Bridgehampton, New York, USA – February 28, 2022 – The Hampton Classic Horse Show, one of the country’s most prestigious hunter-jumper horse shows, will unveil new state-of-the-art all-weather footing in its Grand Prix Ring and a new schedule with FEI CSI 5* and 2* competitions when it returns for its 46th edition, August 28-September 4.
The new CSI 5* status means an increase in prize money to more than $1 million, with $410,000 for the Classic’s featured Hampton Classic Grand Prix on Sunday, September 4. New all-weather footing in the Grand Prix Ring will allow for an expanded schedule featuring the 5* and 2* as well as some new divisions.
“We are truly excited about hosting a CSI 5* and having the opportunity to expand our schedule,” said Shanette Barth Cohen, the Classic’s Executive Director. “Our new all-weather footing enables us to hold more classes in the Grand Prix Ring and our move to 5* status is sure to attract the best horses and riders from all across the country and beyond.”
The footing is being installed by Travis Gould and his JTWG, Inc. It is engineered using the same state-of-the-art processes that were used for the new footing in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida and Tryon Stadium in Tryon, North Carolina, both of which have received rave reviews. The laboratory design and modeling of the footing for those “Ultra-Competition” arenas was done by Bill Hawe, CEO of iEquiTek, LLC, who is overseeing the project for the Hampton Classic. The state-of-the-art processes being employed for the Hampton Classic by this team will also be used for the 2023 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Finals in Omaha.
“I think this is fantastic news,” said seven-time Hampton Classic Grand Prix champion McLain Ward. “The Hampton Classic has always been one of our sport’s premier events, equal to any Five Star. Now with official Five Star status plus its new footing that has proven at Wellington to be as good as there is, the Hampton Classic will solidify its position as one of the most outstanding events in the world.”
Ultra-Competition arenas are an example of the most extremely fine-tuned riding surfaces. Utilizing lab measurements, coupled with comparisons in the iEquiTek database, formulae are developed to improve certain aspects of the peak performance. The speeds and heights of CSI 5* competitions in general make for a narrow aperture of what is acceptable, even in the best of conditions. CSI 5* competitions may be held in the rain, yet still demand 5* levels of performance.
Bill Hawe, from iEquiTek said, “The Hampton Classic is to be commended for its all-in commitment to advancing the state-of-the-art for performance, safety and horse welfare. This helps change the sport for the better. We are very excited to partner with the Hampton Classic on this project.”
The Hampton Classic will host a live discussion on the Clubhouse audio app to discuss the 5*/2* FEI status and footing on Thursday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. All are invited to participate, ask questions, or simply listen in. Those who aren’t already on the app can join from any mobile device using this link: https://www.clubhouse.com/join/hampton-classic
The Grand Prix Ring is the centerpiece of the Classic’s six show rings. Longines is the Official Timekeeper for the Hampton Classic which will also be adding new divisions such as Low Adult and Children’s Hunters and 3’6” High Performance Hunters. Other divisions may be added as well. This will allow some exhibitors who have never previously had the chance to ride at the Hampton Classic to do so. More details on this year’s schedule will be forthcoming soon.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177.
Source: Press Release by Marty Bauman for Hampton Classic Horse Show
Photo: © Shawn McMillen