Aiken, South Carolina

Aiken is increasingly the center for equestrian property development and new construction techniques to build “greener”, more environmentally friendly homes, harking back to the plantation styles of the past. Alex Tyrteos’ association with Vermont Timber Frames and the Carolina Company and his deep experience developing equestrian property puts him at the leading edge of creating sustainable lifestyles for those relocating to Aiken and the Southeast.

The intensification of equestrian activities in the Aiken area over time has led to the burgeoning of horse farms beyond the city limits. Encouraged by the creation of the New Bridge Polo complex northeast of town, many polo farms were sited along the Route 302 corridor where there is now a concentration of over 40 polo fields ! Farmfield Plantation is situated at the very heart of this equestrian landscape and echoes the aspirations of Aiken’s founding fathers in providing an excellent venue for equestrians who
 may be either visiting or potentially considering making Aiken their home.

Founded over 170 years ago, Aiken was a retreat for Charleston residents from the marsh lands of the South Carolina low country. The town soon became a popular health spa, combining warm, dry air with scented pine, resulting in a healing environment. At the end of the 19th century, it became known as the “Winter Colony” as America’s wealthy industrialists began to migrate here to escape the cold of the northern winter. The affluent visitors brought with them their horses and other pets and became actively involved in developing Aiken’s unique equestrian infrastructure. They also built extravagant homes and cottages which still stand today in the historic district, amidst majestic live oak and magnolia trees. By deeding in perpetuity great tracts of land for public use throughout the town, these early benefactors laid the foundations for the extraordinary amenities of Aiken today. These include the 2,000 acre Hitchcock Woods, with 65 miles of sandy hacking trails, the Aiken Training Track which is a major venue for thoroughbred training, Conger Field, the site for steeplechase events and finally Whitney Field, where polo has been played continuously since the 1800’s. These uniquely connected facilities, serving all the equestrian disciplines, undergo a shared annual ritual during the “Triple Crown”, a three week-long extravaganza. It starts with the Aiken Trials, a series of flat races held at the Aiken Training Track, continuing the following weekend with the Aiken Steeplechase. On the third and final weekend there are polo matches.
 

 

 

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