March 30, 2009 (Hampton Falls, NH) -- The tradition of elite show jumping competition with a European look and feel keeps some of the finest international equestrian athletes returning to the Jumper Classic, now in its 20th year. The 2009 Jumper Classic, with its premier event, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, will be held September 2-6 over Labor Day weekend at New England's finest equestrian show grounds, Silver Oak Equestrian Center, in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire. The five-day show, held for the past 19 years in early September, caters to top show jumping riders and their horses, as well as aspiring young riders and students who compete in some 40 classes for more than $200,000 in prize money.
"New England at that time of year is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world", said Olympic veteran Nona Garson, who won the 2002 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix. "The Jumper Classic always has great courses and the horse show goes out of the way to do everything the exhibitors want."
An annual draw for the nations top riders, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix is the only American Grand Prix (AGA)-sanctioned event in New England. Fidelity Investments has been the title sponsor of this prestigious event for the past 9 years. "Fidelity Investments is pleased to support the Jumper Classic again this year. It is a pleasure to be associated with, and supporting, a show of such high caliber," said Jennifer K. Brown, Executive Vice President, Corporate Alliances.
"Top riders on their way to competing for Olympic Gold have made the Jumper Classic a destination, and so have Gold medalists returning victorious from the Olympics, like McLain Ward, who claimed the top spot in our Grand Prix last year," said Melissa Lovasco, President and CEO of the Jumper Classic. Audiences have been treated to performances by many of the nations top international riders such as Nona Garson, Margie Goldstein-Engle, McLain Ward, Leslie Burr-Howard, Kent Farrington, and many more. "We have many riders that rode in the Jumper Classic early in their careers, and now they return as pros with their students and sponsor some of our bigger classes. We have amateur riders who like to choose from our wide variety of classes, and compete with friends and meet riders of all levels. It's a challenging and exciting show for the riders, but its in a relaxing setting that family and friends can enjoy. It's an annual tradition!," states Lovasco.
"We're looking forward to a very special twentieth anniversary that includes our sponsors, like Coca-Cola who has been with us since the first year, and some new faces and horses that are making their mark on this thrilling sport. We anticipate that the great southern New Hampshire seacoast location, the Labor Day holiday weekend, and the wonderful show grounds will all make the Jumper Classic the destination for show jumpers and spectators who will make new memories at this end of summer show," said Lovasco.
Sponsors like Seacoast Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola of Northern New England, who returns each year, have been proud supporters of the Jumper Classic since 1989. "Over the years it has been an event that has drawn large crowds to our territory and has been well organized and well attended. We look forward to continuing the partnership for years to come and are excited to see the event being held in the Seacoast area of NH," said Shayne P. Durant, General Manager of Seacoast Coca-Cola.
In 1989, the Jumper Classic, often referred to as "the Boston Classic", was founded by show jumper and businessman Donald Little, who continues to compete in the event. In it's earliest years, the Jumper Classic was held on the small but picturesque show grounds at what was originally the home of the U.S. Equestrian Team in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. In 1998 Little handed the reins to Lovasco who has worked diligently to increase sponsorship and class offerings and to increase charitable contributions to local therapeutic riding programs. In 2008, she and the management team of the Jumper Classic, committed to continue to improve the show and amenities for the riders, moved the show to Silver Oak Equestrian Center in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, with all-weather footing and multiple rings.
"Last year was our first year at our new home, and we couldn't have been more pleased with the turnout of riders and the layout of the show grounds," said Peggy Lynch, Show Manager since 1991. "Our riders are top priority at the show, so we always look for ways to tailor it to them. This year we'll have a third ring and offer some of the low level and equitation classes the riders told us that they want to see at the Jumper Classic". Adding to the excitement for both the competitors and spectators, the Jumper Classic will offer it's first Pro-Am class, pairing professionals with amateurs for a fast-paced team effort.
Making the show exciting and entertaining for spectators is also part of the Jumper Classic tradition. The show grounds are festive with dozens of shopping boutiques where unique gifts, apparel, jewelry, and equestrian gear are on display. Family Day, held on Saturday of the show, caters to families with children who enjoy a variety of entertainment and food. And opening ceremonies, this year to be sponsored by The World, a residential ship that circumnavigates the world's oceans, is always a spectacular way to kick off the gala Sunday events featuring the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix and the $15,000 Equine Insurance Services Speed Stake. The Jumper Classic is held at the Silver Oak Equestrian Center in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire.
The 75-acre facility is specifically designed for competitive equestrian events and features six all-weather rings and a derby field for Grand Prix competition. Located just north of Boston and on New Hampshires scenic seacoast, Hampton Falls is a quaint New England town with easy access to lodging, dining, tax-free shopping, and sight seeing opportunities.
For more information about the up coming show please visit http://www.jumperclassic.com
or call 978.283.7708.
Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with custodied assets of over $2.5 trillion, including managed assets of over $1.2 trillion as of January 31, 2009. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement planning, brokerage, and human resources and benefits outsourcing services to 24 million individuals and institutions as well as through 5,500 financial intermediary firms. The firm is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket and a leading online brokerage firm. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit http://www.fidelity.com
Photo Caption: A Family Affair at The Jumper Classic
Photo Credit: Glenn Kulbako
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/jumper-classic-boston-horse-show-04-09.html">Jumper Classic Celebrates 20 Years as Boston Area Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com