‘Winter’ Wonderland: Sights & Sounds from Paradise Farm’s February HT

Susan Thomas and Frankly My Dear. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Sunny & 75 in February? Yes, Please! Welcome to winter in Aiken.

Paradise Farm hosted a bustling one-day event Friday with Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. It was a full day practically running from sun-up to sundown with all three phases making it a true three-ring circus.

Ryan Wood and Fernhill Flame. Photo by Shelby Allen.

In Friday’s Preliminary division, Ryan Wood was the big winner aboard Curran Simpson’s Fernhill Flame. The striking 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse is now sitting on two consecutive wins in his first introduction to the level.

Kate Brown and Carnaby. Photo by Shelby Allen.

In all, it was a spectacular day in Aiken. As usual, Lellie Ward’s farm was fantastically turned out (it’s for sale!) with inviting, yet challenging courses with features that make the courses feel world-class – like the Helsinki on the Novice course pictured above.

Happy horse jump on a sunset course walk. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Admittedly, it has been a few years since I’d been to Paradise, but my visit on Friday makes me wish I had a horse to take back myself!

Doug Payne and 4-year-old Camarillo, who was tackling his first Beginner Novice. Photo by Shelby Allen.

This is such a fun time of year to be in Aiken. Events feel especially busy with the influx of snowbirds to the area, and you get to see all kinds of their rides from top horses kicking off the season, to babies learning the sport for the first time.

Photo by Shelby Allen.

As a University of Georgia alumna, it was also super to see a group of students sporting their red and black on the cross country course!

Lindsey Beer & Timothy. Photo by Shelby Allen.

Photo by Shelby Allen.

Overall, it was a super event, with much of the credit going to the competition’s hard working volunteers. Following a successful one-day yesterday, Paradise Farm is holding a two-day horse trials this weekend. The chinchillas would like to wish good luck to all those riding this weekend!  Go eventing.

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Results]