By Raun Norquist
World-class equitation, hunter and show jumper competition returns to Bridgehampton with the 35th Hampton Classic Horse Show, opening August 29 thru September 5. Long-time Hampton Classic course designer, Olympic Gold Medalist, Conrad Homfeld, has stepped aside this year, handing off design of the jumping courses in the Grand Prix Ring to internationally renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Jorge is one of the most sought after course designers in the world and his special creativity and technical acumen along with the designers of the other four rings, including Steve Stephan, Allen Rheinheimer and Philip J. DeVita, form one of the sports most impressive course designing teams.
Olympians, World Cup and World Championship riders, emerging riders, Leadline class with riders as young as three years of age, many of our own local talent and riders from around the world will be showcasing top horses and riding skills, competing for up to $250,000 in prize money. New this year, in the hunter division, will be a 3’3” amateur-owner division as an option for amateur hunter riders.
The 60-acre showground on Snake Hollow Road, in Bridgehampton, offers VIPs and spectators alike five show rings from which to enjoy the competitions. There will be a boutique garden with more than 70 vendors including many unique shops, souvenirs and an international food court. For the younger set there will be exotic zoo animals and pony rides along with hands-on demonstrations by local kids for kids on the grooming and care of ponies. Monday, August 30, will feature the ASPCA Adoption Day, a sponsor of the Hampton Classic since 2006 and there will be finals for the Riders with Disabilities. Saturday will be Kids Day with special activities and the Pony Hunter competition.
Since its inception, Southampton Hospital has been the official community partner of the Hampton Classic and has contributed over one and a half million dollars to the hospital. The Hampton Classic also supports many other causes, local and equestrian related, with generous contributions.
Competition is daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Entrance fees are $10 per person or $20 per carload, children under 6 years of age are free daily. On September 4 children under 12 are admitted free. Seniors are admitted free Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Reserved grandstand seats for Grand Prix Sunday, are available for $30 per person. There is no charge on Monday, August 30. Parking is included with entrance fee. Week long passes are available. Tickets are available at the gate or online at www.hamptonclassic.com where you can also preview the entire daily schedule of events.
Unable to attend? Up to five hours of competition and highlights each day can be seen on the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic WVVH-TV and on line at www.wvvh.tv.