Anne Aspinall, co-founder of the Hampton Classic horse show, and well respected hunter/jumper instructor on the East End of Long Island, passed away last Thursday (February 16th) at the age of 65 after a 5-1/2 year bout with lung cancer.
Anne helped developed what would become one of the biggest hunter/jumper horse shows in the country attracting more than 1,500 riders including some of the finest Olympic show jumping athletes in North America and over 50,000 spectators (many of them major celebrities) who come to watch competitions in six show rings at the end of the summer season.
“It all began back in 1976, when she “brought back a small local horse show that had been dormant for decades,” commented Dennis Suskind, President of the Classic’s board of directors. “Anyone who has ever enjoyed even a single day of the Classic over the past 36 years owes Anne a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
It should also be noted that in 2009, the Hampton Classic became only the second horse show ever to receive the status of Heritage Competition by the United States Equestrian Federation. “This prestigious status is reserved for competitions that have been in existence for at least 25 years and have provided for their communities as well as the horse community as a whole in an unprecedented fashion.”
According to her sister Emily (a vice president on the Classic’s board), “Anne spent a great deal of time working in the heat and dust with her students in the competition rings rather than hanging out with the VIPs. Her concentration was always on her students and what they were doing. She never relaxed until the end of the week.”
Anne Aspinall was also a leading figure at the Topping Riding Club in Sagaponack and produced countless champions. She received the Hampton Classic’s inaugural Long Island Sportsmanship Award in 2007 for her exemplary sportsmanship and more than 35 years of service to the Long Island Hunter-Jumper industry.
This year the Hampton Classic will be held August 26, -Sept. 2. off Montauk Highway, Route 27 –at 240 Snake Hollow Road), Bridgehampton, NY. Events schedule to be announced. General admission daily is $10/person (under 6 free) or $20/carload. Seniors free Tuesday – Thursday; Kids free.Saturday Reserved Seats for Grand Prix Sunday: $25 per person for bench seats in the Grandstands (in addition to $10/person or $20/carload admission) or $35 per person for premium center-section Grandstand seating. Parking for the show is free. Formore information go to www.hamptonclassic.com or Email: [email protected]