Bridgehampton, NY - Victoria Press, of New York, N.Y., rode her horse Mayfair to victory in the $50,000 Hampton Classic Hunter Derby, presented by Meadow View Farms, on the opening day of the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Press-at 14 the youngest rider in the 42-horse starting field-confidently guided Mayfair to the best score of the second round to claim the blue ribbon and the $15,000 prize with a two-round score of 178.5.
Darragh Kenny urged O'Ryan (171.0) to second place and a $10,000 prize, and Molly Ashe-Crawley claimed the $7,500 third-place prize on Ennzo (170.0). Ennzo won this class in 2012, while Kenny rode four more horses to top finishes: eighth on Julian, 11th on CR Moet, 12th on Caprisio and 15th on Ne-Yo.
Two panels of judges evaluated the 10-jump first round and the 11-jump second round. Scores from the two panels were averaged in each round, and the averages were added together. Ennzo earned the top score, a 92, in the first round but faltered to score a 78 in the second round.
"He was amazing in both rounds," said Press of Mayfair. "He was so smooth, and it was just so easy to gallop around on him."
Press has been showing at the Hampton Classic since she was the short stirrup champion on her pony Irish Rain at age 6. "Every time I come here, I remember that first year, and I want to do even better. But this is the first time I really have done better," said Press, a sophomore in high school. "This was more special than this show has ever been for me," she added.
Press purchased Mayfair, a Hanoverian gelding who's now 8, two years ago to be her first junior hunter, after she'd graduated from the pony divisions. "Really, my mom bought him for me without telling me. I didn't really like him when I tried him, but she thought he was the right horse for me and went ahead and had him vetted," said Press. "She's always right about horses, so I should know better than not to believe her."