Articles: Press Release
31st Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show Shines Through the Rain
Anne Kursinski Wins $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix
Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810,
Bridgehampton, NY- September 6, 2006 - Culminating what
a wet week, the sun was shining bright as three-time Olympic veteran
Kursinski of Frenchtown, NJ rode Roxanna 112 to victory in the $150,000
Prudential Financial Grand Prix to culminate the 31st annual Hampton
"There's no question that the rain was a factor in this
horse show, but I think everyone would have to agree that things still
extremely well," said Hampton Classic Executive Director Shanette
"Horse show people are used to going in the rain and our Hampton
staff really rose to the occasion and made sure that the rain had as
effect on our event as possible.
"I'm really quite proud of everyone who worked so hard
this year's Hampton Classic such a success and I want to offer my
thanks. With the bright sun, huge crowd and exciting finish we had on
final day, it's almost as if the rain never happened!"
In the Grand Prix, Kursinski was one of only three entries
the starting field of 30 to qualify for a tiebreaking jump-off by riding
without penalty over the 16-jump, first-round course designed by Conrad
Homfeld. The first of the three, all Olympic veterans, to return for
seven-jump tiebreaker was Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL. Hough, a 2000
Sydney Olympic veteran, rode Casadora to a four-fault ride in a time of
Following Hough on course was Kursinski, a team Silver
at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games. She took the lead by riding her
owned by Scott Hakim, to another fault-free ride, finishing in 39.09
seconds. Kursinski, who finished second to Joe Fargis by twelve
one-hundredths of a second last year, then had to hope that the day's
rider, Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, wouldn't subject her to the
by beating her score.
Kappler, winner of team Gold and individual Silver Medals at
2004 Athens Olympic Games, gave it a great ride and almost pulled it
He rode VDL Oranta to a clean ride but his time of 39.44 seconds left
just shy of Kursinki's time and in second place. Hough finished third
Robin Sweely of Madison, VA finished fourth with one first-round time
on Qarco V'T Merelsnest.
"I couldn't watch Chris go," Kursinski said after her
wasn't wishing him anything bad, I was just wishing him slow. After
year I really wanted to win and I think Roxanna wanted to win every bit
much as I did.
"This is really a win I'll cherish because this is
unquestionably the best horse show in America," she continued. "I
back from showing in Europe and the Hampton Classic stands up to any
there. I am very happy to have this wonderful horse and to come out on
Other Open Jumper Classes
In spite of the clouds and the occasional raindrop, plenty
spectators were still on hand to celebrate Manhattan Mortgage
Opening Day to start the Hampton Classic Horse Show. The festivities
began with the World of the Horse Opening Day Ceremony featuring a
of attractions for the whole family, including Gail DeStefano's
Friesian, Teade, and the Millstone Farm Miniature Horses. Headlining the
ceremony was John Casey's Frisbee dogs K-9s in Flight, who entertained
audience with exciting Frisbee tricks. Opening Day also featured Long
Island competitors in several hunter classes including Amateur-Owner,
Junior, and Working Hunter, while throngs of nervous parents watched as
their little ones participated in the short stirrup and Leadline
Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL sped through the rain to win
$20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge as the highlight of Manhattan Mortgage
Company's Opening Day. The pair negotiated the Conrad Homfeld
course in a blistering time of 64.37 seconds riding Eltonn, owned by
Topping of Wellington, FL. A rail down added four penalty seconds to
time but their adjusted time of 68.37 was still good enough for them to
Joe Fargis and Ingaletta, who went clear, in a time of 68.59 seconds.
"He's not afraid to go," said Minikus of Eltonn. "I
the rain played a part in the results of the class other than the
factor. Winning is always nice. It makes it a little sweeter to win at
Hampton Classic, one of our premier shows in the country."
Olympic Medalists swept the top three places in the $5,000
Jaguar Open Jumper 1.35m Class. Finishing first was Chris Kappler who
into the top spot with the fastest clear round. Kappler finished in a
of 52.70 seconds, riding Rivell C, owned by Allyson Hawkes.
Norman Dello Joio of Wellington, FL, the individual Bronze
Medalist of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, was second in a time of
53.71 on Marengo. Third place went to Joe Fargis of Southampton, NY,
won individual and team Gold Medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic
Fargis finished clean in a time of 53.76 on Ingaletta.
It was once again a battle of Olympians in the $7,500 Land
Open Jumper 1.45m Class where the top three finishers came home within
two-tenths of a second of each other. Capturing the top spot was Anne
Kursinski who had the fastest of the twelve clear rounds riding Roxana
her eventual Prudential Financial Grand Prix winner. Kursinski finished
a time of 55.46 seconds.
Leslie Burr Howard of Westport, CT, captured the Ciesse Open
Jumper 1.40m Class on Youp, owned by the S'Blieft Group. She rode
Youp to a
faultless performance in a time of 60.29 seconds.
On Friday, clouds hovered, but the rain stayed away so that
impressive field of 53 horses was able to complete the $50,000 Grey
Vodka World Cup and Grand Prix Qualifier.
Christine McCrea of Suffield, CT, and Vegas, owned by Candy
Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, won the Qualifier that set the
line-up for the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix and also was
first event qualifying U.S. riders for next April's FEI World Cup
Las Vegas. The top thirty horse/rider combinations from this class
to the Grand Prix on Sunday, but McCrea, who won the Qualifier with a
jump-off time of 45.40 seconds, was not among them.
"I'm going home today," she said. "I came here only
class. It's a good way to end. Besides I think my luck ran out."
Out of the six that made it to the jump-off by riding clean
the first-round course, four negotiated double clears, including
Kevin Babington, who finished in the runner-up spot with a jump-off time
46.11. Babington was aboard Carling King owned by Kindle Hill Farm.
went to Molly Ashe of Wellington, FL, and Cocu, owned by Jane Clark,
to a jump-off time of 47.18 seconds.
Peter Leone of Greenwich, CT, won the $15,000 NTM Open Speed
Derby 1.40m class on Julla Du Brio, owned by Alexia Simonnard. Aaron
of Camden, SC, and Town Creek Investments' Romulus 16 finished second
Georgina Bloomberg and Nadia, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, LLC., coming
third out of 31 entries.
Competition took place on Cablevision's Kids Day despite
inclement weather. Adding to the competition, the National Circus
came with performers to teach kids the basics of juggling, plate
and stilt walking. Magicians and face painters kept everyone
In the show ring, Chris Kappler closed the deal to win the
$25,000 Sotheby's International Realty Open Jumper Class on VDL
owned by VDL Stud & Juan Pablo.
Only seven made it to the jump-off and the top three went
clear. The pair braved gale force winds along with the rest of the
26 horses to top the class with a jump-off time of 43.70 seconds.
Carolyn Kelly of New York, NY, won the $25,000 Calvin Klein
Jumping Derby. Riding Omona, owned by LuLu Equestrian Enterprises LLC,
was eighth to go out of the ten who made it to the jump-off by turning
fault-free, first-round rides. At that point, the clock was the one to
since four riders before had already gone clean.
David Tromp had taken an early lead in the jump-off when he
Corina, owned by Beyaert Farm, to a clear in a jump-off time of 34.380
seconds. Miasha Fisher immediately followed on Kitty 41, owned by
Farm LLC, and she went clean, but not fast enough, finishing in a time
35.50, which was good for an ultimate third place finish. Kelly dropped
Tromp to second when she rode a fault-free trip in a time of 33.63 to
the win in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series event.
In the $10,000 Welffer Estate Equitation Championship,
McAlary of Amherst, NH, kept her lead from Round One to win with a score
182 points, riding Mid Accord. Brianne Goutal of New York, NY finished
second on Mon Gamin with 175 points. Nikko Ritter of Geneva, FL, came
third with 169 points, on Clover Count.
The Welffer Estate Equitation Championship, created by
Homfeld, encourages younger riders to compete on jumpers by today's
international standards. The competition is held over two rounds, two
different courses and on two separate days.
"What sets this class apart from other equitation classes
that these kids get to ride it in a big Grand Prix field. It adds a
dimension that helps set apart the best riders," said Leo Conroy who,
with Grand Prix rider Jimmy Torano, judged the class.
Tracey Weinberg of Lovettsville, VA, captured the WGHR Farm
Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper Class. Weinberg was the fastest of
that made it to the jump-off riding Larone, owned by the Weinberg
Group. The pair negotiated the jump-off course in a winning time of
The winner of the $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic, open to
and Amateur-Owners who had shown in at least two classes in their
divisions at the Hampton Classic, was Danube, an eight-year-old, Dutch
gelding. The chestnut was piloted by Jack "Harden" Towell in the
Classic and was shown earlier in the week by Paige Allardice in the
Junior 15 and Under Hunter Division.
There were fifteen entries originally scheduled to show in
Hunter Classic, which was scored under the USEF Article 2436, Open
system. Leo Conroy and Philip J. Devita judged. "The riders didn't
opportunity to warm up like they normally would, and they really
prepare properly," said Conroy, referring to the week-long rains.
"Conditions were not perfect for today's class, but the riders
the best of it," Devita added.
Riders with Disabilities
Two champions were crowned at the Inaugural Finals of the
Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities held at the
Classic. Danielle Jacobs, 22, of Nesconset, NY was named Champion of
Equitation "Independent" Division and in the Equitation "With
Division, Victoria Natale, 14, of Beguille, NY took top honors.
"It's great," said Natale of her new title. "My
was the Figure Eight. I don't know why, I just really like it."
A throng of well wishers surrounded Natale congratulating
her achievement and none was more proud than her mom, Rae. "I am so
her," said Rae. "Her sisters compete all the time, but now she has
sport. It's just wonderful."
"This was a very meaningful addition to our Hampton
schedule," said Shanette Barth. "The rain almost forced us to
these riders were determined to go on and they proved what champions
The event at the Classic was the culmination of a five horse
show series that had taken place at various locations on Long Island
throughout the year. "We were thrilled to have our Finals at the
Classic," said McGowan. "We couldn't think of a better
it's the Hampton Classic!"
Celebrities and More!
While the horses and riders were the primary stars of the
Hampton Classic, other stars turned out throughout the week including
Baldwin, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lorraine Bracco, Carson
Cressley, Lou Dobbs, former New York Rangers great Rocket Rod Gilbert,
Kelsey Grammer, Calvin Klein, James Lipton, Amhad Rashad, Jill
Steven Spielberg, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, Tom Wolfe, and
WCBS-TV/CBS 2 New York, the official New York television
of the Hampton Classic, will broadcast a special one-hour program of
Classic highlights on Saturday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m. The special
feature action from the frontlines, behind the scenes, and colorful
events connected with the Classic.
Daily broadcasts that occurred during the Classic remain available
the website of WVVH-TV at www.wvvh.tv . WLIU 88.3
the official radio station of the Hampton Classic, also provided
coverage during the Classic including daily reports and extensive live
The Hampton Classic is a benefit event for Southampton Hospital.
Full results and further information on the Hampton Classic
Horse Show are available at the Hampton Classic website at
www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631)