Dittmer Slices and Dices to Win the $39,000 Flecha Azul 5* Speed Stake at the 2023 Hampton Classic Horse Show
Vale Is Victorious in the $10,000 Citarella 2* Open Jumper
Bridgehampton, NY – August 31, 2023 – With 63 entries representing 15 countries contesting the $39,000 Flecha Azul 5* Speed Stake to prepare for a weekend of competitive sport, claiming the top of the leaderboard was anybody’s game. Rene Dittmer (GER) proved up to the task as he sliced around Alan Wade’s 15-effort, 1.45m track aboard Burlington Riverland, putting in the fastest fault-free score of 31.18 seconds.
The Hampton Classic, August 27-September 3, is one of the world’s most prestigious horse shows, featuring competitors at every level from young children in leadline to Olympic, World, and World Cup Champions. The Classic also has competitions for riders with disabilities.
Panama’s Victoria Heurtematte set an early time to beat in the two-phase, piloting her 13-year-old Zangersheide mare Scarlett Du Sart Z through the timers in 32.87 seconds. In the end, only three riders could make that time, with Dittmer and Live Oak Plantation LLC’s 12-year-old Selle Français gelding proving unbeatable in 31.18 seconds.
“I didn’t see Darragh’s round at all, actually,” Dittmer said of the lead Darragh Kenny (IRL) overtook for the class’s latter half. “But I knew I was about one second slower on my first horse (Corsica X). With Corsica, I rode eight strides to the first line in the first phase, but I set up better on Burlington to ride seven strides there and cut some turns a bit shorter. That was lucky enough to win in the end.”
Second place went to Kenny and Eddy Blue, Kerry Anne LLC’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, for their time of 31.95 seconds. Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen (USA) finished third and fourth respectively aboard two Serenity Farm entries, the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Forever SFN (0/0/32.45) and 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Isabella Van De Zuuthoeve (0/0/32.63). Heurtematte and Scarlett Du Sart Z ultimately walked away with fifth.
Earlier in the day, 83 starters representing 14 countries opened the international division with the $10,000 Citarella 2* Open Jumper, where Aaron Vale (USA) set an early time to beat aboard Thinkslikeahorse’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare I.Adermie R 4. As the class went on, their natural footspeed proved greater than their competitors’ over Alan Wade’s 15-effort two-phase course set at 1.40m; the pair earned top honors for their double-clear time of 30.48 seconds.
“My mare is a pretty quick horse, and it was a suitable track just to cut some corners and let her open up,” Vale said. “We’ve had some nice results at the Hampton Classic in the past. There were a lot of horses entered today, but our time held up for the win. It was a great way to start the week, and we hope to get some more going into the weekend – maybe even something in the Grand Prix on Sunday, with a little luck.”
Fellow American TJ O’Mara finished second aboard Stonehenge Stables’ 11-year-old Anglo-European mare Kassiodam after stopping the clock in 31.19 seconds. Third went to Kenny, who piloted Beerbaum Stables GMBH’s 8-year-old Hanoverian mare Serendepety through the timers in 31.49 seconds.
Cruciotti Vanderveen’s consistent placings have helped her take the lead in the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge with 215 points. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) is not far behind, sitting in second place with 206 points. Kenny has jumped into third with 127 points. The Challenge, which awards $30,000 and a Longines watch to the rider accumulating the most points in the week’s Open Jumper classes, will be awarded Sunday following the $425,000 Longines Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix.
Additional jumper highlights included the Coterie Low Child/Adult Jumper Championship, which was earned by Shelby Phillips of New York, NY, and Buttonwood Showjumpers’ Joy Nonstop VD Moorskeshoeve SUB1609.
For live show results, visit TheHamptonClassic.com.
Each year approximately 50,000 people – including many A-list celebrities – come to watch the nation’s best equestrian athletes compete at the Hampton Classic. Rated USEF ‘Premier-6’ for hunters and jumpers with designated FEI 2* and 5* classes, the Hampton Classic features more than 200 competitions in six spectacular show rings, the Agneta Currey Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, all on its world-class 60-acre showgrounds.
The Hampton Classic’s FEI competition begins Thursday, August 31, with the $10,000 Citarella Open Jumper CSI2* and $39,000 Flecha Azul 5* Speed Stake and continues throughout the weekend with eight 2/5 classes featuring courses designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. FEI competition also includes Friday’s $39,000 Wölffer Estate 2* Jumper Classic, $78,000 Douglas Elliman 5* Grand Prix Qualifier, Saturday’s $39,000 Open Speed Class CSI2, and the $78,000 The Agency 5 Speed Stake, and culminating with the $78,000 Hampton Classic 2* Grand Prix and $425,000 Longines Hampton Classic 5* Grand Prix on Sunday, September 3.
Press release Hampton Classic Horse Show | Photo © KindMedia – Rene Dittmer and Burlington Riverland won Thursday’s $39,000 Flecha Azul 5* Speed Stake
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