It felt so good to be back at The Hampton Classic Horse Show after a two-year hiatus on my part! Early yesterday morning, I packed up my car and headed east for only my second day trip of the summer. This time, brimming with excitement, I wasn’t heading to a workout class or to do any riding myself, but rather to reconnect with what has always been my favorite event (even if it usually coincides with the end of summer in my mind).
The Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, New York, is where some of the world’s best horses and riders come together each year. As one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States, The Classic is also where equestrian enthusiasts and spectators alike can enjoy a week-long event of show jumping, equitation, and hunter classes in one of the many rings on the showgrounds.
Growing up as an equestrian, The Classic was a big to-do, namely because it felt like a “home” show right in my own backyard. Often, we would go out east together as a barn and cheer our friends on as they rode in different divisions. Or, we would try to earn money and groom for some of our other trainer’s students as they competed. Nowadays, as an adult and a recreational rider, I go to watch the younger generation of competitors rise through the ranks…and to occasionally run into some familiar faces.
After a couple of years away from the show due to the pandemic, the whole place felt new again (in fairness, they did upgrade the footing in some of the rings). But this former competitive equestrian was all smiles walking around the massive property, stopping at every ring, and breaking out the Nikon DSLR that she hasn’t used in what felt like forever.
In case you were wondering about the dress code at this event, I’d suggest wearing your finest because you never know when you could be standing next to a celebrity…or a cast member from the Real Housewives of New York City! I wore my favorite Loft maxi dress and paired it with my very comfortable Jack Rogers sandals (did I mention there is a lot of walking involved?) and my beloved hat from Wyeth.
If some terminology in this post didn’t make sense to you, fear not. The Classic is not just for avid equestrians. There’s a whole boutique section with lots of great local vendors and some as far away as Germany (trust me, this section could take a while to peruse). There’s delicious coffee, food, and sweets from food trucks. And there’s plenty of things for kids to explore too, like a petting zoo!
So, if you are looking for that last hurrah before the end of summer, head out to The Hampton Classic Horse Show. This year, the show runs from Sunday, August 28 – Sunday, September 4. And just a friendly pro tip, remember to bring lots of sunscreen and stay hydrated. You will certainly get your steps in for the day at this event!