Bridgehampton, NY - Peter Leone of Greenwich, CT, crossed the wire in the nick of time to win the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge on Nevval De La Batia, owned by Margaret Bopp, in a time of 65.516 seconds on Opening Day at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Sloan Coles and Annie 66 just missed with a time of 66.095. Olympic Gold Medalist Leslie Howard and Jeans Glove Varnel were third with 67.100 seconds.
As the first rider of the day, Howard set the pace, but not for long. Coles went tenth in the lineup and became the new leader, but left room for improvement losing a little time at the rollbacks. Leone took advantage of the situation.
"Sloan told me that she slipped a little bit at the rollbacks, fences 4 and 6, but everything went perfect for me," said the 1996 Olympic team Silver Medalist. "I hit all those rollbacks going forward, especially the Nespresso jump, and then I galloped to the very last jump. I just kept coming. I think I made up a lot of time going to the last jump."
The rollbacks seemed to be the challenge on the Guilherme Jorge designed course. Jorge, of Campinas, Brazil, is new to the Classic, succeeding Conrad Homfeld who is designing the courses at this year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, but not to the show jumping circuit. Jorge has been designing courses professionally for about 17 years at such marquee events as the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas and the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bopp will be waiting a little while before she encounters Jorge's courses. She will ride Neval in the Amateur Owner Jumper division, which takes place in Jumper Ring II, not the big Grand Prix field. "I was really lucky to be able to watch Peter ride and then have my horse perfectly set up for me later on in the week."
For those who can't make it to the show grounds, WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, is broadcasting up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at www.wvvh.tv.
Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501.c.3 charitable corporation. It benefits SouthamptonHospital and has contributed more than $1 million to the hospital since it began.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631) 537-3177.
$20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge Results
Place Horse Rider Owner Time
1 NEVVAL DE LA BATIA Peter Leone MARGARET BOPP 65.516
2 ANNIE 66 Sloan Coles RI ARM FARM 66.095
3 JEANS GLOVE VARNEL Leslie Howard LESLIE HOWARD 67.100
4 ESPLANADE 7 MCLAIN WARD LOUISBURG FARM 67.179
5 DIAMS III JOE FARGIS MARY B. SCHWAB & O.E.J.I FARM, LLC 67.539
6 CREDIT CRUISE PETER LUTZ COPERNICUS STABLES LLC 67.708
7 TANGELO Z SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM, LLC 68.860
8 SOUTHERN RIVER JEANNE HOBBS JEANNE HOBBS 69.783
9 MON GAMIN BRIANNE GOUTAL CLOVERLEAF FARM 70.806
10 NORTON MARIE HECART TOP STALLION COMPANY 70.83
Photo: Peter Leone of Greenwich, CT, crossed the wire in the nick of time to win the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge on Nevval De La Batia