Youngest Competitors Highlight the Morning at the 44thHampton Classic Horse Show.
August 25, 2019: The 44th Hampton Classic Horse Show opened Sunday morning in Bridgehampton under breezy and cool conditions, welcoming horses and riders from near and far to this spectacular annual equestrian and social event. For the next seven days the Hampton Classic will host the highest levels of competition for hunter-jumper horses and riders of all ages and abilities. From the youngest leadline riders (ages 2+) all the way to Olympic and World Champions, the prestigious Hampton Classic Horse Show attracts the best of the best.
Opening Day competition on Sunday began at 9:00am with the very smallest of the week’s competitors, lead-line riders ages two to four, followed by the groups for ages five to seven.
Hotly contested with nearly a hundred entries, these perfectly presented young riders and their mounts had the honor of being first to set foot on the immaculate grass of the newly renovated Grand Prix Ring. They were each judged carefully by Olympic Gold medal winner and Show Jumping Hall of Famer, Joe Fargis of Middleburg, VA.
The Official Opening Day Ceremonies followed in the afternoon, with the introduction of officials and special guests before moving into the highlight of the afternoon, the $30,000 Land Rover Jumper Challenge Presented by Jaguar.
Executive Director of the Hampton Classic, Shanette Barth Cohen welcomed Steve Bernstein, Chief Development Officer from the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. Partnered with the Hampton Classic Horse Show since its inception, the Hospital has been the recipient of more than two million dollars in contributions from the Classic over the past 44 years.
Now in its 13th year, The Long Island Sportsmanship Award was presented to Raquel Batto. Part of the Long Island equestrian community for decades, Ms. Batto emigrated from Argentina with a degree in veterinary medicine, achieved citizenship and worked her way up from groom to stable manager to rider and finally USEF certified instructor with her own thriving business.
Stephanie Brown Beamer performed a crowd-pleasing dressage demonstration with her own Gryphon Z, including a number of upper-level dressage movements in a brief grand prix dressage freestyle to music.
The national anthem was performed by Atlantic Records artist Nikki Vianna, whose debut single “Done” amassed more than 13 million worldwide streams. Vianna has worked with top songwriters including Scott Storch, Toby Gad and Poo Bear among others.
One of the most spectacular equestrian events in the nation, The Hampton Classic showcases the highest levels of show jumping competition. The world-class event hosts hundreds of top riders and horses from all over the world, competing over eight days for prestigious titles and over $800,000 in prize money. The week builds towards the $300,000 DOHA.INC Grand Prix CSI4* on Sunday, September 1, where the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge will be awarded to the rider amassing the highest number of points from the show’s five FEI Jumper competitions.
The 65-acre Hampton Classic show grounds is also a shopping and dining mecca. There is a wide variety of food choices, daily kids’ activities, and the luxurious Agneta Currey Boutique Gardenand Stable Row feature more than 80 vendors.
For those who can’t make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions air on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ShowNet and courtesy of LONGINES. Complimentary live webcast of all Anne Aspinall ring competitions also air on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ShowNet and sponsored by RideTV. In addition, WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, broadcasts up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at www.wvvh.tv. Most of the Classic’s other classes are also available on ShowNet.biz.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.comor call (631) 537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.
Daily admission to the Hampton Classic is $10 per person (children under six are admitted free) or $20 per carload. Admission is free on Monday, August 26 (limited competition this day, but boutiques, exhibition tent, and Animal Welfare and Adoption Day are open). Seniors are admitted free Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Saturday (August 31), children under 12 are admitted free and each receives a free pony ride. Parking is free.
Happening Tuesday, August 27 in the Der Dau/CWD Riders’ Lounge following the last class in the Grand Prix Ring: Dr. Amy Polkes of HV Equine Internal Medicine and Antech Labs Equine Division will be hosting a seminar titled “Equine Neurologic Disease – is your horse neurologic or lame?”
Grandstand tickets are still available for the $300,000 DOHA.INC Grand Prix CSI4* on Sunday, September 1, Bucket seating in all sections are $45 per person. Visit www.hamptonclassic.com/grandstand-tickets to book your seats.
Photography: Barry Gordin