BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY (September 1, 2001) - Fresh from his win in the BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search earlier this week, Brian Walker of St. Lazare, Quebec, had a clean round to finish first in the $10,000 CK Equitation Championship today at the 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show - riding the same horse who won the class in 1998.
Brian, 17, rode Grappa, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Sarah B. Willeman of South Hamilton, Mass. Grappa carried Willeman to victory in the CK Equitation Championship in 1998.
Earlier this week, Brian had said that the talent search on Tuesday was a good preparation for today’s class in the Grand Prix Arena at the 67-acre show grounds. The CK Equitation Championship, which carries a $10,000 trainers’ award, is a test of a young rider’s skill at maneuvering a horse cleanly around a jumper course of 12 to 14 natural fences over 4 feet tall. And all this has to be done in less than 90 seconds.
“A lot of people can go around a course and cowboy and yahoo and spur and kick,” said Brian. “But the point is to see who can get his horse around smoothly and steadily under the time allowed. Coming in under the time allowed and having a clean round are the factors that count towards a high score.
“The hardest thing is staying under the time allowed,” Brian added. “The time was snug. You had to gallop between fences into stay within the time allowed.”
Brian said the course’s biggest test of riding skills was the final line of fences.
“There was an open water [jump], which was quite wide,” Brian said. “Then there were five strong strides to a natural brown oxer, then a steady three strides to a vertical.”
The win was Brian’s final class at this year’s Classic, but the 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show continues today and Sunday, September 2, in Bridgehampton with special events planned:
Saturday, Sunday, Sept. 2: $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix presented by David Yurman;
$50,000 AmeriChoice Eastern Finals of the Young Jumper Championships;
$25,000 Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby; $100,000 New Things Grand Prix Bonus Challenge
The Hampton Classic Horse Show benefits the Southampton Hospital, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the United States Equestrian Team. Offering up the best in show jumping, there is no other competition that brings together the hunter-jumper circuit with thousands of spectators, extravagant social events, celebrities, shopping and fine dining in the Hamptons.
Find daily results online at www.hamptonclassic.com
Live coverage of the Hampton Classic at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, on Outdoor Life Network