Vaillancourt Tapped to Design Classic Grand Prix

Michel Vaillancourt. Photo by Jennifer Anstey

To those with a discerning eye, the Hampton Classic Grand Prix rings may have a slightly different look come Labor Day weekend, thanks to the 43rd annual horse show’s new course designer, Michel Vaillancourt.

“We are thrilled that Michel Vaillancourt will be joining us as course designer at the Hampton Classic this year,” Executive Director Shanette Barth Cohen said. “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.”

Originally from Quebec, he first made history when, at age 22, he became the youngest rider — and the first Canadian rider — to win an individual Olympic medal in show jumping during the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. He would go on to be inducted into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame in 2009 and, seven years later, was honored as the 2016 Jump Canada Official of the Year.

Today, he is an FEI Level 4 course designer known internationally for his work, and will succeed Alan Wade on the East End, who stepped down to focus on his role as course designer for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held shortly after the Hampton Classic — this year from August 26 to September 2.

For more information about the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please call (631) 537-3177 or visit