Bridgehampton, NY, Aug. 30, 2014 - Just two of the 30 horses that started the $25,000 Marder's Show Jumping Derby at the Hampton Classic could qualify for the jump-off, where Promised Land, with Addison Gierkink aboard, defeated Chamonix H, with Kelli Cruciotti aboard. Both riders lowered one rail in the jump-off, but Gierkink galloped across the finish in 37.91 seconds, almost 2 seconds faster than Cruciotti (39.29 seconds).
Gierkink, 18, of Harpswell, ME, said the tight time allowed over the demanding, long and twisting first-round course presented a serious challenge to her and to her junior and amateur competitors. She said that Promised Land is "naturally a fast horse, and usually, if we finish less than 5 seconds under the optimum time ,we have rails, because it means I wasn't going fast enough. So this tight time made me ride better," she said.
Promised Land is 20 years old, and Gierkink began showing him in January. "He's really experienced and knows what he has to do in the ring, so it's best just to let him have his own way," said Gierkink. She said that her trainers at North Run-Missy Clark and John Brennan-put her together with Promised Land.
Gierkink said that they have no retirement plans for Promised Land, despite his seniority. "When he wants to be done, he's going to tell us. But right now he loves his job," she said. "It's a big honor for me just to ride in this class, let alone to win it," said Gierkink. "I came to ride in the Hampton Classic for the first time last year, and I didn't even qualify for this class. I've come a long way."
The $25,000 Marder's Show Jumping Derby was a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series. After its conclusion, Lucy Deslauriers of New York City accepted the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Style of Riding Award in a presentation in the center of the Grand Prix Ring.
The Show Jumping Hall Of Fame Style Of Riding Award is presented to the junior jumper rider at the Hampton Classic who best exemplifies the American style of equitation as modeled by riders like Show Jumping Hall of Famers Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld and George Morris. The recipient must also have the respectful, dignified, courteous and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.
The Hampton Classic's jumper judges and other key personnel chose Deslauriers as the winner.
The Hampton Classic, which ran Aug. 24-31, features six show rings, a Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, on its 60-acre show grounds. The Classic's world-class equestrian competition attracts many of the nation's top professional and amateur riders including Olympic medalists.
The Classic's world-class field of Grand Prix riders competes daily in the Classic's open jumper division, which featured an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday: the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, presented by Longines, on Friday, the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday, and Sunday's $250,000 Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, presented by Land Rover, a qualifying competition for the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April.
The rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show's Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.
For those who can't make it to the show grounds, a complimentary live webcast of all Grand Prix ring classes will 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 will also be 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. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.