Bridgehampton, NY – September 3, 2017 – For the third time this week, Daniel Bluman led the victory gallop around the spectacular grand prix field of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, as he topped the list of 31 starters Sunday afternoon, winning the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI**** presented by SOVARO®. The unofficial end of the summer season, Grand Prix Sunday at the Classic wrapped up a fantastic week of top international show jumping competition.
With a late draw working in his favor, Bluman, riding for Israel with his mount Ladriano Z, had the advantage of knowing precisely what the situation was when entering the arena in the first round of competition. Lines and distances that had appeared almost easy during the course walk, had been eating up the field of Olympic, European and World Cup champions.
Just two riders to that point had been able to finish with a clear round, and in the meantime, the wind had picked up, something Irish course designer Alan Wade had been watching, knowing it would likely influence the outcome of the day.
Fence twelve, the Jaguar vertical, quickly became the “bogey” fence of the day, coming down a total of ten times in the first round.
USA’s Brianne Goutal, who started in the top part of the order, was the first to leave the arena without a rail down and inside the time. She was asked at the press conference why two or three jumps gave so many riders such a hard time.
“I don’t think Alan Wade makes many mistakes,” said Goutal. “There was a reason why the jumps were put where they were. When we walked the course, we noticed the field has a little bit of a grade uphill in places, and you had to be really careful from the Jaguar gate. The six strides of that line drew you in a little bit to the front rail of the next jump, so you’d think you had a decent distance, and once you got there it was a short stride and then it was uphill again. It caught a lot of people.”
Midway through the class, reigning Longines FEI World Cup Champion, and six-time Hampton Classic Grand Prix champion McLain Ward and HH Callas went clean to ensure a jump-off, much to the joy of the excited crowd that filled the VIP stands and bleachers all around the ring. When Bluman, who entered the ring third to last, jumped a clean round, the crowd went wild.
The jump-off turned out to be all about strategy and precision. Goutal, riding her 16-year-old Nice de Prissey, tried to secure another clear by being accurate rather than fast, but unluckily knocked a rail and opened the door for Ward and Bluman.
Ward, second to go, entered with the very clear knowledge that Bluman was still to come. He tried to force his hand by setting the fastest time of 44.10 seconds, but two unfortunate rails at the last two fences cost him the win, and ultimately the Longines Leading Rider title as well.
“HH Callas was great today,” said Ward. “I thought she jumped beautifully in the first round. With Daniel coming behind me in the jump-off and with the week that he has had, I knew I had to put enough pressure on him. If I could have done it again, I would probably put another stride to the second-to-last jump, it was a little bit at the end of the mare’s stride and that is not the best way to be for her. It’s disappointing but that’s sport and I am not a guy who is going to leave it on the table. I needed to put his back against the wall and it blew up a little bit on me today, but a lot of days it works out as well. He is a great rider, a great competitor, he’s working very hard producing this horse. Actually, I tried to buy the horse last year and he didn’t let me, so on a lot of fronts I am proud for Daniel and we’ll go home as we always do and figure how we can try to do it a little better and come back and fight again next week.”
Bluman entered with the nice feeling of knowing there was prize money already in his pocket, as well as his two previous FEI wins from earlier in the week. The two-time Olympic veteran posted the only clean round of the jump-off, in a time of 46.09 seconds.
“When I walked the course I honestly thought there were going to be a few more clean rounds,” said Bluman at the press conference following the presentation. “I think it was nicely built, careful enough, big enough, as Alan’s courses have been all week. I don’t think there was any place where the horses really had to struggle. It played out the perfect way, only three in the jump-off, which is beautiful because you get to go in knowing you already have a nice piece of the pie.”
All three riders received Longines watches and beautiful bar items from presenting sponsor SOVARO®
Ireland’s Richie Moloney proved that consistent results yield big things, as he earned the Longines Rider Challenge, as the Classic’s leading open jumper rider. Moloney received a lovely Longines timepiece and a check for $30,000. In the five years this award has existed at the Classic, Moloney has won it four times. Countryman Shane Sweetnam won it in 2015, meaning that it has been awarded only to Irish riders.
In a moving tribute prior to the Grand Prix, The Hampton Classic honored Brianne Goutal’s long-time mount Onira with a beautiful retirement ceremony in the Grand Prix ring. Last Sunday Onira proved he was going out on top, finishing second in the $30,000 Boar’s Head Open Jumper Challenge. Goutal, from Royal Palm Beach, FL, was last in the order of go as they exited the ring for the last time together, there were tears in more than a few eyes.
“I always said I wouldn’t wait until he wasn’t good enough,” explained Goutal after their final performance. “This was the first year I had to drop him down a level, and even though he wins and he is consistently competitive, I don’t want to get to a next level. He is finished now with competition, but my issue is that he loves it so much it will be hard to know what he will want to do next. I think we will keep him at the lighter work and gradually ease it up a little bit. Ideally, I would love for him to be turned out as I think that’s what horses should do in the end and just being well taken care of and go back to being a horse and not have to worry about anything.”
Yasmin Rizvi Wins the $25,000 Campbell Stables Show Jumping Derby presented by Boar’s Head at the Hampton Classic Horse Show
Yasmin Rizvi won the $25,000 Campbell Stables Show Jumping Derby Sunday morning at the Hampton Classic, on the final day of competition of this year’s horse show, beating Coco Fath by milliseconds in the two-horse jump-off.
Rain was expected to make an already challenging jumper course even harder on the last day of the 2017 Hampton Classic Horse Show, but the Grand Prix Ring was spared Sunday morning, as nothing fell from the grey clouds sitting low atop of the spectacular grand prix ring.
In spite of this, Yasmin Rizvi, from Greenwich, CT, found herself soaking wet (and bright blue,) leaving the arena after falling in the open water jump towards the end of her round with Chaplin W, her second mount in the class.
The unfortunate incident at the water jump did not stop Rizvi from clinching victory thanks to speed and precision in the jump-off with her second ride, Lumiere, one of just two entries to progress to the jump-off by posting a clean first round.
“The main course was very difficult today,” said Rizvi after the win. “It was amazing how long it was! To keep your horse going for seventeen jumps means you definitely need to keep riding forward, and the bank is always challenging, as is the open water of course. I did not have much practice as the Hamptons is really the only show where we see these kinds of jumps. You have to put a lot of faith in your horse. In the jump off I definitely rode forward from one to two, trying to catch Coco’s time, then in the last line, that’s definitely where I made it up, running down to that one!”
During the first round, course designer Alan Wade, of Tipperary, Ireland, had commented that the riders may have found the course to be a little more difficult than they were expecting.
“For a lot of these horses and junior riders it will be a very long course,” said Wade. “It’s something they wouldn’t have experienced before, and it will all be about quickness and stamina. It’s different, as here we have banks and the open water, the brush oxer, the gate and just things that they wouldn’t necessarily see at the other shows.”
The only other flawless performance in the first round, where the time allowed presented a huge challenge to the riders, was Coco Fath from Fairfield, CT, who then went first in the jump-off.
Fath’s jump-off time was very fast in 39.374 seconds, but Rizvi’s gallop down to the last fence secured her a millisecond advantage, stopping the clock at 39.365 seconds.
“I was really happy when I came out under the time with a clear round in the first round,” said runner-up Fath. “In the jump-off, Huckleberry slipped badly in a sharp turn and then bucked, and I knew I had to try and make up the time somehow. I couldn’t do it, but it was close, and I was really happy he was able to come back really well.”
The young rider was also awarded the Show Jumping Hall of Fame “Style of Riding Award,” presented by Horse Network, an acknowledgment which caught her by surprise.
“I usually think my position in the saddle is really not that great,” commented Fath. “I have been working on my position and equitation a lot lately. It has been great to receive this award as it feels like all that hard work has been paying off.”
Wrapping up the podium was Adrienne Sternlicht from Greenwich, CT, who jumped cleanly in the first the round with Hope Street, but exceeded the time allowed by just a fraction of a second, eliminating their chances of moving forward to the jump-off.
Rizvi, who has spent much of the summer showing Lumiere in Europe, was also able to secure the Junior Jumper champion title along with the Swan Creek Trophy, prestigious recognition that gave credit to their successful week at Hampton Classic.
The Amateur-Owner Jumper championship was awarded to Annie Phillips and Pele, with the reserve spot going to Megan McDermott and Tizimin LS.
Emma Kurtz and Due West Take the $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic at the Hampton Classic Horse Show
Seventeen-year-old Emma Kurtz from Hudson, OH, won the $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic Sunday morning at the Hampton Classic, the final hunter competition at the 42nd edition of the horse show. Just seven points separated the top five finishers, illustrating how close and consistent the level of competition was in the Anne Aspinall hunter ring today.
As a light rain fell over the competition, Kurtz piloted Popish Farms’ Due West to the head of the class, competing at the 3’6″ height level over two rounds. With a first round score of 86, the pair returned second to last in the final round, receiving a score of 85. The pair finished on an overall final score of 171.
Finishing a single point behind to take second place, Sophie Gochman of Palm Beach, FL, placed ahead of Kurtz in the first round, with a score of 88. With an uncharacteristic bobble from Garfield in the second round, in front of the busy VIP tent, their second-round score of 82, would not be enough to hold onto the lead, dropping them to second with 170 points overall.
“We had a small rub in the first round which dropped us just behind Sophie,” explained Kurtz. “Our goal for the second round was to be a little more animated and impressive, since we knew we had some ground to make up. He’s really lazy, so usually the goal is to get him to carry more pace, to gallop a bit more. I’ve had trouble in the past on grass because sometimes it’s hard as a rider to read the ground and know where your spots are at the jumps. Thankfully I seem to be getting better at it and didn’t have as much of an issue with it today.”
Following the awards presentation, the judge of the class, Phil DeVita, discussed the quality of the competition he saw Sunday morning.
“You had an awful lot of very nice, athletic horses out there, and she was the smoothest. Her horse jumped great overall,” said DeVita. “She just put the whole package together both times, both rounds, and the consistency of her scores reflected that. The scores at the top were very close together, it wasn’t a giveaway by any means. The footing was good, the horses jumped great. It’s a beautiful setting, really one of the nicest shows in the world.”
Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, CA, finished third on First Light, with an overall score of 166.00. Having ridden four horses in the class, Giavanni Rinaldi and In Joy finished fourth with 166.50 points and fifth on Fabricio 23 with 164.00 points.
The final Hunter Championship awards of the Hampton Classic were presented following the completion of the Hermes Classic.
Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, was named Grand Hunter Champion, with his rider Scott Stewart named Leading Hunter Rider, receiving the Charlie Weaver Memorial Trophy.
Ray Mayorga, the groom who looks after Lucador was presented with the Hunter Groom Award, as well as a check for $500.00 sponsored by Aden Brook in addition to a Beval Back Pack.
The Leading Junior Rider Award with accompanying Kathy Scholl Trophy was presented to Sophie Gochman.
Ellie Ferrigno earned the Leading Junior Equitation Award, the “Gordon Wright Trophy,” sponsored by the friends of Gustav Leidlof.
For complete horse show results and more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com.