It's no secret that Aiken is all things equine. Street signs are embroidered with horses. Local shops and boutiques have equine items for purchase. Restaurants have touches of equine-themed décor. The most unique thing is that there are 31 life-size fiberglass-painted horse statues around this city. Discover Aiken through the Horse Around Aiken Treasure Hunt at no cost! The treasure hunt begins and ends at Aiken Center for the Arts at 122 Laurens St. SW.
Pick up a map at the Aiken Center for the Arts to locate the 9 horse displays and take your completed map back to the center for a prize.
1. Splendor In Glass by Jo An King is located at Aiken Center for the Arts. This horse represents one of the thousands of hand-carved wooden carousel horses. This depicts an “outside row stander,” the type that did not move up and down but was intricately decorated.
2. Located by the Laurens Street Park Fountain, The Patriot by Beth Robertson Wade displays beautiful images of America. This horse uses symbols from our heritage and shows our nation and its people as proud Americans whose freedom will always endure.
3. Have Sum Fun by Barbara Nelson resides in the Courtyard at the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. This horse symbolizes the beauty of the South with a soft, but bold representation of the magnolia’s beautiful blossoms and strong friendly fragrance.
4. Look for Stonerside by Al Byer in the home of “Aiken’s Racing Champions” at Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. This horse was named for Stonerside’s parent stable in Paris, Kentucky which was named after Stoner Creek that runs through the property and the stone wall that surrounds it.
5. Discover Magnolia Mare by Nanette Langer in Hopelands Gardens. This horse symbolizes the beauty of the South with a soft, but bold representation of the magnolia’s beautiful blossoms and strong friendly fragrance.
6. Horse of a Different Color by Michael Fowler at the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum highlights the many present-day words and phrases that have equine references. These are displayed in zebra-like stripes in a rainbow of colors.
7. Meet Steed Freedom by Commie Peebles at Park Street Pedestrian Park! The design for this horse was conceived as U.S. troops were deployed into Iraq, and the artist felt the flag design was both timely and beautiful.
8. Palmetto Equine, located at Park Street Pedestrian Park by Henry L. Drakeford, represents the City of Aiken, the state of South Carolina, and the U.S. with a variety of images, including the All-American City shield, Triple Crown and various other equine activities.
9. Spot Dustin Hoofman by Leslie Alexander on the catwalk at the Aiken Community Theatre. This horse is both a reflection of Aiken’s rich history and an image of its bright future with a unique mix of whimsy and class.
At the end of your treasure hunt, be sure you check out the special edition horseplay jewelry by local silver smith, Danielle LoMonaco, in the Gallery Shop of Aiken Center for the Arts. These beautiful pieces of jewerly is a great souvenir to wear home!