Bridgehampton, NY - Brianne Goutal, of New York, N.Y., urged Uata to the fastest time in the $10,000 Wolffer Estate Open Jumper at the Hampton Classic. Her time of 58.60 seconds just edged Darragh Kenny on Matana (58.99).
Chelsea Sundius, on Quiet Lady, claimed third (60.02). A total of 77 horses started in this class, the morning's feature in the Grand Prix Ring.
"I was thinking I might make the top five before I went in," said Goutal, 24. "I didn't think the class was that fast, and I really think I could have gone faster. I didn't go super-fast, but she doesn't spend a lot of time in the air over the jumps."
Uata is an 11-year-old warmblood mare. "She's a real winner," said Goutal. "She's quite opinionated and very aggressive to the jumps. She likes to come to the jumps with a lot of speed, so classes like this are perfect for her."
Mattias Tromp, 18, continued the younger generation's winning streak in the Hampton Classic's jumper classes by winning the afternoon's feature, the $10,000 Open Jumper, presented by Ariat. Tromp, of No. Salem, N.Y., rode Casey to a perfectly clear round in 55.99 seconds, to defeat experienced competitors Kevin Babington, on Shorapur (56.52 seconds) and Shane Sweetnam, on Diktator Van De Boslandhooeve (56.65).
"I thought I could be in the top four, but I could see the other riders were really fast," said Tromp. "So I just tried to keep an open stride around the course and tried to keep the turns tight."
Tromp thought the key to his half-second victory was how he rode the last part of the course. "The distances [to the jumps] started showing up for me from far away, so I could really go for it, and I left out a stride to the last fence," he said.
This class was Tromp's first victory in the Hampton Classic's Grand Prix Ring. "I've always wanted to win here," he said. "I come here every year, because it's one of the best shows I go to. It's a classic-it's the Hampton Classic."
Since Tromp also placed third in Tuesday's $10,000 Newsday Open Jumper class on Casey, he moved to the top of the Longines Leading Rider Challenge, with 85 points.
With two third-placed finishes on Quiet Lady, Sundius is tied for second place with Shane Sweetnam, on 70 points. Neither Tromp nor Sundius will be showing again in the open jumper division at this year's Hampton Classic, but they're each enjoying their brief time atop the leader board.
"I never ever dreamed I'd be in this position," said Sundius, of Bartonville, Texas, who gained the lead after Wednesday morning's class. "I was hoping maybe just to get a ribbon here, but to have two thirds and be the Longines leading rider-even for just a few hours-is beyond anything I could have imagined," she said.
Goutal, who's just off the lead with 50 points, will continue to show her jumpers at the Hampton Classic, eager to win the $30,000 prize.
"The challenge is definitely something I'd like to win. It's an amazing bonus and a wonderful incentive, something that all of us are thinking about and hoping to win," said Goutal. "I think that things like this add to the allure of the show."
The 38th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show runs through Sunday, September 1 and features world-class show jumping competition, as well as magnificent shopping and a variety of entertainment attractions. The Classic features six show rings with more than 100 classes of competition for horses and riders of all ages. A wide range of jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes are all part of the Classic's schedule, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.
The Classic features an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days - the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm/Young Horse Show Series Grand Prix Qualifier Presented by Longines on Friday, the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday, and the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier on Sunday. The world-class field of riders will also be looking to win the new Longines Rider Challenge that awards $30,000 to the rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show's Open Jumper division.
The FTI Grand Prix is part of the Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge which awards a $200,000 bonus should the same horse-and-rider combination win the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon, $250,000 FTI Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic, and $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix at the Alltech National Horse Show. McLain Ward won the Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon on Rothchild in May and now stands to win the $200,000 bonus should he ride Rothchild to wins in the remaining two events in the Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge.
For those who can't make it to the show grounds, 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 telecasts can also be seen online at www.WVVH.com.
Free live webcasts of all Grand Prix Ring competition will be available, courtesy of ShowNet, at www.HamptonClassic.com. Competition in other rings will be available on a pay-per-view basis at www.shownet.biz.
Further 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.