Despite Ill Winds The Show Goes On

‘Not one class has been canceled yet’
Sixteen hundred stalls were reinstalled on Monday. Jack Graves

     Marty Bauman, the Hampton Classic’s press officer, was on the Bridgehampton showgrounds at 5:30 a.m. Monday, as were scores of workers and volunteers, who by midmorning had most of the some 100 tents that had been taken down in advance of Hurricane Irene’s arrival back up.
    “It’s been unbelievable, incredible,” Bauman said of the effort. “It shows you what happens when everyone pitches in. We told the competitors that there were to be no horses here until Tuesday.”
    Steve Stephens, the show’s general manager, estimated that “there were 60 working on the tents and two to three dozen helping in other ways. We took down 1,600 stalls and now we’re putting them back up. We’re on generator power at the moment . . . on manpower, really.”
    “We put out the word on Thursday that the show wouldn’t begin until Monday,” said Bauman, “but then, by Friday morning it became obvious that we’d have to move it back more, to Wednesday. Safety overrules everything. Most horse shows are Wednesday-through-Sunday anyway, so the competitors are used to this.”
    Moreover, said Stephens, “not one class has been canceled yet.” Which meant, he added, that on Grand Prix Sunday, rather than two rings, all six would be in use.
    “We’ll have all our local classes, the disability classes . . . everything,” said Bauman. “The riders with disabilities will be competing on Grand Prix Sunday, which I’m sure they’ll enjoy. There will be a lot going on this coming weekend.”
    The schedule, revised by Stephens, was to begin yesterday with many of the hunter classes that would have been held Sunday, including the Wolffer Estate Open Jumper and Pilatus Open Jumper classes in the Grand Prix ring.
    Today, as was the case yesterday, there will be action in six rings, with four classes, including the $10,000 Sam Edelman Equitation championship, in the Grand Prix ring, and the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Hunter Classic in the Hunter 2 ring. Short stirrup classes for 9 through 12-year-old riders are to be held in the Annex, beginning at 8 a.m.
    The $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix qualifier — a class from which Sunday’s $250,000 FTI Grand Prix horse and rider combinations are to be picked — is to be held tomorrow at 1 p.m., preceded by the $10,000 Sotheby’s International Realty welcome stake at 8, and the $15,000 Autism Speaks Speed Derby.
    An exhibitors party, with a horseless horse show, is to be held tomorrow from 5 to 8 p.m.
    The $30,000 Nicolock Open Jumper Challenge, normally the big class of Opening Day, is to be held in the Grand Prix ring Saturday at 2 p.m., preceded by the $20,000 SHF Enterprises 5-Year-Old Young Jumper championship finals and the $30,000 Split Rock Farm 6-Year-Old Young Jumper championship finals. That day there will also be children’s jumper, junior jumper, and adult amateur jumper classes in Jumper Ring 2, and hunter classes in all three hunter rings, including the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in the Hunter 1 Ring at 2 p.m. The Grand Hunter championship, the Leading Hunter Rider, the Best Junior Rider, and the Leading Junior Equitation awards are to be given out following the Hunter Derby.
    The popular leadline classes for 2 through 7-year-olds judged by two-time Olympic gold medalist Joe Fargis are to be held Sunday from 8 a.m. in the Hunter 1 Ring. Last year, the 98 young competitors set a record. The 125 entries this year sets another. The $10,000 Hermes Hunter Classic is to follow at 10:30, and the Long Island riders with disabilities classes are to begin at 2.
    Meanwhile, action in the Grand Prix ring will begin at 8 with the $30,000 Brown Harris Stevens 7 and 8-year-old Young Jumper championship finals, to be followed by the $25,000 Carolex Show Jumping Derby, the amateur-owner (1.40-meter) championship, the junior jumper (1.40-meter) championship, and, at 2, the show’s premier class, the aforementioned $250,000 FTI Grand Prix, which is also an FEI World Cup qualifier.
    Also on the final day, from 8 a.m., the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic and the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic will be held in Jumper Ring 2, and children’s hunter classes, including the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Hunter Classic (Ponies) and the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Hunter Classic (Horses) are to be held in the Hunter 2 Ring.
    “When everyone arrives on Tuesday,” said Bauman, “I’ll bet they’ll say it doesn’t look like there’d ever been a hurricane.”