By Colin Cuskley
The Charleston Classic Horse Show was held over two weeks at the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on Johns Island in mid-July. The 20th anniversary of this annual event drew more than 300 competitors from 14 states. From July 11 to 15 and July 17 to 21 the equestrians competed in dozens of events for a total of $71,000 in prize money.
The Mullet Hall Equestrian Center (www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?NID=54) located on Johns Island is part of the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commissions (CCPRC) system. The Center is in the 738 acre Johns Island County Park located off River Road on Mullet Hall Road. There are four show rings, two large barns, bleachers and a small camping area for participants. The property is part of what was Mullet Hall Plantation which at one time encompassed 3,000 acres. The plantation was once owned by the Legare family and more recently by the Limehouse family. CCPRC has hosted many events at the Center over the last year including an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, the Carolina Dirt Fair and bike riding weekends as well as equestrian shows. In addition, the Center has 20 miles of horse trails available for members who pay a small annual fee.
The Charleston Classic Horse Show is produced by Classic Company Ltd (www.classiccompany.com) which has been managing horse shows for more than 30 years. The Classic Company is headquartered on Johns Island and is headed by President Bob Bell, a Seabrook resident. Classic Company manages eight different shows annually in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi as well as South Carolina. Almost $1 million in prize money is awarded in total at these events each year. Their list of sponsors is a who’s who of business in the equestrian world. This roster of supporters is supplemented by many local vendors such as Red’s Ice House and Bohicket Marina here on Johns Island. Each show brings hundreds of thousands of dollars of business to the communities which host them. This year the Classic Company installed a new show ring at the Equestrian Center. The Charleston Classic will be returning to Mullet Hall July 10 – 20, 2013.
The Charleston Classic Horse Show is a great event and the Mullet Hall Equestrian center is an important asset for Johns Island. The Island has experienced an enormous amount of development over the last decade which will continue into the future. Maintaining a mixed use of our historic land for natural habitat, agriculture and recreation is important to the quality of life for all Johns Islanders.
Colin Cuskley is the Executive Director of the Johns Island Conservancy. The Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the wildlife, natural habitat, historical and agricultural resources of Johns Island. Find out more about the Conservancy and contact them through their website at www.jicsc.org. Find out more about CCPRC’s Mullet Hall Equestrian Center at www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?NID=54 and the Classic Company at www.classiccompany.com .