The Hampton Classic Gallops Back to Bridgehampton
For more than 30 years, The Hampton Classic has brought equestrians and horse lovers together, serving as the unofficial conclusion of the summer season on the East End. The week-long horse show, peppered with jumping competitions and concluding with the Grand Prix, is a festive gathering that also includes world-class shopping, fun food and drink options, of course, plenty of stunning show horses. Daily tickets start at just $10, making it a snap to join the fun, and a variety of events take the festival truly over the top.
The anchor, of course, is the equestrian activities, with beautiful, muscular horses ridden by expert riders through courses of jumps. It all concludes in The Grand Prix, but until then, the entire week is an extravagant a air with plenty for horse lovers and non-equestrians alike to enjoy:
Make a New Friend: Adoption & Animal Welfare Day
The Classic’s Annual Adoption & Animal Welfare Day (8/28), now in its seventh year, offers attendees an opportunity to help rescued and at-risk horses, dogs, and cats. Many find permanent homes through the animal- loving attendees.
Bring the Family
From 8/29-8/31, seniors who attend The Classic get in free; better still, if you attend on Tuesday or Wednesday and come equipped with three or more items to donate to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry, your entire car is admitted without charge. Be sure to return on 9/2 with the little ones, as children under 12 receive free admission and a voucher for a free pony ride and take-home gift. The on-site Kids Area is available daily, including performers, petting zoo animals, and more, ideal for entertaining any little ones you may have in tow.
The Need for Feed: Eat and Drink
Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic to The Classic, which includes a dedicated area for from-home snacks to be comfortably consumed. But there are also an amazing wealth of options on site for those who want to grab a bite, from quick snacks to hearty full meals.
The Main Food Court offers the most diversity, from crepes by La Crepe C’est Si Bon and mason jar desserts from JARS by Dani to exotic Thai and Asian specialties from Boa Thai Asian Fusion and Indian specialties from Saaz Indian. From 9/1 to 9/3, there will also be a bar from Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs offering beer and wine to complement the many dining options.
Near the Kids Tent and Pony Rides, grown-ups can fuel up with hot, iced, and blended coffee drinks from Hampton Coffee Company, while between the Hunter II and III rings, Wild Bill’s Soda will o er stainless steel souvenir mugs and seven delicious flavors of traditional fountain soda, from Birch Beer to Sarsaparilla. On Stable Row, Pizza Luca will serve authentic brick-oven pizza; at the Groom’s Kitchen, Rolling Smoke Grill is stoked with hickory-smoked barbecue options.
Shop ‘Til You Drop: Boutique Vendors
An equestrian showcase might not seem like the most logical place to max out your credit card unless you’re in the market for a colt or a foal. But believe it or not, The Classic is a prime shopping opportunity. World-class luxury vendors converge on the premises with their wares, and the options are virtually endless.
The obvious place to start is luxe horse-related wares, such as Alessandro Albanese / Triple Crown’s famed blankets or custom and ready-made bridle gear from Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks. But the horses aren’t the only ones getting tricked out here: E. Vogel Bespoke, Inc. custom boots are available for your feet; East End Foodies’ premium aged Italian balsamic vinegars are for sale to stock your kitchen; heck, even Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York’s largest brokerage, is on site in case you want an all-new kitchen to call your own, with shops catering to every aspect of attendees’ lives. Many are customizable, including goldno.8’s totes and handbags and House Portraits by Barbara Bellin, offering custom portraiture of your home or estate.
In other words: if you’re in the market for high-end goods, it’s likely that you’ll find them at The Classic.
The Main Event: The Grand Prix
Concluding The Hampton Classic is The Grand Prix, a $300,000 competition for which special tickets are required. They range from $35 to $45, and offer up-close-and-personal views of the action in the ring. It all starts at 1 p.m. on 9/3 and concludes when a winner is chosen, bringing a lively and dynamic week of activity to an end. For those who have never seen it, all we can say is: don’t miss it!