Caroline Passarelli and Sophie Gochman Lead Pony Hunters At the Hampton Classic

Monday, September 1, 2014
Posted by Hampton Classic Horse Show Press


Caroline Passarelli rode Bit Of Love to win the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic and the Grand Pony Hunter Championship at the Hampton Classic. (Shawn McMillen photo)
Caroline Passarelli rode Bit Of Love to win the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic and the Grand Pony Hunter Championship at the Hampton Classic. (Shawn McMillen photo)

Bridgehampton, NY, Aug. 30- Caroline Passarelli of High Falls, NY, and Sophie Gochman of New York City notched the highest honors in the pony division at the 39th Annual Hampton Classic.  Passarelli, 13, won the $2,500 Pony Hunter Classic on Dr. Betsee Parker's Bit Of Love, and Gochman, 11, was named best child rider on a pony after winning the Medium Pony Hunter Championship on Truly Noble and finishing third in the Pony Hunter Classic on Laugh Out Loud.  Bit Of Love also won the Small Pony Hunter Championship and the Grand Pony Hunter Championship.

Said Passarelli, "I've been riding 'Chester' for about a year, and we've definitely grown together. I feel like we really clicked this week. He definitely wants to win as much as I do."  Passarelli, who's starting the eighth grade, believes the grass ring and the jumps at the Hampton Classic really compliment the way he goes. "He just loves it here," she said.

Said Parker, "Caroline has done such a thorough and careful job with Chester. She's such a versatile rider, riding all the ponies that she does, and no matter what happens, she's always a good sport."

This was only the second time that Passarelli has ever ridden at the Hampton Classic, but it's become a favorite show. "I love to show on the grass. I love the facility, and I enjoy all the other things you can do here, like eat and shop," she said.

Gochman began riding at the Hampton Classic when she was 6, starting in leadline and then the Short Stirrup division. "Truly Noble likes the grass a lot, and so do I," she said.  Gochman trains with Scott Stewart, Ken Berkley and Amanda Derbyshire. "I'd like to thank my trainers for getting me to this point, and I'd like to thank my really great pony," she said.

Other hunter champions were:

  • Large Pony: Davignon/Meghan Knapic.
  • Amateur-Owner (3'6"), 18-35: Golden Rule/Stephanie Danhakl.
  • Amateur-Owner (3'3"), 18-35: Enough Said/Stephanie Danhakl.
  • Amateur-Owner (3'6"), 36 & Over: Fonteyn/John Ingram. On Wednesday, Fonteyn also won The Chronicle of the Horse High-Performance Hunter division with Hayley Barnhill.
  • Amateur-Owner (3'3"), 36 & Over: Wingman/Lee Kellogg Sadrian.

The Hampton Classic, which runs through Aug. 31, 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 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 rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show's Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.

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 Most of the Classic's other classes will also be available on

Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at or by calling 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.