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The Jersey Boy Heads South...My Trip to Camden, SC

December 09, 2011 · By Terry Finley · Share

I was down in Camden, South Carolina last weekend to see the babies and a few older horses at Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables. Such a neat, neat town and training center. Camden is centered around horses. The landscape is awesome and you can tell the horses think they’re in heaven. We had a group of Partners down as well, and I think they really enjoyed themselves. It was a bit nippy on Saturday morning, but the horses couldn’t have looked better, and we shared many laughs.

Kirkwood is situated on the historic Springdale Racecourse, a 600-acre plot of land donated to the state by the late Marion DuPont Scott in 1983. Mrs. Scott donated the land with caveat that the land solely be used for equine activities. The grounds are extremely well maintained, and it’s a relaxed, open environment for horses that’s different from traditional training centers. The horses have the ability to train on different surfaces and exercise through the woods and on the hills. Springdale is home to two of the most important steeplechases in the country, Carolina Cup (see the 2010 replay below) in the spring and Colonial Cup in the fall. Thousands of people flock there to see this historic event. Many top racehorses have hailed from Camden including the legendary Ruffian. Horses like Winter Memories, Plum Pretty, Alphabet Soup, Smoke Glacken, etc. have hailed from Kirkwood.


Speaking of history, there’s plenty else to do in Camden. There’s a Revolutionary War site, Steeplechase Museum, quaint downtown shopping and great restaurants. Last weekend was the first time we’ve brought our Partners down there, and my inbox is still being populated with comments about how fun it was for people to visit.

Every year we showcase our new racing class to our Partners at our training center. It’s always a social experience and everyone can just feel the anticipation building as the horses parade by and we discuss each athlete. Everyone is thinking the same thing, “could this horse be THE one?"

Our 2012 two-year-old showcase is on the calender for Saturday April 14th-Sunday, April 15th. I couldn’t be more impressed with our yearlings and the progress they have already made this year. WPT has had great luck at the two-year-old sales, and I feel confident we’ll have a number of top prospects join the stable this spring after the March 2-year-olds in training sales. West Point Partners can contact Shannon at [email protected] for more information or to RSVP. See you there.

Below is a video playlist of all the yearlings under our management training at Kirkwood. Click here to visit our YouTube channel to see all of our videos. I think you’ll really enjoy watching them progress over the next few months.







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