Bridgehampton, New York – August 31, 2021 – Baylee McKeever of Brewster, N.Y., rode McLain Ward’s Salvatore to top honors in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Presented by The Atlantic Southampton at the Hampton Classic on Tuesday.
As with any equitation class, the judge evaluated only the rider’s performance for this competition, not the performance of the horse. The Talent Search was a two-part class comprised of a traditional over-fences portion, after which the top twelve returned to the ring for an under-saddle phase. Following the two tests, McKeever was awarded the blue ribbon. Eva Fisherman of Brookline, Mass., placed second and Lauren McCaulley of St. Charles, Ill., third.
McKeever is trained by her father, Lee, and Ward, who just returned from the Tokyo Olympic Games. Although McKeever hadn’t ridden “Sal” for a bit before the Hampton Classic, she knew he was being taken care of while she was away.
“I thought Sal was in his best condition today,” McKeever said. “I know he’s always ready to go, and I felt that he really understood the course and listened to me as I went along.”
The 1.15m course, comprising 12 jumping efforts, was designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. Steve Sarafin judged the class’s over-fences phase, and Chris Wynne judged the under-saddle. While lining up for the results, McKeever wasn’t sure if she had won. “We felt good going into the flat. Sal was just fantastic. I know I can always be better, though, so I thought I had a little room for improvement.”
Each year approximately 50,000 people – including many A-list celebrities – come to watch the nation’s best equestrian athletes compete at the Hampton Classic. The Hampton Classic features more than 200 classes in six show rings, the Agneta Currey Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, all on its world-class 60-acre show grounds. This year’s Hampton Classic features five FEI classes in its grass Grand Prix ring showcasing elite riders from around the world, including Olympic and World Equestrian Games veterans. There are also kid-friendly activities throughout the week including pony rides, petting farm animals, daily special attractions and more.
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 are available for purchase on the Hampton Classic website.
Final Results – Platinum Performance / USEF Talent Search
1) Baylee McKeever & Salvatore
2) Eva Fisherman & Boldly Stated
3) Lauren McCaulley & Chacco Star
Source: Press Release from The Hampton Classic
Photo: © Kind Media