Let’s talk Oktoberfest. No, not the German festival with beer and lederhosen. It’s the 10-year anniversary of Stable View’s Oktoberfest, where the equestrian community flocks to Aiken from far and wide to compete from September 29th through October 1st. This year, there’s more than $60,000 in prize money up for grabs for the FEI divisions, CCI2*-S through CCI4*-S, and lots of great prizes for the national divisions as well.
Over 400 horse and rider combinations will fill Stable View’s scenic Aiken venue next weekend, including big names like Elisa Wallace, Will Coleman, Allie Knowles, and Phillip Dutton. The 4*-S course will be designed by Captain Mark Phillips. In past years, the course has been a good mix of both technical and galloping questions, with this year’s course described as merely “true to level” in the omnibus. Competitors better bring their lucky socks and big kid breeches!
Riders on Thoroughbreds also have the opportunity to compete for several unique awards. There will be a $250 prize for the rider on the lowest-placed Thoroughbred in the National divisions, as well as TIP Ribbons and Prizes for the highest-placed Thoroughbred at each National level.
Here’s a quick look at the need-to-know for Oktoberfest. EN will be your eyes on the ground this weekend, so stay tuned for much more from Aiken and the “road to Maryland”!
Friday: Dressage for Open Intermediate through all FEI levels. Show jumping begins in the afternoon, likely at 1:00 with the 3/4* and OI jumping.
Saturday: Any remaining national levels will take on the dressage phase. Show Jumping for those who did not jump on Friday, (likely 2*), followed by some National level Show Jumping (likely P/M/T). Cross country will start at 8am for open intermediate and advanced, as well as CCI2*, CCI3*, and CCI4*-S.
Sunday: Show jumping for remaining National levels. Cross country will run for the Beginner Novice through Preliminary divisions.
Spectator admission is free! The Vendor Row will be open on Friday and Saturday from 8am to 4pm and on Sunday from 8am to 3pm. In previous years vendors have included VTO Saddlery, Sierra Nevada Brewery, FITS, and more.
Starting on Thursday, there will be a Gaze and Graze outside the Pub by the Pavilion featuring free drinks and appetizers from 5pm to 7pm.
This year’s Oktoberfest will be particularly special, as it marks ten years of Captain Mark Phillips designing cross country courses at Stable View. At Friday’s Gaze and Graze, Captain Phillips will be honored for his involvement and support over the last decade and the outdoor arena will be renamed the Mark Phillips Arena.