Where: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

What: American Heart Association Annual Beach Ride

Western rider on a sandy beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with her horse. Sunset and ocean is in the background.

The American Heart Association beach ride is the only opportunity to ride your horse down a 20-mile stretch of beach that’s otherwise closed to horseback traffic, making it a can’t-miss experience for trail riders.

Riding for a Cause

The American Heart Association (AHA) Beach Ride commences each fall on the beautiful coastline of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This five-day, four-night event offers equestrians a once-in-a-lifetime experience to camp oceanfront with their horses, while raising significant funds to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke. Entering its 37th year, the event has raised more than $5 million dollars for the AHA.

The Facts: 23 | Number of states attendees hailed from at last year’s event, including about 1,200 horses, 2,000 people, and 600 dogs.The family-friendly event features a vendor village with nightly entertainment and a celebratory 20-mile ride on the beautiful South Carolina beaches, bringing together horse-lovers of all types for a great cause.

“Walking around the campground, it’s easy to see why so many people make the trek back every year,” shares Julie Goodnight, a horsemanship clinician and TV host. “Before I came here, I thought it was all about the horses. But clearly, it’s about much more than that,” says Goodnight about the experience that benefits the American Heart Association.

Riders can enjoy the beach by horseback on a 4-mile stretch during each of the event’s five days. The Saturday, 20-mile ride is the culmination of the event and is the only time of year the city of Myrtle Beach allows horses on the oceanfront. Hundreds of tourists and locals line the beach to see the beautiful horses parade past.

Tourists watch as riders have a parade to honor the American Heart Association. The riders are wearing red and one is holding the American flag.

Hundreds of tourists and locals line the beach to see the beautiful horses parade past for the American Heart Association beach ride.

The family-friendly event features a vendor village with nightly entertainment and a celebratory 20-mile ride on the beautiful South Carolina beaches, bringing together horse-lovers of all types for a great cause.

“Walking around the campground, it’s easy to see why so many people make the trek back every year,” shares Julie Goodnight, a horsemanship clinician and TV host. “Before I came here, I thought it was all about the horses. But clearly, it’s about much more than that,” says Goodnight about the experience that benefits the American Heart Association.

Riders can enjoy the beach by horseback on a 4-mile stretch during each of the event’s five days. The Saturday, 20-mile ride is the culmination of the event and is the only time of year the city of Myrtle Beach allows horses on the oceanfront. Hundreds of tourists and locals line the beach to see the beautiful horses parade past.

Don't Miss This

Google Map of Myrtle Beach area.

explore.

This is the only time of year you can ride your horse past the popular Myrtle Beach 1. Boardwalk and SkyWheel. The 20-mile ride takes you right under the famous fishing pier.

family fun.

2. Lakewood Camping Resort, host of the annual AHA Beach Ride, is a square, half-mile of oceanfront property. Featuring a waterpark, indoor and outdoor pool, basketball court, and mini-golf, there’s plenty to keep any non-horse people busy. This is the only week of the year they allow horses on site. 3. Myrtle Beach State Park is a short drive away and allows visitors to explore nature in a pristine coastal setting.

do.

The city of Myrtle Beach is also rich in a variety of fun and adventure. It’s known as a golfer’s paradise, so bring your clubs. Visit the beach for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and sand-castle building. Visit 4. Broadway on the Beach to feast on superb seafood; enjoy the vibrant night life; and partake in excellent shopping opportunities, amusement parks, water sports, and so much more. 

Horse&Rider orange star.

Heart Disease Touches Everyone

Research funded by the AHA Beach Ride has supported many important scientific advancements, including drug-coated stents, CPR guidelines, and microsurgery. The 2017 event raised $305,000, and the event has raised more than $5 million dollars since its inception 37 years ago. For more information, visit ahabeachride.org

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