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2003 Hampton Classic Kicks Off With Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day, Presented by Distinction Magazine

$20,000 David Yurman Time Challenge and Unveiling of Stephan Weiss's Final Work Highlight Grand Opening

Bridgehampton, NY—August 24, 2003—The 28th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show opened in spectacular style with Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day, presented by Distinction Magazine, at the horse show grounds in Bridgehampton, New York on Sunday, August 24. Long Island’s traditional end-of-summer equestrian and social event, the Classic continues through Sunday, August 31, when it culminates with the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix.

The Classic’s Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day, presented by Distinction Magazine, featured a new open jumper speed class, the $20,000 David Yurman Time Challenge, as well as equestrian vaulting and canine demonstrations, and the traditional horses and hounds of the Smithtown Hunt. The day also included the unveiling of “Dressage Horse,” the final work by the late sculptor Stephan Weiss.

Honoring David Yurman’s 10 years of generous sponsorship of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the inaugural $20,000 David Yurman Time Challenge was held, marking the first time the Classic has held a show jumping competition in its Grand Prix Ring on Opening Day.

As always, the Grand Prix Ring also played host to the champions of tomorrow by staging Leadline classes for riders up to the age of seven, judged by three-time Olympic medalist Joe Fargis. Sophie Michaels of Ronkonkoma, NY, and her pony, Pokemon, were named the Grand Champions of the four-year-old and younger division while Casey De Palma of Wading River, NY, won the five to seven-year-old Grand Champion title riding Mah Jong.

Dogs also played a major role on Opening Day. Following the David Yurman Time Challenge, the Grand Prix Ring hosted Adequan®’s Little Classic, a dog agility exhibition with dogs from the East End Kennel. “K-9s in Flight” also thrilled the crowd with its team of top-notch Frisbee dogs who performed high-flying, canine acrobatic tricks. The exciting interactive show included training tips and education on the importance of pet exercise, nutrition, and animal adoption. All the dogs in the “K-9s in Flight” troupe have been rescued or adopted from animal shelters across the country. “K-9s in Flight” have been featured in Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus as well as on several major television networks, including Animal Planet, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and MTV.

Among the day’s other activities were exhibitions and demonstrations by Vaulting World Championship veteran Yanina Alvarez of Argentina. Alvarez, Argentina’s National Champion of Artistic Gymnastics, will continue giving performances throughout the week.

Donna Karan, wife of the late sculptor Stephan Weiss, and Weiss’s family chose the Hampton Classic as the site for the first installation of ‘Dressage Horse’, Weiss’s last work. Ms. Karan and other members of Weiss’s family including his children Lisa Weiss Keyes, Gabrielle Karan Defelice and Corey Weiss unveiled the large-scale bronze horse.

Each year the Hampton Classic Horse Show attracts more than 50,000 spectators and celebrities to watch the country’s best horses and riders compete. With the nation’s best show jumping riders attending the show and a star-studded audience cheering them on, the Hampton Classic is a weeklong sports and entertainment spectacle.

There simply is no other competition that brings together the thrill and prestige of the hunter-jumper horse show circuit with so many thousands of spectators, extravagant social events and celebrities, all surrounded by the beaches and elegant villages of Long Island’s summer playground — The Hamptons.

Six show rings, plus vendors, restaurants, and the children’s area are operating throughout the week. Admission is $5 per person or $15 per carload, with children under 6 admitted free. Reserved grandstand seating for Grand Prix Sunday, August 31, is $15 per person (in addition to $5/person or $15/carload admission) or $25 per person in the special Premium Seating center sections. Parking is free throughout the show week.


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