Victoria Press of New York City rode her horse Mayfair to victory in the $50,000 Hampton Classic Hunter Derby on the opening day of the Hampton Classic Horse Show on Sunday, August 25. At 14, Press was the youngest rider in the 42-horse starting field, and she 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 the 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,” Press said of her horse Mayfair. “He was so smooth, and it was just so easy to gallop around on him.”
Now a sophomore in high school, Press has been competing at the Hampton Classic since age 6, when she was the short stirrup champion on her pony Irish Rain. “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,” she said, adding, “This was more special than this show has ever been for me.”
Press purchased Mayfair, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding, two years ago. The horse was 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,” Press said. “She’s always right about horses, so I should know better than not to believe her.”
Click here for a full schedule of Monday’s events at the 38th Hampton Classic.