The 2022 Hampton Classic Horse Show has begun, and Douglas Elliman is proud to return as a sponsor of the perfect event to end the perfect summer! In the run-up to opening of the Classic, Elliman Insider looked back on the event’s history—and ahead to this year’s edition—with Executive Director Shanette Cohen, who shared her thoughts—and some personal memories—about what makes the Classic such a singular event in the equestrian world.
What makes the Hampton Classic unique among other horse shows on the annual equestrian calendar?
What sets the Hampton Classic apart from all other horse shows is that we attract an audience beyond just horse enthusiasts. I’m proud that we’ve played a role in introducing people to our sport. There’s just so much to do at the Classic—in addition to world-class equestrian competition, we offer a variety of kids and family activities, outstanding shopping and a wide range of dining options—plus the chance that you’ll run into some of the many celebrities who attend each year.
The Classic has grown into one of the premier equestrian events anywhere in the world and is a major event on the Hamptons’ summer social season. It almost has a bit of a “family reunion” type of feel, between competitors, sponsors and spectators alike.
It’s also the perfect end to a horseman’s summer and a great way for everyone to end their summer in the Hamptons.
Can you share a personal memory or anecdote about the Classic that captures what’s so special about the event?
A favorite memory is from 1991, when I participated as a competitor the last year Lady’s Sidesaddle was included on the schedule. I rode my aunt’s horse, borrowed Patsy Topping’s saddle and riding habit and learned how to ride sideways throughout that summer from Barbara Clarke. It was such an elegant way to experience a beloved sport. Patsy passed away this year, and I’ve been remembering that summer frequently and fondly.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Classic? Any special features or surprises in store for participants and attendees?
In a lot of ways, this year’s Classic marks the return to what the Classic was like before Covid. While we had spectators last year, many Covid protocols and restrictions were in place, and then we ran into some major issues with a hurricane and our Grand Prix Ring. Now, with that behind us, we are ready for a Hampton Classic that will be everything we all think about when we think of the Hampton Classic—and with our new FEI 5 star designation, it will be our most spectacular year yet!