Olympians and Celebrities Meet at 37th Annual Hampton Classic
Story & Photos Via: Hampton Classic Horse Show
Farrington Takes Top Honors in $250,000 FTI Grand Prix
Bridgehampton, NY—September 4, 2012— Kent Farrington took top honors in the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, the grand finale of the 37th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show. As always, the show featured international show jumpers, elegant show hunters, celebrities and more.
With more than 10,000 fans watching, Farrington, of Chicago, IL, and Voyeur were the first in the jump-off, and they left all eight jumps standing as they sped to a time of 47.53 seconds. Shane Sweetnam of Ireland just brushed the front rail of the oxer in front of the packed grandstand on Amaretto D’Arco to finish second with 4 faults in 48.04 seconds. Molly Ashe-Cawley’s mount, Carissimo, slipped on the 180-degree turn to the same oxer before leaping awkwardly and crashing into the jump. They regrouped, though, to finish third with just those 4 faults in 55.19 seconds.
Farrington placed second in the 2011 FTI Grand Prix. “I think I’ve ridden in this grand prix for the last 10 years, and I’ve won every ribbon except blue. It’s great to finally win that one too!” he said. Voyeur is a 10-year-old, Dutch Warmblood gelding whom Farrington started riding for owner Amalaya Investments last winter.
Galloping fast and turning tightly from the start, Farrington didn’t leave much room for Sweetnam and Ashe-Cawley to beat him. Sweetnam said he saw Farrington’s round, “and I knew I had to go. I thought I was OK [turning into the oxer], but then I wasn’t. He just touched it.” Sweetnam rides Amaretto D’Arco, a 12-year-old Belgian-bred stallion, for Spy Coast Farm.
Ashe-Cawley, of Wellington, FL, said she discovered after finishing that Carissimo, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, had lost a front shoe at the second fence. “He really lost his footing on the turn and I really would have liked to have circled, but you can’t do that when you’re going for $250,000! There was no way to solve it, except to keep going,” she said.
Guilherme Jorge’s course proved a challenge to the 35 entries. The final jump (fence 14), a narrow vertical set four strides after a scope-testing oxer, caused the most faults. Since the time allowed was difficult to make, some riders were forced to make a tight turn into this final line of jumps. Ten horses faulted at the last fence including McLain Ward and Antares F, the first to face the course. Ward had won the FTI Grand Prix three straight years and six times overall. They had also won the first leg of the new Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge and their failure to win the FTI Grand Prix means that there will be no Triple Crown winner this year.
“I didn’t make up my mind about the last fence until I saw the starting list this morning, and I saw what a strong field we had. That’s when I decided to make it a narrow vertical,” said Jorge, who has designed the Hampton Classic’s jumper courses since 2010. “It is a very fine line between making a course that is too easy and a course that is too hard.”
Despite Missing Out on FTI Grand Prix, Ward Still Showed Winning Ways
Ward proved that he is hard to beat at the Hampton Classic, winning four major jumper classes. On Friday, he rode Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve to victory in the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm/Young Horse Show Series Grand Prix Qualifier, while also taking third place on Antares F.
As the third rider in the 13-horse jump-off, Ward and Antares F stopped the timers just 0.02 seconds short of the mark Farrington had set right before him on Venus (42.26 seconds). Four more riders tried and failed to beat Farrington’s time before Ward returned on Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve. Ward, 36, submarined the two leading times, finishing in 40.33 seconds.
On Wednesday, Ward galloped to victory on Lucky Lord 20 in the $7,500 Equinimity 1.45m Open Jumper class, presented by Ariat. On Thursday, he guided Vocas to the fastest clean jump-off round in the $7,500 Prudential Douglas Elliman 1.45m Open Jumper class. Then on Saturday Ward scored his fourth victory of the week when he guided Vocas to the top prize in the $30,000 Pilatus Cup. This was Ward’s second consecutive victory in the Pilatus Cup and his third victory in the class in the last four years.
Riding In Style
Meg O’Mara, of Rumson, NJ, won the Shalanno Farms Style of Riding Trophy. O’Mara won the $25,000 David Yurman Show Jumping Derby and the High Junior Jumper Championship on Sinatra IV. The Shalanno Farms Style of Riding Trophy is awarded to the junior jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation as modeled by Olympic medalists Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld and George Morris. The award recipient must have the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.
“I’ve never won a style award, so I’m really happy,” said O’Mara, 18. “I’ve been working on my equitation al year, so I guess it’s starting to pay off.”
Allison Toffolon, of Bronxville, NY, won the Sam Edelman Equitation Championship edging Victoria Colvin and Sylvia de Toledo. The competition’s purpose is to prepare young riders to compete in the jumper ring, so it’s held in the Hampton Classic’s expansive Grand Prix Ring. Some 51 riders competed, with 15 returning for the second round.
Riding her own horse Class Action, Toffolon, 16, scored 90 points in the first round and 89 points in the second. Toffolon credited trainer Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm with preparing her for this unique class. “I think it’s really an honor to win this class, since my trainer’s students have won it so many times before. It was a great opportunity to represent him here,” she said.
Ashe-Cawley Claims $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Ashe-Cawley and Kennzo won the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by MeadowView Farms, on the Classic’s Opening Day. Her score of 373.5 surpassed those of teenage sensations Victoria Colvin on Inclusive (368.75) and Lillie Keenan on Monterrey (368.0). Colvin also finished 11th on Listen (271.0) and 12th on VIP Z (268.0) in the 35-horse field.
This was first time that the Derby was held in the Classic’s Grand Prix Ring, but Ashe-Cawley, an international Grand Prix veteran, felt right at home. Kennzo, a 10-year-old Finnish warmblood owned by Kristen Abbatiello-Neff, felt at home too, because he used to show as a jumper, until he made it clear that he disliked water jumps. “This was fun, and it was a beautiful, flowing course,” said Ashe-Cawley. “He always liked this grass field—he showed here twice as a jumper—so I thought I’d give this a go with him.”
Stewart Stars in Hunter Rings
Scott Stewart, of Wellington FL, was the Leading Hunter Rider, winning three championships. He received the Charlie Weaver Memorial Trophy for the second consecutive year and for the sixth time in his career. “This means a lot to me,” said Stewart. “I really admired Charlie, and I learned a lot from watching him over the years. So this is probably the most important award of the year to me.”
Stewart rode Enjoy, 6, to the first year green championship, Dedication, 7, to the second year green championship, and Garfield, 9, to the Triple Crown Custom high performance championship. Garfield won all five of the division’s classes to emphatically claim the tricolor from the 2011 champion, Tigger, owned by Jane F. Clark and ridden by Jim Toon. Alex Crown, of New York City, owns Garfield; Fashion Farm, also of New York City, owns Dedication; and Becky Gochman, also of New York City, owns Enjoy.
“The Hampton Classic is absolutely one of my favorite shows,” said Stewart. “When the weather is great like it’s been this week, the horses really go well on this grass ring, so I love riding here.”
Victoria Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, climaxed her successful week by winning the Kathy Scholl Memorial Trophy as the Leading Junior Hunter Rider, after winning two championships and one reserve championship. Just before receiving the award, Colvin rode Way Cool to win the $10,000 Hermès Hunter Classic.
Colvin, 14, was also the Leading Junior Hunter Rider in 2011, when she and Way Cool, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, also won the Hermès Hunter Classic. “It’s amazing to win this award again,” said Colvin, who rode seven horses in the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions during the Hampton Classic. “I’m tired, but I love doing this.”
Lyman T. Whitehead, of N. Salem, NY, rode Trending, 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Nina Winoker, of Greenwich, CT, to the green conformation championship, just nipping Stewart on Beholden, who took the reserve title. “We just traded [wins] back and forth, and I got lucky with the way the ribbons were spread out,” said Whitehead. “He’s a beautiful mover and a beautiful jumper, so he’s got all the bases covered. He’s also very brave, so we’re aiming to make him a hunter derby horse. I think he’ll really shine at that.”
Peter Pletcher, of Magnolia, TX, guided Becky Gochman’s Sambalino to the regular conformation title. Sambalino also won the regular conformation championship in 2011, but with Ken Berkley aboard.
Danielle DeVincentis guided Candor, a chestnut gelding she’d never shown before, to first place in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Hunter Classic, presented by Firefly Farm. Candor, a 7-year-old warmblood, scored 175.0 points to win the Robert Hoskins Perpetual Trophy. Candor’s second-round score put him 3 points in front of early leader Late Entry, ridden by Alex Paradysz (172.0). Pembroke, ridden by Sandra Epstein, finished third (169.0).
DeVincentis, a 23-year-old student at C.W. Post University, also won the Marshall & Sterling Adult Hunter Classic in 2011 on Aljano Jr. “I couldn’t believe I won it last year, and I’m just shocked that I’ve won it again this year,” said DeVincentis, who lives in King’s Point, NY. She won the Hampton Classic’s short stirrup equitation championship in 1997. “This show has some of the best memories for me,” she said.
Stephanie Riggio, of New York, NY, and her horse Breitling claimed the Manhattan Mortgage amateur-owner, 3’3”, hunter championship. This was the third time in their six years together that Riggio and Breitling have won a tricolor ribbon at the Hampton Classic.
In 2010, Riggio, 28, and Breitling, 12, were the grand local hunter champions, and in 2011 they were the reserve champions in the amateur-owner, 3’3”, division. “Last year, because of Hurricane Irene, they shortened our division to three classes, all on one day, instead of five classes over two days, and when they do that, it’s sort of luck of the draw who wins the championship,” said Riggio. “This year, with all five classes, he could show what a beautiful mover he is and what an elegant picture he makes over the jumps.”
Riggio, an assistant professor of English at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, trains with Karen Caristo at MeadowView Farm in Watermill, NY. Riggio has been competing at the Classic since she was 8 years old, “and I think I’ve only missed two shows in 20 years!” she said.
Invincible, owned and ridden by Ellen Toon of S. Salem, NY, won the grand hunter championship. Invincible also won the amateur-owner, 36 & over, hunter championship.
Long Island Horses Have Their Day
Horses from Long Island had their day in the spotlight on the show’s first day, competing in the local hunter divisions in the newly named Anne Aspinall Ring or in Hunter Ring 2.
The brightest star was Mariano, owned by Stephanie Riggio and ridden by Sandra Ferrell. The pair won the local hunter professional championship on the way to the grand local hunter championship. J.C. Bugatti, owned by North Shore Equestrian Center and ridden by Kimberly Sarrica, won The Chronicle of the Horse local non-professional hunter championship.
Spring Fling, owned and ridden by Yvette Rechler-Newman, won the local grand hunter championship in 2011, and this year won the local amateur-owner hunter championship. Dunhill, owned by Seraphim Farm and ridden by Sabrina Kalimian, won the local junior hunter championship. Tracy Hart, riding Let’s Win Again, won both the Robert Hoskins Adult Medal class and the Hugh J.B. Cassidy III Adult Medal Class.
Special Events at The Hampton Classic
Optimum® Kids Day proved once again to be a huge hit at the Hampton Classic. Children from Long Island and the New York metropolitan area enjoyed pony rides, wildlife exhibits and much more, only a few steps away from the action the show rings.
Activities included the Laughing Pizza Family Band; the Bellini Family Circus & Friends; magic by the Amazing Zola; face painting by Ruby; llamas, pigs, ponies and more from Long Island Livestock; and a birds of prey demonstration from the Wildlife Center of the Hamptons.
Children’s events throughout the week were presented by My Playful Gardens, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation, ASPCA, the New York Wolf Conservation Center, the Children’s Museum of the Hamptons and Erik’s Reptile Eventures. Stony Brook Medicine also hosted kid-friendly activities and a skit called “Mission Nutrition.”
On Monday, five rescued horses that the ASPCA brought for adoption made themselves the stars of the Hampton Classic. Jill Rappaport, the popular “Today Show” reporter, along with riders Georgina Bloomberg, Hayley Barnhill and Anna McKnight, presented the horses to the crowd assembled at the Anne Aspinall Ring. This marked the third consecutive year that the Hampton Classic hosted the ASPCA to have animals available for adoption at the show. “Horses need to have a bigger home than a dog or a cat, but it takes the same size heart to adopt a horse as it does to adopt a dog or a cat,” said Rappaport.
The Hampton Classic also hosted the championship finals for the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities, with riders in three divisions competing for year-end titles. In the advanced independent division, Todd Pritscher, 30, of Yaphank, NY, riding Robin Hood, won the championship over Joe Penzel, 19, of Huntington, NY, riding Diamond. In the beginner independent division, Tiffany Kahles, 18, of East Meadow, NY, riding Gryffindor, won the championship over Harley Powell, of East Orange, NJ, on Dippin’ Dots. In the beginner with aides division, Allison Ekberg, 11, of Levittown, NY, riding Remo, won the championship over Alexandria Economou, 21, of Melville, NY, riding Patra.
The Hampton Classic would not be complete without celebrity sightings throughout the week. Those attending this year included Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor, Julianne Moore, Kelly Ripa, Jerry Seinfeld, Lorne Michaels, Aida Turturro, Rosanna Scotto, Jill Rappaport, Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, Jill Zarin, James Lipton, David Yurman, Steven Klein, Waynescot Lukas and Gene Cornish of the sixties rock group, The Rascals.
For those who couldn’t make it to the Hampton Classic, WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, broadcast up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can be found on line at www.wvvh.tv.
All classes held in the Grand Prix Ring, and most of the Classic’s other classes, were available live throughout the horse show on webcasts provided by ShowNet. These may still be found on the Hampton Classic website at www.HamptonClassic.com, or via ShowNet membership at www.ShowNet.biz.
Two additional outlets, the USEF Network.com, presented by SmartPak, and HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, offered free live webcasts of the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix. These webcasts are available at www.USEFNetwork.com and www.HRTV.com.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.HamptonClassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.