Rio 2016 is in the books, but Long Islanders have another chance to catch world-class athletes—and a little closer to home this time. Former Olympic medalists are saddling up for the 41st annual Hampton Classic, which begins Sunday, Aug. 28. Double Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward and Beezie Madden, who helped the US Show Jumping Team win silver in Rio, highlight the list of entries. As the competition commences, keep an eye out for these four Olympic veterans contending for glory once again.
Ward won the Hampton Classic Grand Prix a record six times and shows no signs of slowing down. Along with his numerous Grand Prix wins around the globe, he seized his first-ever individual gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, as well as a team bronze medal.
When it comes to racing, Madden only knows success. She became the only woman rider to ever win the renowned Longines King George V Gold Cup in Hickstead, England in its 109-year history in 2014. It was no fluke—she defended her title the following year. Madden has also been named the USEF Equestrian of the Year four times, won an individual bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games and individual silver and team bronze medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2006 and 2014. To top it off, she was the FEI World Cup Champion in 2013.
Recognized as one of the most talented riders in American history, Margie Engle has been named AGA Rider of the Year a record breaking 10 times and was a team silver medalist at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games. She was the first rider to place six horses in the ribbons in a single Grand Prix. If that isn’t impressive enough, she also was the first to place first, second, third, fourth and fifth in a single Grand Prix class.
All eyes will be on Todd Minikus as he looks to top his second-place finish in last year’s Grand Prix. In 2001, he was named USA Equestrian Horseman of the Year and was awarded the William C. Steinkraus Equestrian of Honor Trophy. Both Engle and Minikus were members of the silver-medal winning US team in the FEI Nations Cup in La Baule, France earlier this year.