Bridgehampton, NY – September 2, 2017 – Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam led a six-horse foot race to the finish Saturday at the Hampton Classic, coming out on top in the $50,000 Longines Cup. His partner was Main Road, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC.
Forty-six started the class over the imposing 1.60 meter course designed by Alan Wade of Tipperary, Ireland.
First to go in the jump-off, Andrew Ramsay of the USA set a very quick, clean pace of 35.32 seconds with California 62, which proved difficult to beat while keeping the jumps up. Catherine Tyree was not able to catch Ramsay’s time, but was followed by Sweetnam who then put down his incredible round with Main Road. Last to go, Olympic veteran and reigning Longines FEI World Cup Champion McLain Ward gave it his best shot, but ultimately came up just shy of the time with his new mount, Cartouche.
Just eight days ago, Sweetnam was part of the gold medal winning Irish team at the European Show Jumping Championships in Sweden. Also eight days ago, Ward was arranging to purchase Cartouche.
“It was the first jump-off I’ve ever done on the horse so I didn’t know quite what to expect,” said Ward. “He’s an incredible jumper. I was a little cautious in the jump-off since he ran by the first jump the other day in a class; he’s just a bit green. As a result, I over-rode the first jump today and didn’t have a very good rollback to the second fence. I knew it would be very difficult to beat Shane.”
Wade’s courses all week have consistently featured flowing, bending lines, and although the jump-off in the Longines Cup appeared full of tight turns, it was trademark Alan Wade once you realized it was one long serpentine from start to finish.
“I like simple fluid lines,” stated Wade when asked if his course design could be identified by any particular features. “Then I can put the difficulties with the distances and the dimensions, but the line should always flow. I don’t try to hide anything, I don’t try to get tricky. I will play with the dimensions and the standard of the class, but I try to have as few questions as I possibly can in any one course. I don’t like certain fences to cause trouble, I really like to spread difficulties out over the entire course. Some days it doesn’t work like that, but I try in every single course to make it so that each fence has its own little difficulty to define the overall result of the entire show.”
For many riders in the first round, fence nine, which came at the end of a gently winding line right up the middle of the ring and jumped nearly into the in-gate, proved particularly troublesome. The triple combination, placed immediately in front of the VIP Chalets drew many faults as well.
Sweetnam praised his fellow Irishman for his consistency, appropriateness and fairness in the courses for such a major competition.
“When you walked the course, you immediately thought there wouldn’t be many clear. The combinations were tough, the middle line was tough and the time was just tight enough to make you move. But it’s the standard it should be, especially for the Hampton Classic.”
The defining moment for Sweetnam and Main Road came with their turns in the jump-off, from the first to second fences, and again from the re-worked combination to the Jaguar vertical.
“I knew I was quick in those two spots,” said Sweetnam. “I had to really trust him, and let him do what he is good at.”
Despite finishing out of the top three today, Richie Moloney of Ireland maintained his lead in the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge with a total of 259 points, with Ward gaining rapidly, with a total of 209 points. Catherine Tyree has taken over the third position with 185 points. The Challenge’s $30,000 will be awarded Sunday, following the completion of the $300,000 Hampton Classic FEI Grand Prix, presented by SOVARO®.
$50,000 Longines Cup
Rider / Country / Horse / Faults / Time
1. Shane Sweetnam / Ireland / Main Road / 0 / 34.04
2. McLain Ward / USA / Cartouche / 0 / 34.76
3. Andrew Ramsay / USA / California / 0 / 35.32
4. Mario Deslauriers / Canada / Bardolina / 0 / 35.71
5. Catherine Tyree / USA / Bokai / 8 / 36.94
Annabel Revers Rises to the Top in the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Equitation Championship at the Hampton Classic
Following two rounds of competition Saturday at the Hampton Classic, Annabel Revers of Weston, MA, came out on top in the $10,000 Great Southwest Equestrian Center Equitation Championship.
Revers received a first-round score of 86 and a second-round score of 97, (from which three points were deducted for time penalties) to finish with an overall total of 180 points. Second place was awarded to Madison Goetzmann of Skaneatles, NY, with a final total of 171.5, and third went to Jordyn Rose Freedman of Longmeadow, MA, just a half point behind with 171.0.
Returning in reverse order of standing following the morning’s first round of competition, Revers had the good fortune of riding second-to-last and was able to watch the rest of the riders tackle the course before her turn in the ring.
“After watching the first riders go, we knew the time would be tight so we talked about keeping a really good pace, and not taking too much time around the turns,” said Revers. “You had to ride the lines very accurately and you couldn’t make up the time in the lines so you had to focus on the turns.”
Revers, who is trained by Stacia Madden and has recently started working with Max Amaya, emphasized the plan for the second round was to ride through any mistakes.
“The biggest thing Max emphasized was if we had a small mistake to keep going,” explained Revers. “It was a tough course and it would be impossible to do absolutely flawlessly. If something happened you’d just have to keep going and do the best you can. My horse has a very nice canter, he goes at a more forward pace than some others. He’s a great jumper – very brave, which was definitely very important jumping onto the bank. The early riders had rails, time faults and refusals. It just emphasized you just had to ride the course; don’t worry about making it smooth or look beautiful, just ride the course and get the job done.”
Amaya’s wisdom comes from experience: “My advice for the second round was stick to the plan, follow every single instinct, but don’t overreact. Don’t overcorrect. Let the horse jump. Give him a little space, but don’t overthink this course.”
The $15,000 Carolex Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was won by Friday’s Junior Jumper winner, Daisy Farish with Alberto II. Jordyn Rose Freedman was second with Feeling, and Philip Richter was third with Pistoya.
The $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was won by Katie Tyler, riding Surf de la Cense owned by Barbara Kipihasha. Tyler received the Firefly Trophy, donated by Philip Richter of Turnabout Farm in honor of Christophe de Menil, for the win. Second went to Jazz Johnson Merton with Caliber 9, and third went to Brooke Gunther with Wilford 2.
The Gochman sisters continued their winning ways, taking first and second in the $10,000 Junior Jumper Classic Saturday morning. Mimi took top honors with Avoloma BH while Sophie took second with Carola BH. Coco Fath finished third with Cohbanta.
In the $5,000 Adult Jumper Classic, Lindsey Tomeu took the win with Gold Lux, Sarah Gordon on Bonitha was second and third went to Deborah Perkins with Emerald Grace.
In the $5,000 Children’s Jumper Classic, sponsored by the Swan Creek Family Corporation, Hallie Grimes finished on top with Alasca LV Z followed by Sophia Pilla and Betty Boop III in second, and Charlotte Currey with Califa in third.
In the Anne Aspinall hunter ring, Becky Gochman took the championship in the Hunt Ltd. Amateur Owner 36+ hunters, with John Ingram taking the reserve with Cuba.
Gochman, whose teenage daughters were also extremely successful this week at the Classic, admits to “being pretty busy” at the Classic, but having a good time fitting in some riding herself.
“This horse, Catch Me, is amazing,” said Gochman. “I call him my magic unicorn. We weren’t quite in sync with each other Friday – this is my first time taking him on the grass and I was a little nervous. He is very sensitive so he picked up on that. We were able to make a full comeback today and I’m very proud of him. Our team is amazing and I’m filled with gratitude. Just to ride on this classic green ring of the Hampton Classic – anything that happens is icing on the cake. This is the most beautiful horse show in the country.”
Standouts in this very competitive division, Ingram was equally as proud of Cuba, who comes to the Classic having just won the 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Lexington in August.
“Becky rode beautifully and Catch Me was awesome today,” said Ingram. “There’s no shame in being second with a 90! My mother-in-law, Agneta Currey, is one of the founders of the show, so we make a point of getting up here each year. It’s incredibly special. It’s a beautiful grass ring, we don’t get to ride in many of those anymore. They make a real effort here to make this show lovely and special. It’s a great way to wrap up the summer season.”
In the GiGi New York Amateur-Owner Hunters, 18-35 years, Peter Lutz and Chablis were awarded the championship, with reserve going to Nikki Diamantis with Cascina.
The Grand Champion Junior Hunter was awarded to Mythical, owned by Gochman Sport Horses and ridden by Sophie Gochman.
Sunday, September 3 is Grand Prix Sunday at the Hampton Classic. The $10,000 Hermès Hunter Classic is the featured competition in the Anne Aspinall ring. Festivities in the Grand Prix Ring begin with the $25,000 Jumping Derby followed by the grand finale -the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI**** Presented by SOVARO®. The winner of the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge will also be presented. Competition starts at 10:00 a.m.
For complete horse show results and more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com. Complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions air on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ShowNet.