Articles: Press Release
After Dark On Course for Second Consecutive Young Horse Title
at the 29th Hampton Classic Horse Show
Contact: Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810
Jennifer Ward (631) 537-2502 x 3019
Bridgehampton, NY - September 1, 2004 - Following the opening round of
competition in the $30,000 Greenbrier Sporting Club Seven-Year-Old Young
Jumper Championships, After Dark and Patricia Griffith of White Plains,
NY, are on course to claim their second consecutive Young Jumper
Championship title at the 29th Hampton Classic Horse Show running August
29 through September 5 in Bridgehampton, NY.
The winners of last year's Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships
Eastern League Finals, at the Hampton Classic, Griffith, After Dark's
owner and rider, took the first step to repeating victory by winning the
opening round of competition in the Seven-Year-Old Division.
Twenty horse-rider combinations contested the Seven-Year-Old Division,
jumping a technical course set by Jose Gamarra of Bolivia, that included
a triple combination and a liverpool - a challenging obstacle with water
set underneath the poles. As the second to last rider on course,
Griffith had her work cut out for her, jumping a fault-free round and
clocking in at 67.40 seconds to overtake the lead and claim victory.
After Dark, who is better known as 'Luke' around the barn, is a Dutch
Warmblood gelding by the popular sire, Darco. Griffith's victory in
2003 was made even more impressive by the fact that the horse had been
imported to the United States in May, giving the pair only a few months
to get to know each other. Griffith purchased After Dark through Dutch
horsemen Emile and Paul Hendrix and has been looking for another horse
with the same temperament and talent ever since.
"I keep calling them, asking them if they have found anything!" laughed
Griffith, who is a trainer at Andre and Michael Dignelli's Heritage Farm
in Katonah, NY. "Since finding After Dark, we've bought five or six
other horses from the Hendrix brothers for our clients, and they've all
been great. It has been hard for me to find another one like him, but I
have been looking and looking!"
As for After Dark's personality, Griffith says, "He has tons of
personality. If he was a person, he would kick back, have a few beers
and watch the football game. He loves any type of food, everything from
peppermints to bagels. He is always looking for treats, and expects to
be fed as his reward when he comes out of the ring."
Earlier this season, Griffith and After Dark won two Seven-Year-Old
classes in Wellington, FL, and have also been among the top finishers
when contesting classes with fences set at a height of 1.35m.
"I have to keep reminding myself not to push him because he is a horse
that can do it all," notes Griffith. "Even though everything is easy
for him, I try not to get too excited and jump him too high, too
Spectators will have a chance to witness After Dark's talent first-hand
when he contests the second and final round of the $30,000 Greenbrier
Sporting Club Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships in the Grand
Prix Ring on Sunday, September 5, at 8 a.m. After the Hampton Classic,
After Dark will earn a well-deserved break, returning to the competition
ring next winter in Wellington, FL.
Each year the Hampton Classic Horse Show attracts more than 50,000
spectators and celebrities to watch the country's best horses and riders
compete. One of the nation's premier show jumping competitions, the
Hampton Classic boasts jam-packed social events and equestrian
competitions from August 29 to September 5, culminating with the
$150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix. With boutiques, on-site
restaurants and a wide variety of displays and activities, there is fun
for the whole family.
Admission is $10 per person or $20 per carload, with children under six
admitted free. Reserved grandstand seating for Sunday, September 5, is
$15 per person (in addition to regular admission) or $25 per person in
the special Premium Seating center sections. Parking is free throughout
the week. Hampton Classic proceeds benefit Southampton Hospital.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the
Hampton Classic website at
www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631) 537-3177.