Leone and Moloney Kick Off Hampton Classic Jumper Action
They score victories in Legacy Stables and Newsday classes
Bridgehampton, NY, Aug. 26, 2014-Peter Leone of Greenwich, CT, expertly guided Jewel's Exclusive Touch to victory in the $10,000 Legacy Stables Open Jumper class on the first day of jumper competition at the 39th Annual Hampton Classic. His time of 55.519 seconds nipped Adam Prudent on Vasco (56.091) and Anne Kursinski on Diva (56.295).
Earlier in the day, Richie Moloney, an Irishman who lives in Wellington, FL, rode Bailey to win the $10,000 Newsday Open Jumper class, finishing in 54.685 seconds. Fellow Irishman Darragh Kenny rode Gatsby to second (54.845), ahead of Jeffery Welles on KM What Ever RV (55.246).
The 39th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show runs Aug. 24-31, in Bridgehampton, NY. The Hampton Classic features world-class equestrian competition, with more than 100 classes of competition including jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.
The Legacy Stables class benefited from a decidedly Olympic legacy, since Leone, 54, and Kursinski, 55, were both members of the silver-medal team at the 1996 Olympics. And Jewel's Exclusive Touch, 10, is the daughter of Classic Touch, winner of the individual gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.
Eliana Cordia bought Classic Touch following her Olympic victory and made her the foundation mare of her breeding program at Jewel Cut Stud. Cordia owns Jewels Exclusive Touch, as well as the mare's son Jewels Chrystal, whom Leone will be showing in the Split Rock Farm 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships later this week at the Hampton Classic.
"I'm so incredibly lucky-she's such an incredibly careful jumper," said Leone. "Even at my senior point in this sport, I feel like a little kid out there again on her."
Leone noted how easily Jewel's Exclusive Touch bested Kursinski's time, a time that more than 30 riders who followed her couldn't beat. (Prudent rode after Leone.)
"I stayed within her," he said. "I didn't pull out all the stops-I did all that was necessary to win, but nothing unbelievable. But when it's done right, it doesn't look fast."
In 2013, Moloney won the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge, after placing first in the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday and second in the $250,000 Grand Prix on Sunday. Moloney didn't place in the day's third jumper class, the $20,000 Hampton Classic Jumper Challenge, but by earning 75 points today in the first two classes, he put himself in content ion to win the Longines Rider Challenge once again.
After winning the $20,000 Hampton Classic Jumper Challenge, Kenny also grabbed the lead in the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge. His jump-off time of 34.217 seconds was the fastest of a tightly contested class, putting him just head of Lillie Keenan on Balance (34.316) and Ramiro Quintana on Versus (34.66).
After one day of competition, with seven classes still to count, the standings in the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge are:
1. Darragh Kenny (90)
2. Richie Moloney (75)
3. Adam Prudent (65)
4. Catherine Tyree (62)
The Hampton Classic features six show rings, a Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, on its 60-acre show grounds. The Classic's world-class equestrian competition attracts many of the nation's top professional and amateur riders including Olympic medalists.
The Classic's world-class field of Grand Prix riders competes daily in the Classic's open jumper division, which features an FEI-recognized Grand Prix on three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29-31: the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier presented by Longines on Friday, the $40,000 Longines Cup on Saturday, and Sunday's $250,000 Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier, presented by Land Rover, a qualifying competition for the 2015 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April.
The Grand Prix is also part of the Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge which awards a $200,000 bonus should the same horse-and-rider combination win the $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon, $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix, and the $250,000 National Horse Show Grand Prix. The rider who accumulates the most points in the horse show's Open Jumper division wins the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge.
For those who can't make it to the show grounds, a complimentary live webcast of all Grand Prix ring classes will air on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ShowNet and courtesy of Longines.
In addition, WVVH-TV, the official Long Island television station of the Hampton Classic, broadcasts up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen on line at www.wvvh.tv. Most of the Classic's other classes will also be available on ShowNet.biz.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.