The 38th Annual Hampton Classic: Tradition Since 1975
Horseback riding aficionados from across the country and around the world recently gathered at one of the biggest and most prestigious horse shows in the U.S., 38th Annual Hampton Classic. Located in Bridgehampton, N.Y. this equestrian extravaganza is positioned on a 65-acre showground, boasting six show rings and over 70 vendors.
Considered to be the top Grand Prix-jumping horse show in the country, this particular event is unique in its ability to feature riders of every level and talent; from young kids in the leadline to Olympic veterans in the Classic’s highlight event, the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier.
Besides being a horse lover’s paradise, this equestrian celebration seemed to have something for everyone who attended: a children’s petting zoo, dozens of specialty vendors, quite a variety of restaurants, and over 100 classes of competition for all types of riders- from novices to Grand Prix veterans, and even competition for riders with disabilities.
Grabbing everyone’s attention in the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix Qualifier happened to be the very first rider, McLain Ward of Brewster, N.Y. Demonstrating his expertise to a captive audience, he took only 38.4 seconds to ride “Rothchild” to an impressive 1st place (during the jump off competition). The frosting on the cake for this excellent equestrian was guiding “Zander” to a 3rd place finish (in the same competition) clocked at 39.62 seconds. This brought Ward’s total 1st place victories to six, garnering him the top position in the Longines Leader Rider Challenge with 145 points.
Not to be overlooked was Katherine Strauss, who received the Shalanno Riding Trophy, which is awarded to a junior jumper rider who displays the best American technique of riding and is judged by Olympic medalists. The recipient of this trophy is the ultimate example of a professional sportsperson, considering all of their qualities, both equestrian and otherwise.
Victorious once again was Kent Farrington, capturing 1st place in the $250,000 FTI Consulting Grand Prix. For the second year in a row, Farrington won the pinnacle event, this time successfully directing “Zafira” to a show-stopping time of 38.51 seconds, defeating Richie Moloney on Slieveanorra (who finished at 40.00 seconds.)
Overall, this magnificent 8-day event was uplifting in its honoring and acknowledgment of the hobby and sportsmanship of horseback riding and jumping enjoyed by spectators and equestrians alike here at the Hampton Classic since 1975 …
Mr. Ed would be proud!
For a list of winners click here!
For more beautiful photos, courtesy of Rob Rich, please visit Society Allure!