Bridgehampton, New York, USA – August 28, 2022 – Five-time U.S. Olympian and seven-time Hampton Classic Grand Prix champion McLain Ward is no stranger to winning in the Hampton Classic arena, and he started his week at the 2022 Horse Show no differently. He and his 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Faro were impossible to catch in the $30,000 Hampton Classic 1.40m Jumper Challenge, finishing in the top spot with a double-clear time of 31.353 seconds.
The Hampton Classic, August 28-September 4, is one of the world’s most prestigious horse shows, offering more than $1 million in prize money with a full schedule featuring competitors at every level from young children in leadline to Olympic, World, and World Cup Champions. The Classic also has competitions for riders with disabilities.
All Grand Prix Arena competitors have the opportunity throughout the week to ride on the new state-of-the-art all-weather footing installed by Travis Gould and his JTWG, Inc., under the guidance of iEquitek’s Bill Hawe and in consultation with Oliver Hoberg. It is engineered using the same processes used for the footing in the International Arena at Wellington International (FL) and Tryon Stadium (NC), both of which have received rave reviews, as well as the upcoming 2023 LONGINES FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in Omaha.
The $30,000 Hampton Classic 1.40m Jumper Challenge drew 59 entries as many of the Classic’s Open Jumpers turned out for their first rides on the new surface. The first Alan Wade-designed course of the week featured 14 jumping efforts in a winning-round format, where Ward and Faro had the fastest double-clear.
“I had a game plan for Faro going into the second round,” Ward said. “I also had a second horse competing, Catoki, who is sort of my speed specialist. Faro answered all the questions, and even though we had a mishap with Catoki, it still worked out nicely.
“I think the new footing is great,” he added. “I’ve been a big proponent of having a modern all-weather surface here in the Hamptons. We’ve had some dry weather so far, but as we know, we can get rain here this time of the year. I think this arena is going to make for even greater sport. It’s always been a great arena for us, and it’s a great place to come every year.”
Nearly a second off Ward’s time with their double-clear round, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s 10-year-old Anglo-European mare Wonder If stopped the clock in 32.258 seconds. Taking third was Alison Robitaille (USA) aboard Diane De Sivry, a 9-year-old Selle Français mare owned by Alison Firestone LLC, with a time of 33.365 seconds. Tripping the timers in 37.207 seconds on the only other double-clear round to finish fourth was Ireland’s Jonathan Corrigan aboard Nadal VD Wateringhoeve, Maya Nayyar LLC’s 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding.
This win gives Ward an early lead in the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge with 100 points. Derbyshire and Robitaille are not far behind with 80 and 70 points respectively. The Challenge, which awards $30,000 and a LONGINES watch to the winner, will be awarded Sunday, September 4, following the $410,000 Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix.
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 ClipMyHorseTV and courtesy of LONGINES. ClipMyHorseTV is also producing a live webcast of all Anne Aspinall ring competitions, available for free on the Hampton Classic website, thanks to Pacaso. In addition, WVVH-TV, Hamptons Television, broadcasts up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at www.wvvh.tv.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or call 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.
Final Results – $30,000 Hampton Classic Jumper Challenge
1) Mclain Ward (USA) & Faro – 0 / 0 – 31.353
2) Amanda Derbyshire ( GBR) & Wonder If – 0 / 0 – 32.258
3) Alison Robitaille (USA) & Diane De Sirvy – 0 / 0 – 33.365
Source: Press Release by Marty Bauman / Classic Communications for The Hampton Classic
Photos: © KindMedia