The 36th Annual Hampton Classic is upon us, and the world’s finest equestrians are thrilling fans in Bridgehampton throughout Labor Day Weekend. Before you head over to the legendary horse show, here are 10 facts, figures and fun bits of Hampton Classic trivia to take with you.
1. The Hampton Classic is one of the country’s largest and most spectacular hunter/jumper horse shows. With more than 1,600 horses and close to $700,000 in prize money, the Hampton Classic is not only a sporting event of major proportions, but also one of the most extravagant social events of the Hamptons’ summer season.
2. The Hampton Classic became only the second horse show ever to receive the status of Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation. This prestigious status is reserved for competitions that have been in existence for at least 25 years and have provided for their communities as well as the horse community as a whole in an unprecedented fashion.
3. The Classic’s featured event, the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier, will be held at 2 PM on Sunday, September 4. This is the first U.S. stop in the East Coast World Cup League, and marks the beginning of the quest for the coveted spots on the World Cup Finals squad.
4. The Classic is celebrating its 36th year, and has become a staple in the social fabric of the Hamptons. It first began as a smaller event in the early 1900s and evolved into what is now known as the Hampton Classic in 1976 when it expanded from a one-day show to a rated five-day show
5. The Hampton Classic has an annual attendance of about 50,000 spectators, who can watch the events on any one of the six show rings.
6. The 36th Annual Hampton Classic began Wednesday, August 31 and runs through Sunday, September 5, and is open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM daily.
7. The grounds are home to the Boutique Garden, which has show souvenirs and many unique shops offering everything from track and equestrian goods to clothing, jewelry, furniture and gift items. Food is also sold on the grounds, and beverages can be purchased in any one of the several bars located at the event.
8. The Hampton Classic also showcases the up-and-coming talent in the show jumping world. The under-7 division is full of young talent, and features many participants who could be champions in future Hampton Classics. The youngest competitor is only 3 years old!
9. A total of 14 Olympic veterans will be competing in this year’s Hampton Classic, including: 1984 Double Gold and 1988 team Silver medalist Joe Fargis, 2004 team Gold and individual Silver medalist Chris Kappler, and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, who won theHampton Classic’s featured Grand Prix last year for a record fifth time.
10. The Hampton Classic has long been on the must-do list of celebrities on the East End, including Alec Baldwin, Christie Brinkley, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Glenn Close, Katie Couric, Robert Duvall, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Calvin Kline, Ralph Lauren, Steven Spielberg, Bruce Springsteen, Martha Stewart and Barbara Streisand.
“10 Things You Need to Know About the Hampton Classic” is brought to you by Ginger Tuttle of Concierge Real Estate Services. After the Hampton Classic is over, Palm Beach County, Florida, becomes the ultimate equestrian destination.
To speak with Ginger Tuttle about purchasing your own equestrian estate in the exclusive riding community of Caloosa, which features a riding arena, 30 miles of interior bridle paths and a 32-acre horse park, call (786) 473-4288 or visit her online at www.floridaequestrianestate.com. To see photos of the estate and more information, click here.