CSI 4*

Leslie Howard & Donna Speciale Thrive in $40,000 SOVARO® FEI Speed Stake CSI 4* at The Hampton Classic

2018. Hampton Classic CSI 4 Sovaro Leslie Howard & Donna Speciale Shawn McMillen

Bridgehampton, New York, USA – August 30, 2018 – It was Ladies First in Thursday’s $40,000 SOVARO® FEI Speed Stake CSI 4*, presented by Lisa & Mario Deslauriers and Lynn Tarnopol, as two-time US Olympic medalist Leslie Burr-Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale blazed to the top of the class at the 43rd Hampton Classic.

The pair won this class in 2016, the last time Donna Speciale competed at the Classic.

With a final time of just 59.71 seconds over the winding 14-effort course designed by Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt, they were the only pair to post a sub-minute time of the 46 who started.

Mexico’s Santiago Lambre (MEX) was second with Dingeman in 61.79 seconds, and Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (IRL) third with Cyklon in 62.48 seconds.

Burr-Howard likens her fleet-footed mount to a ‘cutting horse’ in terms of instinct and reflexes, two very positive attributes in a top speed horse.

“She instinctively has a sense of where the next jump is,” described Burr-Howard. “If you just lean a hair to the right she knows the next jump is to the right, and vice versa. She’s very intuitive that way. She’s very attuned to the weight of the rider shifting. And she’s game.”

Burr-Howard continued: “She trusts herself incredibly. She really has tremendous self-confidence, even around the barn. She’s the alpha female for sure – It’s her way or the highway. But in the ring she just does it faster and quicker than the others. Can’t fault her for that!”

The Hampton Classic showcases more than 1,600 horses competing in 200 hunter, jumper and equitation classes in six show rings. The schedule features competition for horses and riders of all ages and abilities, ranging from children’s leadline classes all the way up to the grand prix show jumping with Olympic veterans that come from all across the U.S. and abroad. The Classic, which also hosts classes for riders with disabilities, offers five FEI classes, culminating with the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI4* Presented by Douglas Elliman on Sunday, September 2.

For those who can’t make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions air on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ShowNet and courtesy of LONGINES. In addition, WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, broadcasts up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen on line at www.wvvh.tv.

Most of the Classic’s other classes are also available on ShowNet.biz.

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.

For full results, click here.

Source: Press release by Meg Rivett / Classic Communications for The Hampton Classic Horse Show

Photo: © Shawn McMillen