September 06, 2006
Big Happenings at the Hampton Classic
Leave it to a former Olympian to take home the grandest prize of the 31st annual Hampton Classic Horse Show. Frenchtown, New Jersey's own Anne Kursinski, a former three-time Olympic veteran, put on a breathtaking display by riding Roxanna to the ultimate victory in the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.
Only Kursinski and two other entrants, Lauren Hough of Wellington, Florida and Chris Kappler of Pittstown, New Jersey, qualified for the tie-breaking jump-off by riding without penalty during the first-round course which included 16 total jumps.
Kursinski, who won a silver medal at both the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games, rode Roxanna 112 to a second straight, fault-free session, finishing with a low-time of 39.09 seconds.
Earlier in the week, Kursinski won the 1.45-meter $7,500 Land Rover Open Jumping Class, again with Roxanna, while Kappler took first in the $5,000 Jaguar 1.35-meter Open Jumper Class.
Also on Sunday, Carolyn Kelly of New York, NY, won the $25,000 Calvin Klein Show Jumping Derby, concluding another memorable Hampton Classic. Kelly rode Omona, owned by LuLu Equestrian Enterprises LLC, to a fault-free time of 33.63 seconds, edging three other riders who had qualified for the finals.
A day earlier, Kappler, a former gold and silver medal winner in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, won the $25,000 Sotheby's International Realty Open Jumper Class aboard VDL Maseratie.
Tracey Weinberg of Lovettsville, Virginia rode Larone, owned by the Weinberg and Weinberg Brokerage Group to the WGHR Farm Junior/Amateur-Owner 1.40 meter Jumper Class championship on Saturday with a winning time of 43.63
Many junior riders excelled during the early days of the Hampton Classic including West Islip's Carolyn Curcio, who won the Junior Jumper 1.30-meter class in a field of no less than 36 riders.