21 years of the Sport of Kings
by Bobby Jonté | November 6, 2016 10:21 am
Last Updated: November 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm
It’s hard to believe that an event can last so long. Twenty-one years is a long time. The Kingstree Trials have been the go to event for a many years and it truly is the Sport of Kings. People get a chance to attend this once yearly festival and think of themselves as Kings or Queens. Princes or princesses, too.
They can dress up or dress down and stroll around majestic grounds and visit with other royalty that travel to such events. They should film an “I am rich” commercial here. The event is a cross between renaissance fair and jousting tournament. Pageantry and smells of good food abound, Frivolity mix with the serious business of horse racing to make attending an experience very few people ever forget.
I’m always amazed at how the Chamber and the McCutchen family team up to put on the premier event in Williamsburg County. It seems that no matter what weather phenomenon has happened, the weather is always beautiful for the trials.
The commitment of the racers is also something to behold. The horses are brought in in big trailers pulled by big trucks. They travel form all over the state and bordering states to race. That is quite a financial commitment as well as time to make this happen for a 350-yard race.
It is always fun to meet new people that are attending their first races. First time attendees marvel at the grounds, the food, the people and new and old friendship they make and renew year after year. In the past two decades there is also the talk of the people that are no longer able to come as well.
The people change but the fun does not.
Local sponsors keep this event running. Their support proves what good corporate citizens can do. Sponsors and volunteers keep things running smoothly. There are lots of behind the scenes work going on every second from police presence, ambulances, people selling tickets and t-shirts and always the hard working crews that handle the horses.
The stars of the show are the horses. This year’s winners were Hope Shez Jazzy, Bono the Great, Slim, Doyles Fast Cash, Dashin Illusively, Beyond the Chick and Top Hand.
There are geniuses to think about too. Who thought of the tailgate for a pickup truck? Now that was a genius. Tailgating became a verb and what would this event be without it. Who thought of the game corn hole? People bring this game and throw beanbags. How much fun can we have? How about cowboy boots? Fashion became much better when teenage girls started wearing sundresses and cowboy boots. And let’s hear it for the cowboy sartorial eloquence or having chaps and boots with spurs. How cool can you be?
After this event I’m always reminded of how lucky we are to live in a great country like we do. The personal freedom we have is the envy of the whole earth. The drive home in perfect weather surrounded by the bounty of farm fields in harvest colors creates the setting for the perfect ending to the perfect day.
Now starts the wait and the planning for the 22nd running.