Sunday, August 25 was opening day of the 44thAnnual Hampton Classic Horse Show, one of the most prestigious hunter-jumper equestrian events in the nation. Showcasing the highest levels of the sport, the world-class event hosts hundreds of top riders and horses from across North America and abroad.
Opening day at the Classic is traditionally reserved for Long Island’s very own equestrian community. ‘Local Day’ is open exclusively to horses who are stabled in Nassau or Suffolk County for at least 75 days since January of the calendar year, and hosts hunter divisions for amateurs and professionals alike.
Nancy Marder Banfield, Sue Ellen Marder O’Conner and Sarah Horowitz presenting to Holly Orlando with Cathy Zicherman’s True Story, winners of the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Pictured with Holly is her daughter, Logan Orlando. © Shawn McMillen
The beautiful Anne Aspinall main hunter ring took center stage for the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby, a two-round competition consisting of “Classic Style” and “Handy Hunter” components. With final combined scores being separated by just one point over two rounds, it was Cathy Zicherman’s True Story piloted by Holly Orlando who finally emerged victorious with 91 points in total over Curo and Geoffrey Hesslink with 90 points.
Trained by Jenny Dunion of Evermore Inc. in Water Mill, the Hampton Classic’s 2018 Grand Champion Hunter “Spent the last week preparing for the Hampton Classic by giving my four-year-old granddaughter, Elsie, rides around the farm,” laughed Zicherman. “She thinks he is a unicorn, which he basically is!”
“His biggest asset is his unfailing consistency,” said Zicherman. “He wasn’t bothered by the fact that it was ten degrees colder than any other day this summer, or blowing a gale, or that it was dinnertime and they were still in the ring. He just goes in and does his job and always seems to rise to the occasion.”
Laura Bowery of Bridgehampton, NY, rode Stormy Good’s Prince of Thieves to the Local Working Hunter Professional Championship. They received the Eddie Horowitz Memorial Trophy, sponsored by North Shore Equestrian.
There was a tie for The South Fork Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the Hampton Classic Horse Show and awarded to the Grand Local Hunter Champion. Mariano, owned and ridden by Stephanie Bulger of New York, NY, and Bonaparte, owned and ridden by Romy Lauer of Wellington, FL, will share the 2019 title.
Stephanie Bulger with Mariano and Romy Lauer with Bonaparte tied as Grand Local Hunter Champions at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. © Shawn McMillen
The Miller & Associates Local Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship went to Stephanie Bulger and Mariano.
Romy Lauer and Bonaparte received The Knox School Local Junior Hunter Championship.
The East Hampton Star Local Hunter Professionals division had two sections. Champion of section A was Holly Orlando with Forever. Section B Champions were Laura Bowery and Prince of Thieves.
Full results of Local Day and all other competition events may be found online at www.hamptonclassic.com.