Articles: Press Release
Hillary Dobbs Becomes Youngest Rider to Win $200,000 FTI Grand Prix
at Hampton Classic Horse Show
Contact: Marty Bauman, 631-537-2502 ext. 3055, email@example.com
Bridgehampton, NY-August 31, 2008-Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ and Corlett were turbo-charged
in a timed jump-off, zooming across the field to win the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix
on Sunday's closing event of the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Dobbs, 20, became
the youngest rider in the 33-year history of the show to win the class, finishing
in 41.13 seconds aboard Corlett with a clear round. Two other young equestriennes
also went clear: Brianne Goutal, 19, of New York City, who placed second with Onira
(42.83), and Kirsten Coe, 27, of Katonah, N.Y., who was third aboard Starlight (43.99).
One of the nation's premier show jumping competitions, the eight-day Hampton Classic
concluded with Sunday's $200,000 FTI Grand Prix. The Classic hosted hunter/jumper
competition for riders ranging from the youngest competitors in Leadline and Short
Stirrup classes all the way up to Olympic veterans. Show entries included McLain
Ward, a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team at this year's Olympic show jumping
competition in Hong Kong.
The highlight of the horse show, the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix saw 34 of the world's
best horse-and-rider combinations vying for top honors. Out of the starting field,
only five riders went fault-free in the first round over the Conrad Homfeld-designed
course to advance to the jump-off.
While she awaited her turn in the jump-off, Dobbs relaxed in the riders' tent with
her trainer, Missy Clark. They watched a few riders go but didn't talk shop. When
it was time for her to get ready, Dobbs stood, finished the bottle of water she
was drinking, and casually walked out to get back on her mount.
"I heard everyone saying Brianne had gone really fast, so I knew I had to go for
it," said Dobbs. "I had to catch a right angle off [the Wolffer Estate] oxer.
It was a risky turn at a risky angle, but with Brianne's time, I had to take a
"I owe this win completely to Corlett," said Dobbs of the 11-year-old Sasha (a type
of German warmblood) mare. "She is a remarkable horse."
Dobbs, a junior at Harvard University, and Goutal, a sophomore at Brown University,
both have another major horse show before starting their September studies. Coe,
a professional horsewoman, resumes her work on the circuit.
Coe said she was pleased with the performance of her horse, a 9-year-old Dutch warmblood.
She said she "knew Hillary would be fastest if she left all the jumps up."
Goutal was also aboard a Dutch warmblood, hers 10 years old. She said she was grateful
for the opportunity the Hampton Classic gives developing riders "to compete against
the big guns in this sport."
For the three young women to have swept the ribbons in the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix
was an unprecedented event at the Hampton Classic. The world-class competition
has traditionally been dominated by older veterans of show jumping, many of them
men. McLain Ward, who has won the competition's grand prix three times, was 22
the first time he won to hold the record as the youngest winner before Dobbs.
Dobbs is only the second competitor to have won both Friday's qualifying class for
Sunday's Grand Prix and the Grand Prix itself. Joe Fargis turned the trick in 2005.
Following the Grand Prix, FTI Chairman Dennis Shaughnessy, noted: "We are clearly
looking at the new generation of [international] riders."
Despite their tender years, Dobbs and Goutal are extremely accomplished horsewomen.
At the 2005 CN North American Young Riders Championships, Goutal won double gold
in the Young Riders division and Dobbs did the same in the Junior division.
Dobbs' win in the Grand Prix, combined with her other wins in the open jumper division
during the week, earned her top honors in the Vox Rider Challenge, a new award sponsored
by VOX Magazine. Todd Minikus of Wellington, Fla., was second, Louis Jacobs of
East Aurora, N.Y., third, and Goutal fourth. The Vox Rider Challenge offered $30,000
in prize money to the top four riders in the horse show's Open Jumper division.
After Sunday's Grand Prix, the Hampton Classic awarded several additional championship
awards, including the International Open Jumper Championship. Dobbs received a
David Yurman Thoroughbred Collection wristwatch and a bottle of Champagne Louis
Roederer. McLain Ward received the Antares Style of Riding Award. Earlier in the
week, Dobbs was awarded the show's National Open Jumper Championship.
Those unable to attend the Hampton Classic had opportunities to view it on television.
WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, broadcast
daily live segments during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online
at www.wvvh.tv. The $200,000 FTI Grand Prix will air on Animal Planet on Saturday,
October 4 at 3:00 pm (ET/PT).
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton
Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631) 537-3177. Hampton Classic
Horse Show, Inc. is a 501.c.3 charitable corporation.