Dramatic Win by Daniel Bluman Culminates 45th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show

Daniel Bluman and Gemma W won the $300,000 LONGINES Hampton Classic Grand Prix Presented by Land Rover © Kind Media

 A dramatic win by two-time Olympic veteran Daniel Bluman provided a memorable finish to the 45th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show. This year’s Classic, August 29-September 5, featured more than 200 classes in six show rings across the Classic’s 60-acre show grounds. More than 1,000 horses and riders of all ages and abilities competed across hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions, including five FEI classes showcasing Olympic veterans and other elite riders from nine countries.
During the jump-off for the $300,000 LONGINES Hampton Classic Grand Prix Presented by Land Rover, Israel’s Daniel Bluman blazed ahead of Mclain Ward of the US, who had just taken the lead on his 2021 Olympic mount Contagious, owned by Beechwood Stables LLC. Bluman, two-time Olympian and 2017 Hampton Classic Grand Prix champion, brought home the blue ribbon and a new LONGINES timepiece for his breathtaking ride aboard Blue Star Investments’ Gemma W.
After watching Ward take the lead, Bluman said he was going to give everything he had so he would be faster, and his risky plays in the ring worked out in his favor. “It was a really incredible feeling,” he said. “It’s really special not only because it’s the Hampton Classic, but because it’s McLain Ward on his home turf. To beat him today is definitely one that I’ll always remember.”
Bluman also finished second in Saturday’s $73,000 LONGINES Cup behind Alex Matz (USA), son of Show Jumping Hall of Famer and three-time U.S. Olympian Michael Matz and Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist D.D. Alexander Matz. Matz piloted Erdento Van De Leeuwerk, owned by Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC, to the only double-clear ride in a field of 29 riders, marking his first victory in a major event at the Hampton Classic.
“My strategy going into the jump-off was to try to leave all the fences up,” Matz said with a smile. “I didn’t know if I could be faster than Daniel, but I thought I’d try to leave them all up and hope that luck would be on my side. It definitely changed my thinking a bit when Daniel dropped a rail, but I just focused on trying to have a clear round. I was fortunate that my horse jumped great.”
Alex Matz won the $73,000 LONGINES Cup on Erdento Van De Leeuwerk, owned by Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC © Kind Media
Ireland’s Nicky Galligan won Friday’s $75,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix Qualifier Presented by LONGINES with his Javas Miss Jordan. Galligan and many of the riders competing at the international level complimented the horse show staff for getting them into the Grand Prix Ring after the horse show’s opening class on Sunday revealed problems with the footing. The ring’s grass top was replaced with sand early in the week and Grand Prix Ring classes returned to that ring on Friday.
Nicky Galligan rode Javas Miss Jordan to the win in the $75,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix Qualifier Presented by LONGINES © Kind Media
“I know that all of us riders are insanely grateful not just to Shanette but the entire horse show here for what they did with the field,” Georgina Bloomberg (USA) said after her third-place finish in the $73,000 LONGINES Cup. “I know this wouldn’t have been as special for us over in Jumper 2. I know that everyone is very, very grateful for everything that this show has done with the footing to get us back out there and keep our horses safe.”
FEI competition opened on Thursday with the $37,000 Hampton Classic FEI Speed Stake, won by five-time Olympian McLain Ward and Blossom Z, owned by Ward, Wyndmont, and Heller. They returned to the ring to take top honors in Friday’s $37,000 1.50m Jumper Classic. These two victories plus his other top finishes throughout the week earned Ward the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge. Ward is the first American to win the Classic’s LONGINES Rider Challenge since it was initiated eight years ago.
McLain Ward won the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge © Kind Media
Other jumper and equitation highlights
Canada’s Mario Deslauriers, 2019 Hampton Classic Grand Prix champion, opened this year’s show with another win, riding Wishing Well Farm LLC’s Emerson in the $30,000 Open Jumper Challenge. Later in the week, McLain Ward rode to the blue in the $10,000 Wölffer Estate 1.40m Open Jumper class with Temple Equestrian LLC’s Chapka De Moyon. Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, Fla., and BMT Partners’ Gemino won the $10,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Open Jumper class.
Other jumper highlights included the $10,000 Lugano Diamonds Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Show Jumping Derby 1.40m Welcome Stake, won by Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, Conn. Rizvi rode to a 1-3 finish with Peacock Ridge LLC’s Excellent and North Run Inc.’s Quivive S Z, respectively. She was also awarded the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Style of Riding Award as the Junior Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation, as modeled by Show Jumping Hall of Famers such as Conrad Homfeld and Joe Fargis. Audrey Schulze won the $15,000 Benetti Junior/Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic aboard Mr. Cash.
Maya Aryal of Fairfax, Va., won the inaugural Currey Cup Perpetual Trophy for her success in the $25,000 Agneta & Brownlee Currey 1.45m Jumping Derby aboard her My Girl 52. The Currey Cup Perpetual Trophy was donated and sponsored in memory of Agneta and Brownlee Currey by their children, Christian, Frances, and Stephanie. It will now be presented each year to the winner of the Agneta and Brownlee Currey Jumping Derby. Agneta and Brownlee Currey, longtime supporters of the Hampton Classic and the sport of show jumping, both passed away in 2020.
Maya Aryal and My Girl 52 won the inaugural Currey Cup Perpetual Trophy © Kind Media
Featured equitation classes included the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Presented by The Atlantic Southampton won by Baylee McKeever of Brewster, N.Y., trained by Ward and riding Ward’s Salvatore, and the $10,000 Hampton Classic Equitation Championship Presented by Palm Beach International Academy which was won by Luke Jensen of Denton, Texas. Trained by John Brennan and Missy Clark, Jensen piloted Schuyler Riley’s Conthacco to Saturday’s Equitation Championship with what the judges felt was the smoothest round. Jensen also took home the Beval Groom’s Award for his excellent care of Conthacco.
Luke Jensen won the $10,000 Hampton Classic Equitation Championship Presented by
Palm Beach International Academy © Kind Media
In the hunter rings
Aquitaine Equine’s Arabesque brought home many top honors from the Hampton Classic’s hunter rings, including wins in the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby with Brianne Goutal-Marteau of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., on Opening Day and the $10,000 Marders Hunter Classic with Clara Propp of New York, N.Y., on Grand Prix Sunday.
Adriana Forte of Water Mill, N.Y., and First Blue LLC’s Memorable claimed the Grand Local Hunter Championship on Opening Day. Later in the week, Scott Stewart of Wellington, Fla., earned several hunter championships aboard Betsee Parker’s and Bikoff Equestrian LLC’s horses and was crowned the Grand Hunter Champion. The Grand Pony Hunter Championship was awarded to Carrie Hutton’s Game Plan, ridden by Emi Richard of Middlefield, Conn.
Geoffrey Hesslink of Shelburne, Vt., won the $5,000 Mane ’N Tail Rider Challenge for accumulating the most points in select classes during the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows and Hampton Classic Horse Show.
Aquitaine Equine’s Arabesque in the $10,000 Marders Hunter Classic with Clara Propp
© Kind Media
Aquitaine Equine’s Arabesque with Brianne Goutal-Marteau in the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby © Kind Media
Special events and awards
The Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities (LIHSSRD) Championship Finals Presented by Dime Bank took place on Monday with 12 riders vying for the prestigious year-end titles. Julia Glenz of Long Beach, N.Y, earned top honors in the Leader/Sidewalker division with HorseAbility Inc.’s Barely There, who also went on to win the Beginner Independent division with Kenzie Pu-Folkes of Great Neck, N.Y. Noah Capps of Glen Cove, N.Y., rode Wall Street Tickertape to the blue in the Advanced Independent division.
All participants were champions in the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities (LIHSSRD) Finals Presented by Dime Bank © Kind Media
Monday also featured the Classic’s 10th annual Animal Adoption Day Presented by Gotham Enterprizes. Nine dog-cat rescue groups brought some of their animals to the grounds from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. while the horses and mini donkeys of Equine Adoption Day Presented by the EQUUS Foundation took center stage in one of the main hunter rings from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Participating rescues and shelters included: Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Gimme Shelter Animal Rescue, Jake’s Rescue Ranch, Last Chance Animal Rescue, Mustang Heritage Foundation, Nassau County SPCA, North Shore Animal League America, Retired Racehorse Project, Rising Starr Horse Rescue, Second Chance Rescue NYC, Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, Storeybrook Farm, and Tyler’s Rescue.
The Hampton Classic also celebrated beauty and elegance outside the competition rings, with two contests featuring the boutiques and tables decorating the showgrounds. Long Island Yarn and Farm was awarded the Best Boutique of the 70 vendors in the Agneta Currey Boutique Garden and Stable Row. LoveShackFancy took top honors in the Hampton Cottages & Gardens Table Décor Awards during the VIP Tent’s festivities on Grand Prix Sunday.
Love Shack Fancy’s winning table (c) Barbara Lynne Photography
As always, a host of celebrities was on hand to enjoy the Classic including Michael Bloomberg, Billy Joel, Kate Capshaw, Jessica Capshaw, Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley, Sailor Brinkley Cook, Lorraine Bracco, Eva LaRue, Christy Turlington, Kelly Bensimon, Rita Cosby, Julia Haart, Donna Karan, Steven Weber, Jill Rappaport, Isaac Calpito and NASCAR racing champion Jimmie Johnson.
There were also kid-friendly activities throughout the week, including special attractions on Thursday, September 2, during News 12 Long Island Kids’ Day. Children under 12 from Long Island and the New York metropolitan area enjoyed free admission, complimentary pony rides, and other activities including games, music, magic, and crafts. News 12 Long Island also gave away colored pencils and horse-themed lapel pins to everyone in attendance.
For those who couldn’t make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions aired on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ClipMyHorseTV and courtesy of LONGINES. ClipMyHorseTV also provided a complimentary live webcast of all Anne Aspinall ring competitions and archive video, all available on the Hampton Classic website. In addition, WVVH-TV, Hamptons Television, broadcasted up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at www.wvvh.tv.
Brooke Shields (c) Barry Gordin
For those who couldn’t make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions aired on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ClipMyHorseTV and courtesy of LONGINES. ClipMyHorseTV also provided a complimentary live webcast of all Anne Aspinall ring competitions and archive video, all available on the Hampton Classic website. In addition, WVVH-TV, Hamptons Television, broadcasted 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. For full show results, please visit shownet.biz.
Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.

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