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Aug 20, 2019 10:35 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Classic Horse Show Returns To Bridgehampton For 44th Time This Sunday

The 2018 Hampton Classic.     PRESS FILE
Aug 20, 2019 12:13 PM

The lineup of world-class horses and riders, including Olympic veterans and Grand Prix champions, is set to compete at this year’s Hampton Classic Horse Show, which returns to Bridgehampton on Snake Hollow Road August 25 to September 1.

The 44th annual event offers more than $800,000 in prize money and features five International Equestrian Federation (FEI) classes. The entry list of 60 FEI riders reads like a who’s-who of the sport, and all will be looking to capture the Classic’s prestigious titles, including the culminating $300,000 DOHA.INC Grand Prix CSI4 on the final day on September 1.

More than 1,500 horses compete in 200 hunter, jumper and equitation classes in six show rings during the week-long event. The schedule features competitions for horses and riders of all ages and abilities, ranging from children’s leadline classes all the way up to the grand prix jumping and also hosts classes for riders with disabilities. The world-class 65-acre show grounds also features the Agneta Currey Boutique Garden, with more than 80 vendors, and a dozen international food options as well as exclusive VIP areas.

This year’s Hampton Classic is hosting FEI-recognized classes on five consecutive days. Competitors who successfully complete Friday’s $75,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier CSI4* will qualify for the culminating $300,000 DOHA.INC Grand Prix CSI4* on Sunday, September 1.

Additional FEI classes include Wednesday’s $10,000 Palm Beach Masters Open Jumper, Thursday’s $40,000 Speed Stake, and Saturday’s $72,000 Longines Cup CSI4*. These prestigious FEI classes, as well as several other classes held throughout the week, award points toward the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge, which awards a $30,000 cash prize plus a Longines watch to the rider accumulating the most points in the Open Jumper Division. The winner will be presented after the $300,000 DOHA.INC Grand Prix.

The Classic’s lineup of FEI competitors includes riders from 10 nations: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, USA and Venezuela.

Topping the world-class field is two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, a four-time Olympic veteran who also won the individual Gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Final, and was part of the gold medal U.S. team at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™. Last year, Ward won the $300,000 Hampton Class Grand Prix for a record seventh time.

Two of Ward’s 2018 WEG gold medal teammates, Adrienne Sternlicht and Devin Ryan, are also entered, as is crowd favorite Georgina Bloomberg. Bloomberg, a longtime competitor at the Hampton Classic with numerous victories under her belt, was Ward’s teammate on the U.S.’s 2015 Bronze-medal Pan American Games team. Bloomberg is again supporting the Classic’s Animal Welfare and Adoption Day on Monday, August 26.

Also entered is Lucy Deslauriers who finished sixth in last year’s Hampton Classic Grand Prix and who just recently returned from riding on the bronze medal-winning U.S. team at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where she also finished ninth out of 50 riders in the individual final. Other U.S. riders include Olympic veteran Peter Leone, Molly Ashe-Cawley, Laura Bowery, Brianne Goutal-Marteau, Lillie Keenan, Andrew Kocher, Peter Lutz, Brian Moggre, Callan Solem, Hardin Towell, Catherine Tyree, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, and Aaron Vale among others.

Irish riders will be out in force again this year including former Hampton Classic Grand Prix winners Kevin Babington, Richie Moloney and Darragh Kerins. Rounding out the Irish contingent is Shane Sweetnam, who dominated the Hampton Classic last year. He won the $75,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier presented by Longines and the $70,000 Longines Cup and also took second place in the $300,000 Grand Prix. As a result, Sweetnam won the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge as the Classic’s leading open jumper rider and received a check for $30,000 and a stunning Longines timepiece — one of four he won at the Hampton Classic last year.

It’s going to be a competitive family affair among the Canadian riders. Olympic veteran Mario Deslauriers, who won the FEI World Cup Final in 1984 at just 19 years of age and who took fourth place in the Hampton Classic Grand Prix last year, will again be competing against his daughter, Lucy. Deslauriers recently rode on the Canadian team at the Pan American Games in Peru where he finished 15th individually. Jonathan Millar, a World Equestrian Games veteran, will be competing against his wife, Kelly Soleau-Millar, who rides for the U.S., and his sister, Amy Millar, who was a member of the fourth-placed Canadian Team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Also entered is Erynn Ballard, who competed on the Canadian team at the 2018 WEG.

Two-time Olympic veteran Daniel Bluman of Israel (formerly of Colombia), who won the Hampton Classic Grand Prix in 2017, will be joined by his cousins Ilan Bluman and Mark Bluman, who are brothers and compete for Colombia. Other international riders slated to compete include two riders who competed at the 2018 WEG — Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Venezuela’s Alejandro Karolyi, who also competed at the recent Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

“We are thrilled to have such a stellar lineup of competitors coming to this year’s Hampton Classic,” said Shanette Barth Cohen, the horse show’s Executive Director. “It’s so exciting for spectators to be able to see so many of the sport’s top riders and we can’t wait to welcome everyone for our 44th annual show.”

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.

Grandstand tickets for the $300,000 DOHA.INC Grand Prix CSI4* on Sunday, September 1, are $45 per person for bucket seating in all sections and are on sale now. Go to hamptonclassic.com/grandstand-tickets to book your seats.

The Hampton Classic is also famous for its celebrity guests. Among those who have attended the Classic in recent years are Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld, Kelly Ripa, Sofia Vergara, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Julianne Moore, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Brooke Shields, and Jennifer Lopez.

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 on line at wvvh.tv. Most of the Classic’s other classes are also available on ShowNet.biz.

Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at hamptonclassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177.

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