Many highlights of a summer in the Hamptons were missed last year due to the pandemic, but this year the crown jewel of the Hamptons summer season is back. The Hampton Classic Horse Show will return from August 29th to September 5th, offering world class equestrian competition, eclectic shopping in the Agneta Currey Boutique Gardens, and a celebrity studded social scene under the Grand Prix tent. The Classic aims to please whether you want to come look at the adorable pony hunters or the thrilling jumper competition with the finest horses in the world navigating challenging courses for clear rounds in the best time. With over 200 classes spectators can see riders from every level of competition from lead line classes to grand prix show jumping, showcasing Olympic athletes fresh off the Tokyo games.
“After last year’s cancelation, there is an added sense of anticipation about this year,” said Shanette Barth Cohen, the Classic’s Executive Director. “We have had a number of COVID plans ready but we are very hopeful that they may not be needed and we can proceed with the Classic just the way the people know it and love it. As always, we will be hosting world-class show jumping, incredible shopping and special events like the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities Presented by Dime Bank and the Classic’s 10th annual Animal Adoption Day. We have moved our News 12 Long Island’s Kids Day to Thursday from its traditional Saturday date but other than that, people can expect that we will have all our usual activities that have made the Classic a popular event for everyone, whether they’re horse fans or not. We look forward to welcoming everyone back!”
In a world with so much change there is a deep sense of history to the Classic which is in its 45th year. Horses and humans share an amazing bond which has provided everything from farming to transportation to sport to therapy for disabled people. Equestrian sport is also unique in the longevity of its athletes. Where else would women in their 50’s be at the top of their game, beating men half their age. Fantastic role models like champions Beezie Madden at 57 and 2021 Olympic show jumper Laura Kraut at 55 exemplify how dedication, skill and experience keep you in the saddle and winning for decades. The Classic is also a family affair. It’s great to see generations competing together such as Mario Deslauriers who won the Grand Prix in 2019 with his daughter Lucy placing second.
In addition to watching world class equestrian sport, spectators enjoy more than 80 onsite shops, a dozen international food options, daily activities in the kids’ area, and Monday’s annual Animal Adoption Day, featuring rescued dogs, cats, and horses in search of a forever home.
Sponsorship is also an essential component of the show. Stuart Winston, Chief Marketing Officer of Lugano Diamonds which will sponsor a lounge in the VIP tent displaying their bespoke creations comments, “I love the element of tradition of the Hampton Classic. It’s such an important show in the equestrian community, and so many of our friends and clients are there.” They will host events throughout the week as well as present prizes from their equestrian collection to winners. The Classic is a draw for sponsors not only for the equestrians but to meet the public who love to attend the show each year. “We build our brand on relationships and it’s great to connect with the Hamptons community,” says Winston, “Often our jewelry is bought to celebrate a milestone, and it’s great to be back to celebrating life and wonderful experiences.”
More than $800,000 of prize money will be awarded during the Classic. Highlights include the $75,000 Grand Prix Qualifier on Friday, the $73,000 LONGINES Cup on Saturday, and the Classic’s culminating event, the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix presented by Land Rover on Sunday, September 5. The Classic will also present the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge.
Style and design are on display at the Classic whether it is the equestrian chic from the boutiques or summer styles in the VIP tent or the elaborate table settings for the Sunday grand prix. The Hampton Classic is famous for its celebrity guests throughout the week. Among those who have attended the Classic in recent years are Jerry Seinfeld, Sofia Vergara, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Jimmy Fallon, Mariska Hargitay, Julianne Moore, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Brooke Shields, and Jennifer Lopez.
Daily admission to the Classic is $20 per carload. Admission is free on Monday, and seniors are admitted free on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Grandstand tickets for the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix on Sunday, September 5, are $45 per person for reserved bucket seating, which will be available for purchase on the Hampton Classic website beginning August 1.