As the week progresses and the jumps go up, clean rounds become hard to come by in the grand prix ring. Wednesday at the 2017 Hampton Classic was no exception.
Of 45 starters in the 1.45-meter $10,000 Palm Beach Masters Open Jumper class designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade, just a dozen progressed to jump off rounds.
Early in the field, Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and D’Artagnan posted a blistering jump off time of 32.860 seconds. Ultimately, however, Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam would pull a rabbit out of his hat, in the form of a near-impossible inside turn with Indra Van De Oude Heihoef, owned by the Blue Buckle Group, to claim the top prize.
“Santiago was very fast and I knew I wouldn’t catch him by going around,” Sweetnam said. “I had seen the turn when I walked the course and I was thinking my horse could do that because she is quite nifty. It’s not an easy type of turn to make—you have to have a certain type of horse to try a turn like that,” he continued. “I knew we wouldn’t be as fast across the ground as Santiago. I knew we would have to try something like that, but she is good at that. I’m lucky it came up really nicely and she jumped it so I think it was worth the risk.”
Sweetnam, who won the 2015 Longines Leading Rider title at the Classic, and Indra Van De Oude Heihoef bested Lambre’s time with their 32.489 seconds. United States’ Catherine Tyree and Enjoy Louis rounded out the top three with a jump-off time of 33.661 seconds.
Earlier in the day, Sarah Segal of Flemington, New Jersey took the $10,000 Wölffer Estate Open Jumper class, riding T.K. Farm’s Zelda.
Segal had a nail-biting few hours as she competed third in the order of go, then had to wait for the rest of the field of 59 to compete to see if her time would hold up for the win.
Nobody was able to better her 57.112 seconds, and Segal came away with the blue ribbon. Second went to Katie Swindler with Christoffer Adriansson’s Quali Quanti with a time of 59.149 seconds, and third went to Ireland’s Richie Moloney on Rocksy Music, owned by Equinimity LLC, right behind Swindler with a time of 59.161.
Update on the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge:
Richie Moloney of Ireland maintains the lead in the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge with a total of 163.5 points. Brianne Goutal of USA is second with 110 points, and McLain Ward, winner of the 2016 Open Jumper Challenge, has taken over the third position with 99 points. The Challenge continues throughout the week, and will be awarded Sunday.
Thursday’s competition continues with open jumpers in the grand prix ring including the Rose Hill Farm Amateur-Owner Jumpers and the highlight of the afternoon, the $40,000 SOVARO® Speed Stake.
Hunters will continue in the Anne Aspinall ring with Junior hunters followed by the $2,500 Adult Amateur Hunter Classic, presented by Firefly.
The Hampton Classic Horse Show continues every day from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. through Sunday, September 3 at 240 Snake Hollow Road in Bridgehampton.
For those who can’t make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions air on the Hampton Classic website, hamptonclassic.com, produced by ShowNet. 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 event. These broadcasts are also available online at wvvh.tv. Most of the Classic’s other classes are also available on ShowNet.biz.