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The 27th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show Celebrates the Best in Show Jumping
Rain Doesn’t Deter Hampton Classic Fans

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY — September 12, 2002 — The 27th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show came to a close Sunday, September 1 following a week of world-class competition that saw show jumping’s best overcome record rainfalls on their way to dazzling performances.

From August 25 through September 1, the sport’s biggest names gathered in Bridgehampton, NY, for one of the world’s premier show jumping competitions. Margie Goldstein Engle of Wellington, FL, made history as she became the first rider to win the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix three consecutive years. Despite muddy conditions from four days of on-again, off-again rain, Engle topped a five-horse jump-off and proved why she is one of the highest-ranked female riders in the world.

“This is such a special event, the spectators are fantastic,” said Engle, 44, who claimed the winner’s share of $45,000 for the victory aboard Hidden Creek’s Perin, her Sydney Olympic mount.

Engle had almost missed the Grand Prix after a serious fall in that morning’s Young Jumper class. But in typical fashion that has become one of her trademarks, she overcame the temporary setback and thrilled the Grand Prix crowd with a standout performance.

“When I fell in the morning, my boot got caught in the stirrup and the horse dragged me across the ring,” she said. “Fortunately, I had enough time to get ready for the Grand Prix.”

United States Equestrian Team veteran Debbie Stephens’ strategy not to push her young horse, but to go slow and steady in the jump-off paid off with a clear round in a time of 47.68 seconds, more than six seconds slower than Engle. Her best finish in all her years competing at the Hampton Classic, earned Stephens $33,000 for her second place performance with the small yet careful Chappie.

“This is the only horse show in America that feels like you’re in Europe!” commented Stephens, who had just returned from competing aboard. “I love this horse show!”

Local rider Laura Bowery of Bridgehampton, NY, had her best finish in the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix, finishing third with Florin du Murier, an eight-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Dimenna.

“Doing well here means a lot to me,” Bowery said. “There’s a lot more pressure for me here since I live locally and finishing third in this class is like a dream come true.”

Also on Sunday, amateur show jumping talent was showcased with the $25,000 Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby, open to Junior riders under age 18 and to Amateur-Owner riders. Kristy McCormack of Lakewood, NY, was the big winner in the Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby, a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series. She rode off with $7,500 in prize money for her performance riding Marga. The final rider in the ring, junior competitor Krista Freundlich of Locust, NJ, placed second with Laurin.

This class, as many other classes originally scheduled for the Grand Prix ring, had to be moved because of torrential downpours on Thursday that dumped 5” of rain in just four hours on the showgrounds. To preserve the ring for Sunday’s Prudential Financial Grand Prix, all Friday, Saturday and Sunday jumper classes, except the Sally Hansen Grand Prix, were moved to Jumper Ring II. This decision saved the turf Grand Prix ring footing and provided safe jumping conditions for the Classic’s main events. The only casualty of the rain came when the $30,000 Adequan® Fiesta Day Grand Prix, which had been slated for Friday, had to be cancelled.

McLain Ward flew to the finish with Flier to win the $25,000 Sally Hansen Grand Prix. Of the four horse-rider combinations to advance to the jump-off over the course set by U.S. Olympic team gold medalist, Conrad Homfeld, Ward was the only rider to post a clear second round to claim the victory with the 8-year-old Selle Francais gelding he owns in partnership with Harry Gill.

For the third year, the Hampton Classic Horse Show hosted the Young Jumper Championships, Eastern League Finals, showcasing the nation’s top developing show jumping horses. In the $30,000 Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship, Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, was unbeatable. Hough claimed first place with Outsider, Anne Emmet’s Oldenburg mare by Celano, and also took second riding Buena Vista Farm’s Winniepoo, a German-bred gelding by the Hanoverian stallion, World Man 6.

In the $20,000 Five-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship, Todd Minikus displayed the talent of show jumping’s future by capturing the win with Tres Coronas Caravelle. Bred by Miguel Avendano of Argentina, the gelding is now owned by Heather Crespo of Durham, NC.

Meanwhile, the top riders of the future were showcased in the BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search. In this equitation competition designed for riders aged 21 and under, competitors were first judged on the flat, without jumps, for their position, control of the horse and riding style. The top riders then advanced to the jumping phase of the Talent Search where they were judged on their form over fences.

Due to high entries in the BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search, the competition was divided into two sections. Section A was won by Krista Freundlich riding S&L Appear-Al; the Section B winner was Tania Hack of New York, NY, aboard Truffle. Freundlich also won the $7,500 Calvin Klein Derby Welcome Stake riding Laurin.

Maggie Jayne of Palm Beach, FL, rode Grappa to the win in the $10,000 Calvin Klein Equitation Championship. The victory marked the third win in five years for Grappa, the Hanoverian gelding who last year carried Canadian Brian Walker to the winner’s circle after claiming top honors in 1998 for owner Sarah B. Willeman. As the winning trainer, Missy Clark of East Aurora, NY, was awarded a trophy and $2,500, the winning trainer’s portion of the $10,000 prize money.

Paige Johnson of Middleburg, VA, was the winner in the $15,000 WGHR Farm Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic riding Beach Bum. One of the nation’s top young jumper riders, Johnson defeated Barbara Bancroft of Allison Park, PA, who was riding Mont Blanc.

In a unique competition, the $1,000 Groom’s Class offered fun and recognition for the hard-working individuals who care for the horses outside the ring. Cheered on by employers and friends, grooms were judged in two phases, first on the presentation of their horses and knowledge of their care, then a ridden phase where the grooms mounted their horses and were judged at the walk and trot. Grooms are also encouraged to canter for bonus points. Martin Ochoa, a native of Mexico who has worked for Meadowview Stables in the Hamptons for three-and-a-half years, was the big winner for his performance aboard Stephanie Riggio’s Aspen.

In a special retirement ceremony in the grand prix ring, the Hampton Classic Horse Show said good-bye to a champion hunter. Seconds At Last had carried numerous riders to success in the hunter ring, his final rider being19-year-old Stephanie Riggio of New York City, NY, with whom he won championship ribbons up and down the east coast. A 19-year-old thoroughbred gelding, Seconds At Last will be retired to Riggio’s Meadowview Farm in Water Mill, NY.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show began on Sunday, August 25, with Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day presented by Distinction Magazine and Long Island Parents and Children Magazine. Opening Day celebrates Long Island equestrian culture and offers spectators an opportunity to witness local area riders competing in six show rings at the Classic’s sixty-acre show site. Other special days at the Hampton Classic included Seniors Day, presented by 50 Plus Senior News, Fiesta Day presented by Avis, and Cablevision Kids Day.

Initiated in 2001, Fiesta Day celebrated the culture and traditions of more than 23 Spanish-speaking countries and regions worldwide. Hispanic food, music, and dancing was highlighted as a tribute to diversity in work and play. On Fiesta Day, as well as on Cablevision Kids Day, a new bilingual coloring book The World of the Horse™ /El Mundo del Caballo™ was given free to all children under 12. Also as part of Fiesta Day, the Hampton Classic honored a member of the Latin community who has achieved great success and made contributions to the show jumping world. Honored this year was show jumping course designer Jose Gammara, who has served as a course designer and show jumping judge at many of the nation’s premier events and at top international events as well.

The 2003 Hampton Classic will be held Sunday, August 24 through Sunday, August 31 (Labor Day Weekend) at the beautiful, 70-acre show site in Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York.

For more information and full competition results, please visit the Hampton Classic website at or call 631-537-3177.


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