Bridgehampton, NY, Aug. 29, 2014 -Molly Ashe-Cawley and Carissimo scored a comeback victory in the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier, presented by Longines, at the Hampton Classic. Their jump-off time of 43.80 seconds defeated Karen Polle, representing Japan, on With Wings (44.38) and Ronan McGuigan, representing Ireland, on Capall Zidane (46.99).
The 39th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show runs Aug. 24-31. The Hampton Classic features world-class equestrian competition, with more than 100 classes of competition including jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.
In 2012, Carissimo, a 14-year-old gelding, pulled off his right front shoe while making a turn in the jump-off for the Sunday $250,000 grand prix, causing him to nearly fall at a jump. Ashe-Cawley then sold him to current owner Olivia Jack, who took over the showing duties until she left for college at New York University this month. Her departure left Ashe-Cawley reunited with Carissimo just in time for the Hampton Classic.
The 2012 mishap "was a bummer because he was going so well. But he was spectacular out here today-he couldn't have gone any better," said Ashe-Cawley, of Wellington, FL.
She's looking forward to Sunday's $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix, presented by Land Rover, because "he just loves this ring. Today's jump-off course was perfectly suited to him-with the long gallops between fences and no tight, rollback turns-and I hope it's the same on Sunday," said Ashe-Cawley.
She said that she thought McGuigan didn't go as fast as he could on Capall Zidane, but she doubts he'll make that mistake again on Sunday. "Ronan took a little bit off his kamikaze style today, probably because I was behind him and he thought he had me, because I don't usually go that fast. So he left the door open for me, and I'm glad he did, because it's been a long time since I've been in the victory circle for jumpers," said Ashe-Cawley.
She was especially thrilled with the prize she received from Longines, the presenting sponsor-a Conquest Sport Timepiece. She recalled that eight years ago she won his and hers watches for winning the grand prix in Dublin (Ireland), and she gave them to her grooms as a thank-you presents. "But I'm not doing that again. I'm definitely holding on to this watch!" she said.
The race for the $30,000 Longines Leading Rider Award tightened up as a result of this class, where the points for placing were multiplied by 1.5. Leader Darragh Kenny earned no points after receiving a four-fault penalty in the first round. He still leads, though, with 208 points.
But Richie Moloney and Shane Sweetnam both made the jump-off, with Moloney finishing fourth to bring his second-placed total to 200 points. Sweetnam is third (177.5), with Jeffery Welles fourth (115). With just the 75 points she earned today, Ashe-Cawley is eighth.
The Hampton Classic 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 features an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29-31: 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.