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Jan 31, 2018 12:25 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Classic Horse Show Selects Michel Vaillancourt As Its New Course Designer

Michel Vaillancourt is taking over for Alan Wade as course designer of the Hampton Classic. JENNIFER ANSTEY
Feb 6, 2018 9:32 AM

A new course designer will be putting his stamp on the famed grass ring at this year’s Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, set for August 26 through September 2.

The Hampton Classic—now in its 43rd year and highly regarded as one of the premier equestrian events in the country—announced on Wednesday morning that it has selected Michel Vaillancourt as its new course designer for classes on the Grand Prix field. He succeeds Alan Wade of Ireland who stepped down to focus on his role as course designer for the 2018 Fédération Equestre Internationale World Equestrian Games™ being held in Tryon, North Carolina, shortly after the Hampton Classic. Continuing the Classic’s legacy of world-class course designers, Wade had followed Guilherme Jorge, course designer for the 2016 Olympic Games, and Conrad Homfeld, course designer for the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games.

Vaillancourt is an accomplished designer in his own right. Originally from Quebec, Canada, and now based in Aiken, South Carolina, Vaillancourt, an FEI Level 4 course designer, designed the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto where his courses received rave reviews from the competitors.

Vaillancourt made history when, at just 22 years of age, he became the youngest rider, and first Canadian rider, to win an individual Olympic medal in show jumping when he won the silver at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. Vaillancourt was also part of the Canadian Show Jumping Team at the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games, bringing home team bronze and silver medals, respectively. He also helped Canada win team gold at the 1980 Olympics in Rotterdam. In 2009, Vaillancourt was inducted into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame and he was honored as the 2016 Jump Canada Official of the Year.

“We are thrilled that Michel Vaillancourt will be joining us as course designer at the Hampton Classic this year. He is highly respected by the world’s top riders for building challenging and fair courses, and he brings a unique perspective as a former international competitor himself,” Shanette Barth Cohen, the horse show’s executive director, said through a press release.


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