Daniel Bluman Takes Top Honors in Saturday’s $74,000 Hampton Classic 2* Grand Prix
Defending Hampton Classic Grand Prix champion Daniel Bluman (ISR) added another FEI win to his name on Saturday, riding Cachemire De Braize to victory in the $74,000 Hampton Classic 2* Grand Prix with a fault-free time of 35.790 seconds.
The Hampton Classic, August 28-September 4, is one of the world’s most prestigious horse shows, offering more than $1 million in prize money during a full schedule featuring competitors at every level from young children in leadline to Olympic, World, and World Cup Champions. The Classic also has competitions for riders with disabilities.
“Cache has been with us for about three years,” Bluman said of his, Alex Yadgarov, Mikhail Ilyaich and Over The Top Stables LLC’s 10-year-old Selle Français gelding. “He came out of an auction a few years ago, and I’ve been working with him since. He’s got a lot of talent, and he’s definitely fast. He’s had almost ten international wins. He’s a very good horse, very competitive, and has his own way of going.”
Course designer Alan Wade of Ireland set a difficult 1.45m course with 16 jumping efforts for the 2* Grand Prix, challenging a field of 45 entries representing 12 countries for the top prize. First to go clear in both the initial and jump-off rounds was American Karl Cook. He and Fecybelle, Signe Ostby’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, set a tough time to beat at 37.300 seconds.
“We had a really good string for this class,” Bluman said. “Alan Wade of course did a good job, but we don’t expect anything less from him. It was a difficult track for the Two Star level, but Cachemire is a Five Star horse. He’s done a lot of Four Star grands prix, so he’s really at a level where he has experience and scope to spare. He gave me a really, really nice first round, then was great for the second. I knew I had to lay it out in the second round because I had some fast riders coming, and Karl had already had a good jump-off. I just focused on my plan, and it worked out.”
Bluman’s blistering time of 35.790 seconds was 1.5 seconds ahead of Cook’s, setting the bar too high for his fellow competitors to catch. Cook and Fecybelle ultimately earned second place with their time of 37.300 seconds, while Switzerland’s Beat Mändli finished in third. Mändli and Grant Road Partners LLC’s 10-year-old Selle Français mare Chartraine Pre Noir stopped the clock in 38.770 seconds.
With her top-ten finish in the $74,000 Hampton Classic 2* Grand Prix, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) has jumped to the top of the leaderboard for the $30,000 LONGINES Rider Challenge with a total of 226 points. Aaron Vale (USA) sits in second with 200 points, and Cook is in third with 180 points. The Challenge, which awards $30,000 and a LONGINES watch to the winner, will be awarded Sunday following the $410,000 Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix Arena opened in the morning with the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search 3*, where Alexandra Ryden of Cary, NC, rode Precision Equine LLC’s Heroy Von De Hei to top honors under the watchful eye of Stacia Madden and the team at Beacon Hill Show Stables. Taylor Madden of Wellington, FL, a student of Frank Madden and the team at Capital Farm, earned second place with her Mac One III. Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT, piloted North Run Inc.’s Acer K to third with trainers John Brennan and Missy Clark looking on.
Other jumper ring highlights included the $5,000 Beval Children’s High Jumper Classic, where Joe Craver of Shelby, NC, tripped the timers in 28.462 seconds aboard Claudette Yarbrough’s Korino Von Bueren. In the $12,500 Medium Junior Jumper Classic, Alexa Lignelli blazed to the win aboard Hampton Green Farm LLC’s Girl Scout, stopping the clock 1.5 seconds ahead of her competitors at 29.093 seconds.
Some of the weekend’s first Jumper Champions were also named on Saturday, including Elizabeth Maloney of Franklin, MA, and her Clementine, who won the Brown Harris Stevens Low Amateur Jumper division. In the Anna Klose High Adult Amateur Jumpers, Dylann Ephraimson of Short Hills, NJ, piloted Marigot Bay Farm LLC’s Vindicator to the Championship.
For live show results, visit ShowNet.biz.