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2002 Hampton Classic Horse Show Announces Opening Day Festivities

Exciting New Dog Agility and Breed Demonstrations Take Center Stage

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY— July 19, 2002— Opening Day at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, Long Island, is a special tradition of this end-of-summer equestrian and social event that dates back 27 years. Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day presented by Distinction Magazine celebrates Long Island horses and riders with daylong competition in six show rings. Held at the Classic’s lovely sixty-acre show site on Sunday, August 25, Opening Day offers spectators a chance to see the breadth of riders that the sport embraces—adult riders 18 years of age through their sixties as well as junior riders as young as three years of age.

Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day Ceremonies will take place in the main arena at 1:00 pm following a morning of Leadline—the very popular classes devoted to the youngest riders at the Classic and their ponies. In all, upwards of 100 children—some as young as two years of age and all outfitted in proper riding attire—are expected to compete in two sections of Leadline, 5-7 years old and Under 5 years of age. The ceremonies begin with a special salute to Sag Harbor’s Volunteer Firemen on their 200th Anniversary. Accompanying the firemen will be canines of all kinds, including dogs from the GuideDog Foundation for the Blind, Companion Dogs and the always-popular horses and hounds of the Smithtown Hunt Club. Next on hand will be Manhattan Mortgage’s “World of the Horse” featuring a parade of breeds such as Miniature Horse, Mustangs, and Paso Finos as well as several rescued Thoroughbred racehorses. Saved from auction, these Thoroughbreds are some of the more than 250 homeless horses that have been rescued by the NY Horse Rescue (NYHR). This charity provides rehabilitation and retraining of ex-racing thoroughbreds, but the organization has rescued other endangered horses as well, according to Mona Kanciper, who with her husband, started the animal rescue organization in 1998.

“We want to give an idea of what can be done with these horses that were saved from auctions or abuse,” she said. Some were injured, others just weren’t fast enough to race, and some were donated, but all, Kanciper said, are evaluated and retrained for someone’s enjoyment.

During the opening day ceremonies, spectators will also see guide dogs in training and demonstrations of how they help blind people. Volunteers and training staff with the Guidedog Foundation will explain techniques used to train puppies to be guides for people who are legally blind.

A not-for-profit organization in Smithtown, NY, GuideDog Foundation breeds its own Labradors and golden retrievers to begin age-appropriate training at birth, according to Michelle Lavitt, communications coordinator with the foundation. Started in 1946, the organization expects to place about 75 guide dogs this year.

At the close of Manhattan Mortgage’s Opening Day Ceremonies, Adequan’s “Little Classic” will take over center stage. This is the Classic’s first annual fully judged Dog Agility Competition, where dogs of all breeds, sizes, and skill levels maneuver through hoops, hurdles, seesaws, bridges, and weave poles, encouraged by their enthusiastic owner-handlers. The East End Dog Kennels of Westhampton Beach is the promoter of this dog agility competition and USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association) rules will apply.

“We are very excited that East End Dog Kennels has organized this dog agility competition,” noted Jean Lindgren, the Hampton Classic co-executive director who oversees Opening Day activities. “Dogs are as popular as horses with our competitors and I’m sure our Opening Day audience will thoroughly enjoy this special canine competition.”

The Hampton Classic is one of the nation’s premier show jumping competitions. Many of the world’s best equestrians compete for more than $250,000 in prize money during the Classic, which benefits the Southampton Hospital. Each day of the show is devoted to special events and social activities, culminating with the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix on Sunday, September 1, in front of the Classic’s famed yellow-striped tents. But the Classic is the horse show with more.


Third Annual Seniors Day, Thursday, Aug. 29: Senior citizens will be admitted free on Seniors Day, Thursday, Aug. 29, presented by 50 Plus Senior News. Festivities include “An Evening of Shopping” from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Boutiques Garden. The Evening of Shopping is a new addition to the Classic this year and promises to be a real hit!

Fiesta Day, Friday Aug. 30: A tribute to Long Island’s growing Hispanic community, Fiesta Day presented by Avis celebrates the culture and traditions of more than 23 Spanish-speaking countries and regions worldwide. Hispanic food, music, and dancing will be highlighted as a tribute to diversity in work and play. A new bilingual horse coloring book will be given to all children under 12, along with a box of crayons, so kids can color on the spot!

Cablevision’s Kids Day, Saturday, Aug. 31: Sure to delight kids of all ages, Cablevision’s Kids Day will feature the National Circus Project, an opportunity for youngsters to try out their circus skills. The day also includes face painting, balloon sculpting, pony rides, and magic acts. A visit to the petting zoo is included in the fun, along with the chance to win some great prizes. Kids can even brush up on their horse grooming skills.

Other featured show jumping events during the Hampton Classic include the $15,000 W.G.H.R. Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, the $25,000 Sally Hansen Grand Prix, the $30,000 Adequan Grand Prix, the $50,000 Eastern Finals of the Young Jumper Championships, and the $25,000 Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby for riders under the age of 21.

The week-long competition runs from Sunday, August 25 through Sunday, September 1, with a break in competition on Monday, August 26. Admission is $5 per person or $15 per carload per day, with children under 6 admitted free. Reserved grandstand seating for Sunday, September 1, is $15 per person (in addition to $5/person or $15/carload admission) or $25 per person for premium front-row seating. Parking throughout the show is free.

In addition to the competition taking place each day simultaneously in five rings, spectators will be treated to a variety of other exciting exhibits, including the Boutique Garden’s 36 vendor booths, Stable Row’s 20 booths, three on-site public restaurants, and an Exhibition Horse/Children’s area open throughout the week.

For more information about the Hampton Classic be sure to visit the show’s website at


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