High winds and heavy rain swept through Aiken, South Carolina, on Feb. 7, damaging Stable View and surrounding areas. Stable View owners Barry and Cyndy Olliff were waiting on a flight out of Bermuda on Thursday afternoon when they got a call that their farm had been hit.
“The flight was delayed three hours because it had to go through the storm they were talking about,” said Barry. “We got back here at 2 a.m. this morning. It’s devastating, to be quite honest. You just don’t believe it can happen to your property. Cyndy and I are really disappointed because we put a lot of work into this property, but in a way these things are a lesson. They bring you an opportunity to come back better than it was before.”
There was significant damage to Stable View’s temporary stalls and the cross-country course, but no injuries have been reported. Barry estimated it will take a few months for Stable View to be back to normal, but he and his team have been clearing debris and making plans to repair and replace what they can. The most difficult loss is 40 longleaf pine trees that were damaged on the cross-country course.
“Our course was always a technically demanding course,” said Barry. “[Course designer] Mark Phillips always enjoyed using trees and offsetting jumps subtly using trees. Well, it’s not quite as technically challenging anymore. These pines are 50 to 100 years old, so it’s serious stuff. It’s a shame.”
Stable View will host its upcoming events, including the “I LOVE Dressage” show Feb. 8-9, as planned.
“We’re chopping stuff up, picking stuff up, and have had a lot of community support. Not just from the eventing community, but next-door neighbors,” Barry said. “Thank you to the community for helping us. We’re very, very grateful.”
Barry encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to contact him at 215-313-3774.