First Timer Karl Cook Takes Top Honors At The Hampton Classic Horse Show

Thursday, September 8, 2022
Posted by Horsesdaily Administrator


Cover_Karl Cook and Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet  win $410,000 Hampton Classic 5 Grand Prix. Photo © KindMedia.jpg

The 46th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show, August 28-September 4, drew approximately 1,500 horses.  Riders representing 13 countries raved about the Classic’s new Grand Prix Arena and, with its new FEI 5* status, the 2022 Classic had many of these riders calling this the best Hampton Classic ever!

(Above Photo Information and Photo Credit:  Karl Cook and Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet  win $410,000 Hampton Classic 5 Grand Prix. Photo © KindMedia)

Made His First Time, One To Remember

American Karl Cook made his first time at the Classic one to remember as he took top honors in the $74,000 Douglas Elliman 5* Grand Prix Qualifier, $410,000 Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix and the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge.

This year’s Classic was rated USEF ‘Premier-6’ for both hunters and jumpers with FEI 2* and 5* classes. Ireland’s Alan Wade served as Grand Prix Ring course designer. The Classic attracted its usual list of celebrities throughout the week, including Kelly Bensimon, Katie Lee Biegel, Michael Bloomberg, Lorraine Bracco, Christie Brinkley, Matthew Broderick, Jessica Capshaw, Chelsea Clinton, Mariska Hargitay, Donna Karan, Kelly Klein, Don Lemon, Luann de Lesseps, TJ Miller, Daphne Oz, Jill Rappaport, Brooke Shields and Molly Sims.

The culminating $410,000 Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix on Sunday, September 4, saw 30 entries representing nine countries challenge Alan Wade’s (IRL) final course of the week, a winding 1.60m course featuring 17 efforts. Defending champions Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Gemma W, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Blue Star Investments, gave it their best effort with a double-clear time of 36.930 seconds but ultimately landed in second behind Qualifier winners Karl Cook and Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet.

“I watched Karl’s ride, and he’s a deserving winner,” Bluman said. “He rode great all week and had a lot of success, and I already knew when I crossed the timers that he would beat my time. It was just a matter of if the rails stayed up or didn’t. I tried to get the crowd going to interfere with his focus, but I know Karl. He’s a winner, and I did absolutely everything I could. I’m very happy for him.”

Karl Cook and Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet win the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge. Photo © KindMedia
Karl Cook and Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet win the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge.
Photo © KindMedia

Last to go, Cook and the fast-footed Kalinka shaved 0.2 seconds off Bluman’s time, stopping the clock at 36.710 seconds for top honors. This win, which was Cook’s first Five Star grand prix victory, also landed him on top of the leaderboard in the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge, earning him the $30,000 cash bonus and a new LONGINES watch.

She Tries So Hard For It

"It’s great to be here,” Cook said of his first time at the Hampton Classic. “I’m so glad I came here. I’m grateful to my mom, who owns the horse, and it’s just great that we’ve worked so hard with that mare, had our highs and lows, and still had everything come together. If you see her, she’s hot, a bit wacky, a little small, and has an inverted-type jump,” he added of Signe Ostby’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. “But the only reason she can do this is because she wants it. She tries so hard for it."

For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at