeny tiny city that is so quintessentially Aiken. Let’s take a tour around the city for ants, erm, the cross country course.
First the nitty gritty: the course starts around the track before winding through three of the main arenas. There are 22 jumping efforts with an optimum time of 4:12 across 2200 meters. All the fences represent some part of Aiken, and we start with a bomb, a literal bomb at the Savanah River Nuclear Solutions fence.
Now we sit on the porch for a drink at the Palmetto Golf Club, before worship at Saint Mary’s Church. Next riders take a hack through Hitchcock woods where they’ll find a life-size Fox Squirrel.
For all of you out-of-towners, you can come and go through the Aiken Train Depot. There’s so much more: The Wilcox, The Battle of Aiken and the Post Office. The sweet southern town really comes to life across Mark Phillips’ course. Check out the gallery below to really appreciate the detail.
Eleven pairs withdrew this morning, including third-placed Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus. Many are planning to save their horses for Red Hills next weekend. The first horse will be out at 2:35 p.m. Don’t forget to tune in for commentary from our very own Jenni Autry joined by Alex O’Neal! You can watch it on EQTV or right here on EN.