Saturday, January 31, 2009

Whitehaven to host horse endurance ride in May - Full Article

Item Staff Writer

Whitehaven Plantation in the Turkey Creek community of Lee County will host a major horse endurance ride on May 23, officials announced Wednesday.

Turkey Creek Trot, sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, will feature endurance rides of 10, 25 and 50 miles, said ride manager Trisha Dingle of Whitehaven Plantation.

Whitehaven is no stranger to endurance rides, as it has been the site of J.D. Fountain's Thanksgiving Ride, Dingle said.

"But due to the increase in deer hunting in the fall, we have lost access to the trails in November," she said. "While using many of the same trails as J.D.'s ride, we are also thrilled to have brand new trails with limited road crossings."

In addition to the endurance ride on Saturday, a number of educational clinics will take place at Whitehaven on Friday, May 22, Dingle said.

Sponsors are needed for the various awards, she said.

The mostly sandy trails meander through cotton fields and pine trees. There are some hills, and very little paved road riding, Dingle said.

"There's excellent footing for barefoot horses," Dingle said.

Whitehaven will serve as the base camp and there will be primitive camping with no electrical hookup. The plantation is located seven miles from Bishopville on S.C. 341, just a half mile from Fountain's Grocery Store and Gas Station.

Whitehaven Plantation, owned and operated by David and Martha Lucas, has been in the Lucas family for more than 100 years. The century-old plantation is home to the Egyptian Arabian, one of the rarest horses in the world. Egyptian Arabians comprise less than 3 percent of all Arabian horses in the world, and are known for their beauty, intelligence and versatility.

Whitehaven Plantation is located on more than 200 acres and features a covered arena, jump course and breeding facilities. At any time, the farm averages 50 horses on the property, 22 of them being Egyptian Arabians owned by Whitehaven.

For more information, visit the Web site: or call Dingle at (803) 428-5656.

Contact Staff Writer Randy Burns at or (803) 491-4533.

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