BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY (August 31, 2001) - Successful grand prix rider Ramiro Quintana, competing in jumper classes at the 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show, is an outstanding example of the influence that the Hispanic population is having on equestrian sports. From riding horses to caring for horses, members of the Hispanic community have become an integral part of the sport of horseback riding.
The Hampton Classic Horse Show is saluting that connection with the first annual Celebrity Cruises Fiesta Day presented by Avis today (Friday, August 31). Fiesta Day is a cultural salute to the Hispanic community of Long Island and the greater New York area and includes performances by Hollywood stunt rider and horse trainer Ramon Becerra and by the famed La Tierra Paso Finos of Middleboro, Mass. Paso Finos are proud horses of Spanish descent known for their smooth, rhythmic gaits.
Quintana, a native of Argentina, will compete against 67 of the nation’s other top national and international riders in the exciting highlight of Fiesta Day’s equestrian competition: the $25,000 Adequan Fiesta Day Grand Prix presented by Celebrity Cruises. The Adequan class is the qualifying event for $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix presented by David Yurman, on Sunday, September 2. He will ride LaCost, a 14-year-old Danish warmblood owned by Mary B. Schwab and OEJI Farm of Atlanta.
Quintana will also ride Henkie, also owned by Ms. Schwab, in the LaPrairie $15,000 Open Jumper Speed Derby.
Quintana’s father, a banker who loved horses, started his son with horses at age seven or eight back home in Buenos Aires, but he didn’t ride. His sport was vaulting, performing gymnastics on the back of galloping horses. At age 10 or 11, young Quintana became a dressage rider. He didn’t jump until age 12.
“My dad wanted me to have vaulting for balance and dressage for control,” Quintana recalled. His dad’s training paid off, and today Quintana competes against some of the world’s top riders in the American Gold Cup, Lexington, Ky., Commonwealth and the Hampton Classic grand prix.
Quintana enjoys all of the horses he rides, but he has a soft spot for a feisty Oldenburg mare named Carousel. He laughs as she paws and puts her ears back when she sees him, pushing her head at him for a rub.
“She’s spicy,” he said. “This is just her personality. She is reliable, she’ s fast, she tries to be clear.”
Quintana obviously loves what he does, and he credits hard work with his success.
“Showing is like a test,” he said. “There is nothing you can do five or 10 minutes before the test. You have to have worked hard beforehand. The harder you work, the luckier you are.”
The 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show continues through Sunday, September 2, in Bridgehampton with Fiesta Day and other special events planned:
Friday, Aug. 31: Celebrity Cruises’ Fiesta Day presented by Avis; $25,000 Adequan Fiesta Day Grand Prix Qualifier
Saturday, S Saturday, Sept. 1: Cablevision’s Kids Day; $25,000
Sally Hansen Grand Prix; Pony Jumpers
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
Admission to the Hampton Classic is $5 per person, $15 per carload, and children under six are admitted free daily. On Friday and Saturday (August 31-September 1), children under 12 are admitted free. Reserved grandstand seats for Grand Prix Sunday, September 2, are an additional $15 per person. Parking is free during the event.