Bridgehampton, NY–August 24, 2008–Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, took first and third places in the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge, the feature jumping competition on Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day at the 33rd Hampton Classic Horse Show.
One of the nation’s premier show jumping competitions, the Hampton Classic continues through Sunday, August 31. The Classic hosts hunter/jumper competition for riders ranging from the youngest competitors in Leadline and Short Stirrup classes all the way up to Olympic veterans in the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix. Entered in the show are two Olympic riders who flew in directly from the Olympic show jumping competition in Hong Kong: individual gold medalist Eric Lamaze of Canada and McLain Ward, a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team.
Dobbs, 20, a junior at Harvard University, won the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge aboard Marengo with a time of 61.59 seconds. Last year the pair placed second in the same class. In this year’s competition, Dobbs was third with Corlett (63.71) and twelfth with Marlo. All three of her mounts are owned by The Dobbs Group.
The second-place finisher was Victoria Birdsall of Topsfield, Mass., aboard Jerremy (63.71), owned by Natalie Johnson.
Dobbs was jubilant about her horses’ performances. “Marengo is an especially fast horse, and today she was fresh and confident,” she said. “If I ride her correctly, we always have a shot [at winning].” She described Corlett as another “quick ride” who is “very honest and reliable.” That pair won the Speed Bank Derby this summer at Falsterbo, an exceptionally challenging jumping course in Sweden that was part of a European show jumping tour in which Dobbs competed for the U.S. Equestrian Federation. She called the Hampton Classic “our [country's] version of the elite shows in Europe.”
In addition to the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge, Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day at the Hampton Classic included the second annual WLIU 88.3 FM National Anthem Singing Contest, which was emceed by the radio station’s popular host, Bonnie Grice. Eleven-year-old Lexxi Saal, a middle school student from Deer Park, won the contest, which was broadcast live on WLIU and on WVVH-TV. The sixth-grader bested a field of six finalists-all but she adults-who competed in a live “sing-off” for the right to perform the national anthem in the Grand Prix ring prior to the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge.
Manhattan Mortgage Company’s Opening Day activities also included equestrian demonstrations by Sonny Garguilo of Elmos and Robin Foster of Sagaponack. Known as “the man who talks to horses,” Garguilo, a Natural Horsemanship trainer, specializes in non-aggressive training methods and promoting harmony between horse and rider. In October he will ride his wild mustang, America, in a seven-day fundraiser named “America Rides for Autism.” Foster drove her horse to illustrate the challenging equestrian sport of combined driving, which is modeled after three-day eventing.
This year’s Old Field Trophy - Long Island Sportsmanship Award was presented to Agneta Currey. Old Field Farm created the award last year to honor a Long Island horse person who has demonstrated excellence in sportsmanship. Currey is a member of the Hampton Classic Board of Directors executive committee and chair of the floral and grounds committee.
Robert Chaloner, President and CEO of Southampton Hospital, welcomed spectators to the Hampton Classic Horse Show. The hospital has been a community partner with the show since its inception more than 30 years ago and has been the recipient of more than $1 million in contributions from the show during that time.
With more than $500,000 in prize money, 50,000 spectators and 1,500 horses, the Hampton Classic is not only a sporting event of major proportions, but also one of the most noteworthy social events of the Hamptons’ summer season. The Classic’s featured event, the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, will be held on Sunday afternoon, August 31.
Upcoming highlights in the Hampton Classic’s Grand Prix Ring are the bluhammock music 1.45 meter Open Jumper class on Thursday; the $50,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix Qualifier on Friday; Cablevision Kid’s Day on Saturday featuring the $30,000 Sotheby’s International Realty Challenge and the final phase of the $10,000 Wölffer Estate Equitation Championship.
Sunday is highlighted by the $25,000 Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby, a member of event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, and the $10,000 Hermès Hunter Classic. Both these classes take place in the morning prior to the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier.
This year the horse show has initiated the VOX Rider Challenge, sponsored by VOX Magazine, with $30,000 in prize money being awarded to the top four riders in the horse show’s Open Jumper division. Riders have the chance to compete all week in the open jumper classes, with the top finish in each class, regardless of mount, being counted towards their final point totals. The winners will be presented with their prize money on Sunday afternoon following be the $200,000 FTI Grand Prix.
Those unable to attend the Hampton Classic have opportunity to see it on television. WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, is broadcasting up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at http://www.wvvh.tv
. The $200,000 FTI Grand Prix will also air on Animal Planet on Saturday, October 4 at 3:00 pm (ET/PT).
The Classic is also receiving extensive coverage on WLIU 88.3 FM, a long-time sponsor and the official radio station of the Hampton Classic. WLIU is broadcasting updates daily throughout the Classic to go along with live programs from the Classic on Sunday, August 24 and Saturday-Sunday, August 30-31.
The 2009 Hampton Classic will be held one week earlier than usual. Rather than culminating on Labor Day week-end, the 34th annual Hampton Classic will open on Sunday, August 23 and conclude on Sunday, August 30. The Classic will return to its traditional dates in 2010.
**HAMPTON CLASSIC HORSE SHOW/AUGUST 24-31, 2008**
412. $20,000 NICOLOCK TIME CHALLENGE
1 226 MARENGO THE DOBBS GROUP HILLARY DOBBS 5600.00
2 454 JERREMY NATALIE JOHNSON VICTORIA BIRDSALL 4000.00
3 227 CORLETT THE DOBBS GROUP HILLARY DOBBS 2200.00
4 367 OBELIX R LISA SILVERMAN MARIO DESLAURIERS 1600.00
5 1783 LUCAS ASHLAND STABLES MARIE HECART 1200.00
6 1351 TORNADO ANDRES RODRIQUEZ ANDRES RODRIQUEZ 1000.00
7 1767 KACHINA DEERIDGE FARMS LOUIS JACOBS 800.00
8 804 RAIMOND W LESLIE HOWARD LESLIE HOWARD 600.00
9 1160 THINK TWICE SPY COAST FARM, LLC SHANE SWEETNAM 600.00
10 927 RONALDO ASHLAND STABLES MARIE HECART 400.00
11 835 ACCANTO ROSEWOOD GLEN LTD LLC MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY 400.00
12 225 MARLO THE DOBBS GROUP HILLARY DOBBS 400.00
13 771 NIGHT TRAIN DOUBLE H FARM DARRAGH KERINS 400.00
14 214 PERLE JRF MISSY CLARK & NORTH RUN KRISTY MCCORMACK 400.00
15 249 PALONA OLYMPIC DREAMS LLC ALEXANDRA ARUTE 400.00
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/hillary-dobbs-nicolock-hampton-horse-08-08.html">Hillary Dobbs Wins $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge to Open 33rd Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com