On a windy, bright and unseasonably cool day, local horses and riders were in the spotlight for opening day of the 44th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show on Sunday.
Dubbed “Locals Day,” the first day of the weeklong show places special emphasis on riders who board their horses for at least 75 days per year at a barn in Nassau County or Suffolk County.
In the Anne Aspinall Ring — the closest of the three grass rings to the Grand Prix field — the class of the day was the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby. A total of 52 horse and rider teams entered the class, which features two rounds, including a more traditional hunter course and a trickier “handy” course, which requires the riders and horses to make tighter turns to the jumps.
Holly Orlando piloted True Story, owned by Cathy Zicherman, to the championship, garnering 91 points, while Curo, owned by Mario Deslauriers and ridden by Matthew Hesslink, were second with 90 points.
True Story and Zicherman are trained by Jenny Dunion of Evermore, Inc., based out of Water Mill.
Earlier in the day, Bridgehampton’s Laura Bowery of Sea Aire Inc. took top honors in the local hunter professional division, riding Prince of Thieves, owned by Stormy Good, in the ‘B’ division, while Holly Orlando and Forever, owned by James Anderson, were champion in the ‘A’ division.
Stephanie Bulger and her horse, Mariano, were champion in the Local Amateur-Owner Hunter division, while Romy Lauer and her horse, Bonaparte, were champion in the Local Junior Hunter Division. Bulger and Lauer tied for the Grand Local Hunter Championship with their mounts.
Solo and Justine Ryan were reserve champion in the Local Amateur-Owner division.
In the Local Hunter Non-Pro division, Megan Knapic and Encore were champion, while last year’s champion, Southampton’s Tess Mahoney and Sastune, finished as reserve champion.
Open jumper riders christened the newly renovated Grand Prix field in the $30,000 Land Rover Jumper Challenge on Sunday afternoon. Adrienne Sternlicht and her horse, Fantast, beat out Molly Ashe-Cawley and Berdien by fractions of a second to win the class, which featured 29 entries.
Earlier in the day, the show’s youngest riders were in the Grand Prix ring for the leadline class. Evelyn Davis of Bridgehampton was the champion in the 2- to 4-year-old division with her pony, Turning Point, while Margot Whalen of Sayville and her pony, Junior Mint, were champion in the 5- to 7-year-old division.
Other class winners in the younger division included Gemma Sydney Klein of Bridgehampton with Shenandoah Emperor, Althea Rose Berkhoffer of Montauk with Ironwood’s Prestige, and Ian Luca Roman of Wellington, Florida, with Buttons and Bows. Class winners in the older division included Chloe Wassong of Water Mill with Strawberry Fields, Meridian Ising of New York City with Fancy Pants, and Kendall Coleman of New York City with Lollipop.