Tuesday, November 26, 2013
We've finished the 18th running of the Kingstree Trials. This was my 14th year as the announcer. I still don't know why they call it trials. Why not just horse races? Maybe it is for the trials and tribulations of all the volunteers that make this event this premier event that it is. Actually, the trials come from the fact that the two year horses were race to find out if they were ready to run in the big races. The name stuck and we have some of the finest horse races. With the mystery of the trials solved, you can just enjoy one of the most pleasant days of the year.
The chamber of commerce always brings out perfect weather. I don't know how they do it. It is always pleasant with light breezes and moderate temperatures. This weather makes it perfect for any fashion. It is just cool enough to wear a jacket and warm enough to just wear a blouse or shirt. Some of the horse aficionados may criticize people that aren't horsemen or women for wearing all the western wear. I'm not a fashion expert but there is some western wear that I approve of anytime. A sundress and cowboy boots is okay by me. Whoever thought of that outfit is surely a genius.
Culinary delights help bring out the crowds. The aroma of the cooking associated with the trials is a sensual bonanza. Delicious smelling food and wafting smoke give a feast like feel to this celebratory day.
The horses still amaze me. What has kept this sport so popular? People have been riding horses for over 2,000 years. Even with all the advances in other forms of transportation, people still love to watch horses run.
First time judges Charity Filmore and Kelly Dupree had a good time watching all the excitement and had easily judged races without any controversy. Long time pros help make this event run smoothly. Outrider Ray Boatwright and sidekick Sarah Jacque spent all day in the saddle assuring the safe movement of the horses. Drs. Grayson Brown and Jay Chandler make sure the health of these fine racing animals is never in jeopardy. Every year I have to mention Debbie and Bobby McCutchen and their family. The McCutchen Training Center is a beautiful place. They do a great job providing an exciting venue for these races. It is a pleasure working with such fine people.
All the volunteers with the chamber excel at making this event so popular. The winning horses this year were Ima All Mighty Dash, Kool Diamond Saga, Kelly's Whiskey River, Y Knot, BT King Chambbertin, Game Special, Beach Music, and Cocked.
Sponsors provide all the proof that good corporate citizens make a big difference in Williamsburg County. FTC, DSM, First Citizens Bank, Santee Electric, Agape Hospice, Anderson Brothers Bank, Hemingway Apparel, Palmetto Synthetics, Bank of Greeleyville, Tidelands Community Hospice, Williamsburg Tourism Board Hospice of South Carolina, and Town of Kingstree pitch in to provide the finances and manpower. The joining together of all these diverse groups proves that the power of cooperation make all the difference in the accomplishment of any endeavor. This year there were even welcoming letters from the governor and other celebrities. My favorite was from Si. Robertson of Duck Dynasty that told the attendees to “Get it on like Donkey Kong.”
The Kingstree Trials might be my favorite time of year. It’s a mixture of great weather, vivid fall colors and camaraderie that is without equal. Mark your calendars for next year.