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Riders in three divisions show their skills

Bridgehampton, NY, Aug. 25, 2014- For the ninth consecutive year, the Hampton Classic hosted the championship finals for the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities on Monday, with riders in three divisions competing for year-end titles.

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.

Bridgehampton National Bank sponsored the day of competition for riders with disabilities, and Kevin O'Connor, the bank's CEO and president, handed out the ribbons and trophies. Hermes provided commemorative coolers to the champions, thanks to the sponsorship of Priscilla Germillion.
Prior to the start of competition, the riders and their families and friends enjoyed a breakfast in a ringside chalet. There, Olympic rider Mario Deslauriers presented the LIHSSRD high-point ribbons to the riders.

USEF-licensed judge Gary Duffy awarded the following championships:
LIHSSRD Advanced Equitation Spotter/Independent-Steven Snyder of Brightwaters, NY, riding Blu. Tyler Havlicek rode Showdown to the reserve championship.
LIHSSRD Beginner Equitation Spotter/Independent-Alex Donlon of Hicksville, NY, riding Max Marks The Spot. Bonnie Bokser of Farmingdale, NY, won the reserve championship on Knight In Shining Armor.
LIHSSRD Equitation With Aids-Alexandria Economou of Muttontown, NY, riding Keep The Melody. Emory Shapses of Plainview, NY, was the reserve champion on Robin Hood.

LIHSSRD classes are held at USEF-recognized competitions throughout Long Island and are open to all riders with a documented disability. Riders compete for points at each show to qualify for the Series Finals at the Hampton Classic.

"We're proud to highlight these championships as part of the Hampton Classic schedule," said Shanette Cohen, the Hampton Classic executive director. "The Championships are the culmination of the LIHSSRD's eight-show series, and what better place to host the grand finale than here at the Classic?"

The series, founded by Katie McGowan of HorseAbility, Inc., was created to provide riders with disabilities the same competitive experience that other equestrians enjoy. Riders are judged on equitation, as well as demonstration and knowledge of riding skills.

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.