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Hampton Classic Horse Show

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Hampton Classic in September 2006

The Hampton Classic Horse Show (generally referred to as the "Hampton Classic") is a Grand Prix show jumping horse show in Bridgehampton, New York that is one of the biggest show jumping contests in the United States.

Held over Labor Day in Southampton (town), New York, it is one of the biggest social bashes in the Hamptons scene and signals the grand finale of the summer season.

The roots of the show go to the early 1900s in Southampton to a show that was discontinued during World War I. It was revived in the 1920's and then discontinued again in World War II. It was revived a third time in 1959 as the Southampton Horse Show which was discontinued in the mid-1960s.

The current show started in 1971 by the Topping Riding Club in Sagaponack, New York as a one-day show. In 1976 it became a five-day rated show held initially at Dune Alpin Farm in East Hampton (town), New York. In 1978, its name was formally changed to the Hampton Classic and in 1982 it moved to its present location on Snake Hollow Road Bridgehampton.

In 2006 its web site indicates it has 1,300 horses exhibited and over $500,000 in prize money.

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Olympic Medalist Chris Kappler, aboard his mare, VDL Oranta, competing at the $150,000 Prudential Grand Prix at the 2006 Hampton Classic.

The social scene that accompanies the show has led to its heavy upscale sponsorships. In 2006 its VIP Tent could house 3,000 served by white-coated waiters. Visitors promenade the grounds often with dogs and showing off elaborate hats, which are commonly worn to the prestigious Grand Prix, held on the last Sunday of the show.

The show is held at the peak of Atlantic hurricane season and several shows have had to deal with hurricanes or the rains associated with them. In 1976 the tents were flattened in one storm just before the show. The jumping contests continue even in the rain and are discontinued only when real hazards are posed to horse and rider.

Profits from the show go to Southampton Hospital.

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