As much of the Mid-Atlantic waited out snowy and muddy footing, the temperate setting of Aiken, South Carolina, hosted a week of myriad activities for side saddle enthusiasts. Aiken Ladies Aside was established by Betty Alexander and now boasts members from many states and Canada. The organization presented its second annual Winter Week Aside, with hunting, showing, learning, and of course, socializing on the schedule.
 
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Babbie Wanamaker, Sue Sisco, Betty Alexander, and Ann Lawhorne out with Aiken Hounds (SC). Barbara Kirchner Magrogan photo.
 
Drawing attendees from the variety of winter equestrians in Aiken, the week offered something for everyone. Aiken Hounds hosted the ladies in the field, Three Runs Plantation offered two days of side saddle instruction, and Susan Sisco performed a demonstration ride.
 
Betty Alexander gave a presentation of her habit collection, the group enjoyed a ride through the Hitchcock Woods, and local showgrounds, Highfields, hosted a Just For Fun Show with a side saddle division. Participants in all activities ranged from experienced foxhunters and show competitors to brand-new converts to the challenge and elegance of riding aside.
 
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Looking graceful at the Just For Fun Show: Debra Taylor (unmounted) with Babbie Wanamaker, Susan Sisco, and Olivia Ketterer. Barbara Kirchner Magrogan photo.
 
The conviviality continued out of the tack, as well: In addition to the hunt breakfast following the meet, a "Whine & Cheese" party was put on at Sullivan Saddlery, guests attended an Equestrian Evening at the Wilcox, and a lovely private dinner hosted by one of the members. 
 
Many thanks to Susan Sisco for providing information about this fun week. If you are interested in learning more about Aiken Ladies Aside, please contact Susan at sjumps@aol.com.
 

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