You have always loved horses, and you’ve wondered where could you live to immerse yourself in the equestrian lifestyle. If this describes you, then there is no better place than the Sandhills, a mecca of all things equine.
If driving is your interest, you are in the right place. The Moore County Driving Club hosts several events per year, including Combined Driving Events. Combined driving is designed to test a horse’s (or a team’s) speed, stamina, obedience, and athleticism. From single horses to teams of four, from small driving ponies to magnificent sets of four-in-hand, you can see it all in Southern Pines. The annual Christmas Parade is a special treat with Santas of all shapes and sizes being pulled along.
A special feature of the area is the Carolina Horse Park, located in Raeford, a premier equestrian center for both national and international competitions. Carolina Horse Park is a nationally recognized 250-acre site, created to preserve open spaces for not only equestrian-related activities but recreational activities as well.
Perhaps racing gets your blood going. Moore County is home to the Pinehurst Harness Track which sits on 111 acres and is used for training horses during the winter months. The Harness Track facilities include several barns with around 300 stalls and three training tracks. At the end of their winter training season, the horses and their trainers put on a show for the public called the Spring Matinee, held in April. When not being used for harness racing, the track is also used for horse shows (dressage), dog shows, car shows, rugby matches, and polocrosse. When visiting the Harness Track, don’t miss the completely restored Fair Barn, an exhibition and event space.
Hidden in plain sight, the Walthour-Moss Foundation consists of over 4,000 acres of land beginning only a mile from downtown Southern Pines. Established to help preserve the equestrian way of life, the Foundation, as it’s known, offers trail riding opportunities, rare animal habitat, and a home for the Moore County Hounds, the pack of foxhounds who help make this area a fox hunting destination. The Foundation is ringed with horse farms; a trip out Youngs Road will really blow you away.
Supporting the equestrian community are dozens of dedicated professionals covering veterinary services, farrier, dental, acupuncture, and therapeutic equine (and rider) massage. Farm and pet sitting services are available. And of course, tack and feed stores are located right downtown.