Summer of 2015 flew by in a New York minute. It seems like only yesterday Ja Rule was performing at Harbor Restaurant & Lounge during Memorial Day Weekend. The Hampton Classic always provides a fitting finish to the summer social calendar out East, bringing celebs like Mary-Kate Olsen (whose horse was a winner in a Local Hunter section last summer) and Bruce Springsteen, to Bridgehampton for a week of competition, high-end shopping and delicious food.
“The Hampton Classic combines world class show jumping competition with outstanding boutique shopping, a variety of food vendors and great family attractions,” said Marty Bauman, the Hampton Classic Horse Show Press Chief.
High Weekends in the Hamptons
Behind the Scenes at Hampton Classic with Executive Director Shanette Barth Cohen
Behind the Scenes at Hampton Classic: Inside the Boutique Garden
Whether you’re a horse enthusiast or just looking to star gaze, eat a fried Oreo and hang out with your kids before they have to go back to school, the Hampton Classic, now in its 40th year, is the perfect final item for your summer bucket list. Bauman gave Long Island Pulse some insider tips to help you navigate one of the nation’s largest outdoor horse shows like a pro.
When to See the Stars
From Billy Joel and Jerry Seinfeld to Kelly Ripa and Steven Spielberg, celebrities descend on our East End for the star-studded summer soiree, giving it the nickname “Hollywood’s Horse Show.”
“Stars can be seen walking around the grounds different days during the week, but Sunday, Aug. 30 will be the best day for star sightings,” Bauman said. That paparazzi-style photo or selfie you grab with one is sure to generate at least 104 likes on Instagram and a whole lot of envy from your 983 Facebook friends.
What to Shop For
It wouldn’t be a trip to the Hamptons without a little shopping. “At the Hampton Classic, you can buy anything from a Hampton Classic T-shirt to a Land Rover and everything in between,” Bauman said. Get some high-end back-to-school shopping done or grab a souvenir for your friend who couldn’t find someone to feed her bunny at Boutique Garden and Stable Row.
What to Eat
You don’t need to leave the grounds when it’s time to eat lunch or satisfy your 3pm sugar craving. There’s a wide variety of flavorful options like Mexican and wood-fired pizza right on site. “You can’t beat a Harry’s fresh squeezed lemonade – served fizzy or flat – on a hot day,” Bauman said. “For dessert, why not try funnel cakes or fried Oreos from the SRA Vending sweets truck?” Count Pulse in for all of the above.
Events Your Kids Will Love
Give your babysitter some much-needed time off and bring your little ones along for Optimum Kids’ Day Saturday, Aug. 29. The longstanding favorite day will include petting areas, swings, kids’ acts and pony rides (children under 12 receive a complimentary pony ride) along with circus performers, face painting and a magician. If you can’t make it out to Bridgehampton Saturday, don’t worry. “The Exhibition Tent offers hands-on activities, including pony rides and livestock animals, throughout the week,” Bauman said.
When to Bite Your Nails
Pro Tip: Book a manicure for Monday, Aug. 31. The world’s best riders, like defending champion and Olympic veteran Kevin Babington and two-time Olympic gold medalists Beezie Madden and McLain Ward, will bring out their best horses Sunday, Aug. 30 for the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix presented by LONGINES. The stands will be tense, but the competition will be world-class. “This is one title they all want to win,” Bauman said.
If You Go
When: Aug. 23-30
Price: $10 per person (children under 6 are free) or $20/carload, free general admission on Monday, seniors free Tuesday-Thursday, kids free on Saturday
More Information: hamptonclassic.com