In my mind, Grand Prix Sunday at the Hampton Classic marks the end of summer. All the celebratory moments of the three special months culminate during this world-class equestrian event in Bridgehampton. It is great fun to take in all the beautiful and athletic horse events, and to “people watch,” especially on Closing Day Sunday when many come out dressed and ready to spectate under the tents.
Grand Prix Sunday promises to be an exciting day as attendees anticipate sipping bubbly and nibbling on delicious food all prepared by Robbins Wolfe catering under the tents. Judging from past years we can expect many beautiful and artfully arranged tables set for riders, their families and companies who are friends to the equestrian industry.
The Hampton Classic is like no other riding event I have attended, as it brings together local food, wine, event planners, equestrians, companies, parents, trainers and animal lovers year after year. Since my daughter was quite little and we braided her hair fastened with pretty pink ribbons to prepare her for the riding competition, I have been enamored of all the details of this truly special, local event.
In years past riders had severe weather conditions to contend with and all the riding classes were bursting at the seams with entries, but it is great fun. In a quick walk past all the hedge-lined rings, one can hear chatter, see tears of disappointment and joyous moments of victory. The weeklong event becomes a torrent of activities melding together at once that is uniquely the Hampton Classic.
I find it a perfect place to get entertainment inspiration, and I especially enjoyed a display I saw years back with wildflowers sprouting out of tall vintage riding boots set by the bar. The Hermes table was an explosion of elegant orange one year, and I’ll never forget the Humane Society’s table, which offered up a cornucopia of flora and faux fauna intertwined on the table. Of course there are plenty of fresh flower arrangements—some of my favorite flowers will most certainly make their debut, like hot pink hydrangeas and large sunflowers in various colors.
Year after year the tables continue to dazzle and become even more creative than the year before with their colors, style and designs. It is ironic that the Grand Prix event itself usually lasts less than an hour, yet the preparation for the event can take weeks, even months and sometimes years. What impresses me most is that all this great effort is to showcase the passion many have for this beloved animal—the horse. Throughout the month of August it’s fun to watch this former Bridgehampton farm field transform into one of the country’s most famous horse shows. Now that is something to celebrate, don’t you think?
Don’t Miss the Gallery of Hampton Classic Posters! View it here.