Bridgehampton, NY, Aug. 24, 2014-Patricia Griffith, riding Black Label, won the $50,000 Clear Channel Hunter Derby, presented by Meadow View Farm, on The Atlantic Opening Day at the Hampton Classic.
Black Label scored a total of 179 points over the two rounds to defeat Carrico (Callie Seaman, 171) and Pioneer (Victoria Colvin, 165). Some 30 horses started in the first round, with the top 12 returning for the second round.
The 39th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show runs Aug. 24-31, in Bridgehampton, NY. 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.
"I've always loved riding in this field, so this is really special to me," said Griffith, of White Plains, NY. "I always say this is my favorite show-it's really a showplace event. It's the show I look forward to every year. I've been coming here since I was 10, and I'm 37 now."
Griffith was riding Black Label for owner Maxwell Levy, who bought him in July. Griffith said they bought Black Label for Levy to show in the adult amateur hunter division, but that she began showing the former jumper in the bigger division to give him hunter experience. She had previously ridden him to second place in a hunter derby and had won a championship.
Levy just began his first year of study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and is planning to show Black Label this weekend at the Hampton Classic.
"I know Max was sitting by his computer watching the class, and it's fun for him to watch me ride him and then to ride him himself," said Griffith. (Viewers can watch free live streaming of classes in the Grand Prix Ring at www.hamptonclassic.com.)
Griffith and Black Label grabbed the lead in the first round, scoring 93 points, over a galloping course that utilized the entire Grand Prix Ring and included four optional fences set at 4'3". "In the first round, I thought I could have had him a nickel's worth quieter, but he jumped great over this fantastic course," said Griffith. "And in the second round I just tried not to make a mistake," she added with a smile.
Griffith also rode Coco, owned by Further Lane Farm, to fifth in the $50,000 Clear Channel Hunter Derby. She said that riding Coco before Black Label gave her a slight advantage in the second round, because "the turns were much harder than they appeared. I don't think [Black Label] would have had a problem with them anyway, but it didn't hurt to know what to expect."
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 Hampton 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 Grand Prix is also 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 Grand Prix of Devon, $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix, and the $250,000 National Horse Show Grand Prix. The rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show's Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.
The Hampton Classic also features ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day on Monday, Aug. 25, an event that helps find permanent homes for rescued, horses, dogs, cats, and pigs.
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.