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Sunday August 27 was opening day of the 42nd Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show, one of the most spectacular hunter-jumper equestrian events in the nation, showcasing the highest levels of the sport. The world-class event hosts hundreds of top riders and horses from all over the world.

Opening day at the Classic is always reserved for Long Island's very own equestrian community. 'Local Day' is open exclusively to horses who are stabled in Nassau or Suffolk County for at least 75 days since January of the calendar year, and hosts hunter divisions for amateurs and professionals alike.


Bridgehampton's own Laura Bowery won the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby with Catrine Golia's Royal Expectation.

"I've ridden at the Hampton Classic for 28 years and I'm riding a horse for one of my best friends," said an emotional Bowery following the awards ceremony. "I've won some big classes in the Grand Prix ring and had good success with hunters here but to win this derby is a really big deal for me."

Bridgehampton's Laura Bowery won the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby with Catrine Golia's Royal Expectation, Sunday August 27 at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. © The Book LLC

Supporting and support from the local community was a theme expressed by many Local Day participants.

Jenny Dunion who operates Evermore Inc. in Water Mill, had a particularly fruitful opening day Sunday with her clients and students.

"It was a very successful opening day for us," explained Dunion. "One of my client's horses, Trip to Paris, was Champion in the East Hampton Star Local Professional division with Holly Orlando riding, as well as earning overall grand champion for Local Day. Mimi Moulton is the owner.

"Another of my students, Cathy Zicherman of Anagansett, was Champion in the Local Amateur-Owner Hunter division on her horse For Keeps. The division was sponsored by Barbara Borg"

When asked to describe the significance of competing at the Classic to the local equestrian community, Dunion was very clear: "Not only is this one of the most prestigious and most competitive shows we attend throughout the year - it's more important because we live here and our roots are here. Our friends and family come, compete and root for each other. Once you have a great opening day, it really sets you up for the rest of the week and it's nice to be able to shine at one of the biggest shows we go to. It's a lofty goal, but my goal is always to be Grand Champion on opening day. I'm very thankful that I've been able to achieve that more than once! It's a very strong group of horses that compete on local day at the Classic. It's such an honour to achieve these accolades at such a prominent show, and even better that it's at home."

Other Local Day Champions included Romy Lauer with Bonaparte in the Local Junior Hunter division, Laura Bowery with Lola in the Local Hunter-Professionals divison (also sponsored by Barbara Borg), and Ashley Dooley with Conway in the Local Hunter Non-Professional division.

Full results of Local Day and all other competition events may be found online at www.hamptonclassic.com

The 60-acre Hampton Classic show grounds is also a shopping and dining mecca. There is a wide variety of food choices, daily kids' activities, and the luxurious Boutique Garden and Stable Row featuring more than 80 vendors, so you can shop 'til you drop.

For those who can't make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix ring competitions air on the Hampton Classic website, produced by ShowNet. Most of the Classic's other classes are also available on ShowNet.biz.

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. These broadcasts can also be seen on line at www.wvvh.tv.

For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at www.hamptonclassic.com or call (631) 537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.