Polle Finishes 40th Annual Hampton Classic with Victory in
$250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix Presented by Longines
Performances Also Turned in by Sweetnam and Colvin
Bridgehampton, N.Y. -
September 2, 2015 - Karen
Polle and her long-time partner, With Wings, topped a
star-studded field in the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand
Prix, Presented by Longines, to take the biggest prize at
the 40th Annual Hampton Classic.
Polle, 23, who lives in New
York City and rides for Japan, was one of only four entries
to reach the jump-off and she completed it fault-free in
47.96 seconds to claim the win. Todd Minikus, of Wellington,
Fla., took second place on Babalou 41 (4 faults/43.89
seconds), Chris Sorensen of Canada took third on Bobby (4
faults/46.23 seconds), and Meagan Nusz, of The Woodlands,
Texas, took fourth on Dynamo (8 faults/47.58 seconds).
"This is definitely the
biggest win in my career, and I can't believe it," said
Polle. "I can't believe I won the Grand Prix at the Hampton
Minikus, who actually trained
Polle for a season, said, "She's always been a very good
rider. And With Wings is a very special horse-they're a
great match. Japan is lucky to have her. The one thing that
she forgot, though, is that when you're in the jump-off, you
have to let the old guy win. So today she wasn't the best of
Polle, who's entering her
senior year at Yale University, claimed her Japanese
citizenship in 2014. She's hoping to qualify for the
Japanese Olympic team in 2016 and when Japan hosts the
Olympics in 2020.
The three top-placed riders
each received a Longines timepiece. Sorensen, who earlier in
the week won the award from the Classic and Equis Boutique
for Best Turned-Out Horse and Presenter at the FEI jog, told
Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of
International Marketing, "Thank you for the watch, because
I've been trying to get one of these for a long time. I've
been close but not quite done it."
Course designer Guilherme
Jorge of Brazil explained that he intended to create a
challenging course, with so much prize money at stake and a
field that included half a dozen Olympic riders and four
previous winners. "This is a proven international event," he
"It's always a long grand
prix course here, and I always try to incorporate the double
of liverpools and the open water, because you don't see
those very often and they are part of our tradition," said
Jorge, who'll be designing the show jumping courses for the
2016 Olympics. "It takes a special horse."
Capelli presented a fourth
Longines timepiece, and a $30,000 check, to Shane Sweetnam
of Ireland, winner of the Longines Leading Rider
Challenge. Sweetnam was the only rider who scored points
in all 10 of the week's open jumper classes, winning two
of them. Sweetnam's total of 355 points easily
outdistanced Minikus (170) and Paul O'Shea (165).
"This award is a great thing
for the riders, because we don't often get this at a show.
So I started from the first of the week to push for it,"
said Sweetnam, who competes for his native Ireland but lives
in Wellington, Fla.
O'Shea and Ward Win
Earlier FEI Grand Prix
On Saturday, Paul O'Shea of
Ireland recovered from what seemed a devastating crash in
Friday's $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix to win the
$40,000 Longines Cup aboard Skara Glen's Dolphin.
His faultless jump-off round,
in 41.52 seconds, handily eclipsed Hayley Barnhill on
Zephire (O faults/42.51 seconds) and Molly Ashe-Cawley on
Cocq A Doodle (0 faults/43.86 seconds). O'Shea was the final
starter, riding Skara Glen's Dolphin, a 10-year-old
During Friday's class, O'Shea
fell with Skara Glen's Sienna and was eliminated. But
O'Shea, an international competitor who lives in Wellington,
Fla., pushed the crash to the back of his mind as he
prepared for the Longines Cup.
"I didn't want to dwell on
it. It's best to get it out of your mind," he said. "It
actually took me a long time to learn to go forward after a
mistake. But now if I make a mistake, I say to myself, 'I
know something good is going to happen next.'"
Riding last gave O'Shea the
advantage in the five-horse jump-off field. While Barnhill,
of Collierville, Tenn., had the disadvantageous position of
going first, she and Zephire, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood,
galloped smoothly around the Grand Prix Field-and their time
held up until O'Shea edged them out for the win.
McLain Ward could not be
denied victory in Friday's $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand
Prix Qualifier, presented by Longines. As the seventh of 10
riders in the jump-off, Ward and HH Azur made a tight turn
to the third fence that no one before him had attempted,
slicing the leading time by more than 2 seconds.
Ward's time (39.88 seconds)
even withstood the challenge of Sweetnam, who made the same
turn on Chaqui Z but didn't keep his foot on the gas and
settled for second (41.26 seconds).
Ward and Sweetnam had to make
that short turn because Daniel Bluman of Colombia, who rode
right before Ward, had galloped aggressively throughout the
course to wrestle from Ward the lead he'd taken on Rothchild.
Bluman and Conconcreto Believe finished in 42.14 seconds to
hold onto third. Ward and Rothchild took fourth (42.56
"Very few horses can do that
turn, and she did it beautifully. I knew it was an option,
and I had walked it. It was definitely in the back of my
mind if I needed it," said Ward, of Brewster, N.Y. "She's
very special, like nothing I've ever sat on."
Ward, individual Gold
Medalist at the 2015 Pan American Games a few weeks before
the Classic, and Double H Farm purchased HH Azur, 9, last
year, with the 2016 Olympics in mind.
Other Jumper Winners
Abigail McArdle rode Cosma 20
to the win in the $15,000 Merrill Lynch Speed Derby
presented by Sotheby's International Realty. The pair also
won the $10,000 Shamrock Ventures Open Jumper earlier in the
week. McArdle's time (69.62 seconds) in the Speed Derby
easily bested Sydney Shulman on Wamira (72.27).
McArdle, 21, of Wellington,
Fla., said that she intended to win the moment she and her
chestnut mare stepped into the ring. "You have to go out
there and go for it, and I went for it. There were a lot of
fast riders in there," she said.
Emma Waldfogel, of Palo Alto,
Calif., made her first trip to the Hampton Classic a
rewarding one by winning the $5,000 Strong's Marine Low
Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the Low Amateur-Owner
Jumper Championship, on Zorro.
"The Hampton Classic has
always been a show that I've wanted to come to, so I'm
really glad that I'm here," said Waldfogel, 19, who brought
Zorro, two hunters and her equitation horse. "I always
thought that it looks beautiful, and the competition is
really hard. It just seemed like a fun show to come to, and
I've loved it."
Francesca Dildabanian of New
York City won the $5,000 Gray Equestrian Services Junior
Jumper Classic presented by Skyline Stables on Catika Van De
Helle. That victory gave Dildabanian and Catika Van De Helle
the Low Junior Jumper Championship. Dildabanian also grabbed
the reserve championship with Ollywood Des Horts.
Lucy Deslauriers, of
Southampton, N.Y., defeated three rivals in the jump-off to
win the $25,000 Campbell Stables Show Jumping Derby. Her
faultless round in 39.66 seconds bested Kaely Tomeu on
Fidalgo Van Het Leliehof (0 faults/41.44 seconds) and Philip
Richter on Pistoya (4 faults/39.06 seconds).
Victory in the Show Jumping
Derby was meaningful for Deslauriers, 16, who won the Young
Rider individual Gold Medal at the North American Junior and
Young Rider Championships in July. "This definitely has
special meaning to be able to win," said Deslauriers. "I've
been coming here longer than I can remember, and it's one of
my favorite shows all year, not only because I can stay at
home in my own bed, but it is also a really special place."
Sophie Simpson won the Show
Jumping Hall of Fame Style of Riding Award, chosen by the
jury from riders competing in the Junior/Amateur-Owner
Colvin Wins in
Jumper, Hunter and Equitation Rings
Victoria Colvin was among the
most dominant riders at the Classic, winning in hunters,
jumpers and equitation. She won the $50,000 iHeart Media
Hunter Derby; the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper
Welcome Stake; two Junior Hunter championships; the $10,000
Sam Edelman Equitation Championship; the $30,000 East Coast
7-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship and the $10,000 Hermès
Colvin's two-round Sam
Edelman score of 185 points defeated T.J. O'Mara (170) and
Emily Perez (165). Colvin had finished second in the Sam
Edelman Equitation Championship in 2012 and 2014.
"I love that this class is on
the Grand Prix Field, and the second round is kind of like a
speed class-you pick up the canter and just keep going,"
In the second round, riders
returned in inverse order of standing, but Colvin said that
she didn't feel any pressure. "I don't really ever get
nervous. I like to go first or last. I like to go first and
show them what to do or go last and win it," she said with a
smile. Her win made it nine wins in the last 11 years for
trainer Andre Dignelli and his team at Heritage Farm.
Colvin opened up the Hampton
Classic by guiding Heritage Farm's Vaillero to the top score
(182.5) to claim the $50,000 iHeartMedia Hunter Derby,
presented by Ghurka.
Galloping around two separate
courses in the sprawling, grass-covered Grand Prix Ring,
Colvin and Vaillero topped Kelly Tropin on Libertas Farms
LLC's Chablis (174.0) and Daisy Farish on Heritage Farm's
"I always love to ride on the
big grass fields, and these jumps look amazing to me. I
especially like that they used the bank in the handy round,
so it's a real derby kind of course," said Colvin, who also
finished sixth on Dr. Betsee Parker's Avalanche, the horse
she rode to win the Sam Edelman class.
During the week, Colvin rode
Parker's Way Cool to win the Large Junior Working Hunter
High-Score Award for the fourth year in a row-scoring a 98
to win one class-on the way to the Large Junior Working
Hunter, 16-17, Championship and the Grand Junior Hunter
Championship. Colvin also won the Small Junior Hunter,
16-17, Championship with Ovation and the Reserve
Championship with Canadian Blue. Parker, of Middleburg, Va.,
owns both horses.
She capped off her week by
riding Way Cool to victory in the Hermès Hunter Classic, in
which she also finished second with Small Affair, fourth
with Ovation and fifth with Canadian Blue.
Emily Perez, of Pittsburg,
N.Y., rode Cassanto, 9, to win the Large Junior Hunter, 15
and Under, Championship. "We bought him as an equitation
horse a year ago, and then we turned him into a hunter-and
he's been great!" said Perez, who will be a junior in high
school this fall. She also trains at Heritage Farm.
Perez said that she likes
jumping in the Hampton Classic's grass Anne Aspinall Ring,
where the junior hunter divisions competed. "I love the
rings here. I think they're so pretty, and I love how big
they are. I love it here," she said.
Coco Fath, of Fairfield,
Conn., won the Small Junior Hunter, 15 and Under,
Championship on Akinda.
Stewart Earns Hunter
As has been true for the last
several years, Scott Stewart was the man in the hunter ring
at the Hampton Classic. Horses he rode or trained won two
championships and three reserve championships. The
professional hunter champions were:
Huntland First Year Green:
champion-Mirror Image/Amanda Steege; reserve-Catch Me/Scott
Second Year Green: champion-Zaretina/Jamie Taylor; reserve:
Green Conformation: champion-Wisdom/Amanda Derbyshire;
reserve-First Light/Scott Stewart.
High Performance Hunter: champion-Cleaveland/Jennifer
Bauersachs; reserve--A Million Reasons/Scott Stewart.
Regular Conformation: champion-Lucador/Scott Stewart;
Lucador also won the Grand
"The Hampton Classic is
always a great show to come to, and the horses went great
out there," said Stewart, of Wellington, Fla.
Samantha Karp rode Zentina B
to the blue ribbon in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling
Children's, 15-17, Hunter Classic. Zentina used her jumper
background to propel her to the top of the Children's Hunter
Classic. The regular children's hunter classes were held in
Hunter Ring 2, but the classic moved to the much larger Anne
"So the jumps were pretty
spooky for a children's hunter rider. We don't get to have
much experience in a ring that huge with jumps that
impressive, but with my horse, when there's something
challenging, it only makes her work harder," said Karp.
Emily Sun, of Scarsdale,
N.Y., rode her own Balthazar to win the $2,500 Marshall &
Sterling Children's, 14 and Under, Hunter Classic. Like
Karp, Sun, a 10th grader at Scarsdale High School, trains at
Hase and Marder-Connor
Star on Local Day
Chloe Hase, 17, a senior at
Southampton High School, and Sue Marder-O'Connor, a teacher
at the nearby Springs School, finished in a tie for the
South Fork Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the Grand Local
Hase rode Brando, 18, to the
Revco Local Junior Hunter, Sec. B, title on her way to the
grand championship. Marder-O'Connor rode Tour Guide, 18, to
the Long Island Pulse Local Amateur-Owner Championship on
her way to the grand championship.
"We've grown so much in the
last few years, and we've become so in sync with each other.
It was an amazing experience for both of us. One of the best
experiences we've ever had," said Hase. "The show is really
special because it's close to home, but it's a huge show
that people come from all over the world to show in."
"This show is really
everything to us," said Marder-O'Connor, whose family owns
and runs Marders Landscaping, which has handled the trees
and other plantings on the show grounds since the show's
inception. "So we're here 24/7. We define our lives by this
show, so this is huge. It made my year."
Hase bought Brando five years
ago, when they were both 12, and "we've grown up a lot in
the last five years. Now we can read each other's minds."
The other Local Day Hunter
Junior Hunter, Sec. A: Al
Pacino I, ridden by Olivia Kramer
Local Hunter (Pro), Sec. A: Quartermaster, ridden by Lainie
Local Hunter (Pro), Sec. B: Rockford, ridden by Holly
Local Hunter (Non-Pro): Hands Down, ridden by James
Leadline: Agatha Lignelli
For the 10th consecutive
year, the Hampton Classic hosted the championship finals for
the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with
Disabilities, with riders in three divisions competing for
year-end titles. Bridgehampton National Bank sponsored the
day of competition for riders with disabilities, and James
Manseau, the bank's executive vice president, handed out the
ribbons and trophies. Hermès provided commemorative coolers
to the champions, and Priscilla Smith-Gremillion presented
USEF-licensed judge Gary
Duffy awarded the following championships:
LIHSSRD Walk-Trot Equitation
Academy Class-Lauren Fisher of New York City, riding Just
Keep Swimming. Todd Pritscher of Yaphank, N.Y., riding
White Diamond, won the reserve championship.
LIHSSRD Walk Equitation Academy Class-Emily McGowan of
Melville, N.Y., riding Bella Ragazza. Bonnie Bokser of
Farmingdale, N.Y., riding Knight In Shining Armor, and
Joshua Gootnick of Jericho, N.Y., riding Down Town Man, tied
for the reserve championship.
LIHSSRD Walk With Aids Academy Class-Isaiah Forte of West
Hempstead, N.Y., riding White Diamond. Justine Wallace of
Dix Hills, N.Y., won the reserve championship on Knight In
Not only are the horses and riders competitive at
the Hampton Classic Horse Show, but so are the VIP
and Gardens magazine had their work cut out for them
again this year, judging more than 150 beautifully
decorated tables in the VIP tents. The winner of
annual VIP Table Décor Contest
was The Feffer Table.
Special Events and
With its orange vintage
Citroen truck blazing the way, the French shoemaker Galet
was named the outstanding boutique among the more than 80
boutiques in the beautiful Boutique Garden and Stable Row in
a contest judged by actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and
Ashley Cline of Equestrian Stylist, the contest's sponsor.
"The Citroen is very French
and very iconic. We're a French shoe brand, and we do very
iconic shoes, so we thought this truck was a great way to
represent us here in the United States," said Jonathan
Horemans, one of the company's owners.
Optimum® Kids Day was a huge
hit once again and children from all around the New York
metropolitan area enjoyed pony rides, a petting
area, musical entertainment face painting, magic acts and
ASPCA Adoption and Animal
Welfare Day offered more animals for adoption than ever
before. Valerie Angeli, ASPCA senior director of equine and
special projects, and Jill Rappaport, TV host and
animal-welfare advocate, welcomed three area horse rescues,
which brought seven horses to the presentation in the Anne
Aspinall Ring. In addition, seven local rescue organizations
staffed booths with numerous dogs and cats available for
"To me, this is what it's all
about-to save the life of what I like to call 'steeds in
need.' They all need our help, our help to give them a
second chance," said Rappaport. "And thank you to the
Hampton Classic for giving us this opportunity every year."
Joining Rappaport were five
riders who have been named by ASPCA officials as
Equine-Welfare Ambassadors: Georgina Bloomberg, Hayley
Barnhill, Brianne Goutal, Jennifer Gates and Stacia Madden.
Shanette Cohen, executive
director of the Hampton Classic, told the crowd, "I hope
that you connect with one of these rescues, either by
adopting a horse, a dog or a cat or by simply supporting one
of these groups."
As always, this year's
Hampton Classic featured its usual impressive line-up of
celebrity attendees including television stars Brooke
Shields, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jerry Seinfeld, Matt
Lauer, Katie Couric, Georgina Chapman, Amy Hargreaves, Jill
Ortiz, LuAnn de
Lesseps, Kelly Bensimon, Jill Zarin, Ramona Singer and Jame
s Lipton, plus former New York City Mayors Michael Bloomberg
and Rudy Giuliani, Congressman Peter King, producers Harvey
Weinstein and L.A. Reid, Donna Karan, Martha Stewart, Tom
Wolfe, Marla Maples, hockey Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert, and
supermodels Christie Brinkley and Christy Turlington.
Further information on the
Hampton Classic is available at the Hampton Classic website
or by calling 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse
Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.