Equestrian Subdivisions Coming to the Upstate


Anderson, Pickens take closer look at equestrian impact

May 27, 2008

Francis B. Allgood, Managing Editor

Available acreage, favorable weather conditions and low taxes are attracting horse enthusiasts to the Upstate, and officials in Anderson and Pickens counties are studying the economic impact.

In December, an out-of-state couple purchased a home on Belle Shoals Road in Pickens County and turned the 85-acre property into a training ground for dressage horses. They also built an indoor arena the size of a football field.

“These premier horse farms will attract others,” says Jim Capaldi. “I think that’s what is going to happen here.”

Capaldi recently opened Countryside Realty with a focus on farm homes and land transactions. From breeders to horse trainers to pleasure riders, he says Pickens County is gaining ground in the equestrian community.

According to Capaldi, an acre typically sells for $10,000 in Pickens County, whereas high-profile equestrian communities command $30,000-$35,000.

It’s hard to buy acreage in Hendersonville (N.C.),” he adds.

According to the 2004 census, there are 84,300 equine residing in South Carolina. Expenses related to the animals were $402 million, while $76 million was earned through activities such as riding lessons, horse sales and breeding.

Kristine Vernon says those figures are “grossly underestimated.”

“People were a little leery that they were going to be taxed,” says the Clemson University instructor in animal and veterinary science. “We believe it’s over 100,000 in the state, currently.”

According to Glenn Brill, executive director of the Anderson Convention and Visitors Bureau, a two-day horse show has an economic impact of $174,500. Anderson has the second largest equine inventory in the state at 6,000, behind Aiken’s 6,500.



Our firm has appraised several equestrian subdivisions in the Aiken area. Those were primarily centered around Aiken’s rich polo history. When marketed aggressively, and developed with proper amenities, these subdivisions do very well. Based upon our research, those subdivisions with 2 to 4 acre lots have experienced the highest absorption.


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