The Hampton Classic Horse Show is changing things up this year with a refreshingly different layout that’s sure to make for an exciting new challenge for green and veteran riders alike.
The new course will be carefully constructed by the newly appointed Course Designer for Grand Prix ring classes Michel Vaillancourt. He succeeds Alan Wade of Ireland who has stepped down to focus on his role as Course Designer for the 2018 Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games™ being held in North Carolina shortly after the Hampton Classic. Although Wade will be missed, Vaillancourt’s credentials prove what a worthy replacement he is.
At the age of 22, he became the youngest rider, and first Canadian rider, to win an individual Olympic medal in show jumping when he won the individual Silver at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. He went on to help Canada win team Gold at the 1980 Alternate Olympics in Rotterdam. In 2009, Vaillancourt was inducted into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame and he was honored as the 2016 Jump Canada Official of the Year.
Aside from his riding achievements, he has also graduated to a FEI Level 4 course designer, the highest level there is, and has designed courses at top international competitions around the globe, including the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto where his courses received rave reviews from the competitors. And now Vaillancourt is being given the chance to design for one of the largest outdoor horse shows in North America, the Hampton Classic.
Shanette Barth Cohen, Executive Director of the Classic, enthusiastically stated in a press release that, “We are thrilled that Michel Vaillancourt will be joining us as Course Designer at the Hampton Classic this year. He is highly respected by the world’s top riders for building challenging and fair courses, and he brings a unique perspective as a former international competitor himself.”
Now in its 43rd year, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, will return to Bridgehampton August 26 and run through September 2. This world-class competition will once again host the best horses and riders from around the world competing for a fabulous prize. And with Vaillancourt shaking things up, it’s sure to a must-see event this Hampton season.