Friday, July 14th, 2017 / News 12 NBC 26 News at 6 O'clock
AIKEN, Sc. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Horse trainers in Aiken are jockeying for the best price on new stock
"This week is the first week in our recruitment process. We call it the first sale of the year," said Cary Frommer, President of the Aiken Training Track and public trainer in Aiken.
Frommer just returned from a trip to Lexington, where she purchased three new horses to train.
"We got some legitimate interest from people who want to come down to Aiken this winter. And that's what we need," she said.
Frommer says the beyond entertainment or historical value, people should understand just how important our four-legged friends are for local business.
"Usually those who work for horses, they leave their money in the town they live. The money comes right back into the county," she explained.
From feed stores to tack stores to race tracks and beyond, there are so many businesses that stay afloat in Aiken from training and racing thoroughbreds.
"The first yearling sale of the year is important--people start to make plans."
She hopes people choose to bring their horses to Aiken to keep the money local. And it's big money.
"I bought a horse for $90,000 and sold it for a million. Last year I sold one horse for a million, and another for a million and one. I bought them both at $200,000 and $230,000 respectively."
John C. McMichael, business vitality manager in Aiken county, says that horse racing is a huge driving factor for the local economy.
"With the interest comes an economic fiber that's been a part of Aiken for many years--and it doesn't just benefit Aiken, it benefits the county, and the CSRA is general," he said.
According to McMichael, the latest estimates show that the horse racing industry generates north of $72 million and almost 2,000 jobs a year for the city.
Frommer says those figures are a testament to the product she and others produce.
"That tells you a little bit about the value of horses that come to Aiken. The trainers here are top quality."