John French and Scott Stewart Among the First Hunter Champions Crowned at the 2023 Hampton Classic Horse Show

John French and Milagro won the Combined Green 3’9”/High Performance 4’ Hunter Championship. © KindMedia

Edited Press Release

Bridgehampton, NY – August 30, 2023 – Top hunter riders John French and Scott Stewart were among the first hunter champions crowned at the Hampton Classic Horse Show on Tuesday and Wednesday. While riding in their respective divisions, many of these riders are preparing their rhythmic horses for the new $25,000 Hunter Classic Sponsored by Green River Farm, which will take place Thursday afternoon.

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.

Scott Stewart and California Love won the Green Conformation 3’6” Hunter Championship. © KindMedia

Returning to the Classic’s magnificent Aspinall Hunter Ring, French rode Milagro, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Kent Farrington LLC, to the Combined Green 3’9”/High Performance 4’ Hunter Championship for the second consecutive year. Stewart also defended his Green Conformation 3’6” Hunter Championship title from 2022, this year riding Rivers Edge’s 8-year-old Holsteiner stallion California Love to the winner’s circle. 

In the High Performance Conformation 3’9” Hunter division, the 11-year-old Warmblood gelding Only Always, John & Stephanie Ingram LLC’s entry ridden by Nick Haness, secured the tri-color. 

Nick Haness and Only Always won the High Performance Conformation 3’9” Hunter Championship. © KindMedia

Children’s Hunter horses and ponies also starred in multiple hunter rings, with the Children’s Hunter Horse champions ultimately being crowned. Becoming, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare owned and ridden by Wyatt Rofey of Brooklyn, NY, brought home the championship for the 14 & Under age group. Karla, a 17-year-old Warmblood mare owned and ridden by Paige Mattingly of Southampton, NY, won the title in the 15-17 age group.

Francesca Solaka and Blue Surprise earned the Grand Short Stirrup Championship for their outstanding performance in the Macrae Skye Short Stirrup 11-12 © KindMedia

Among the Classic’s youngest champions was Francesca Solaka of Los Angeles, CA, who earned the Grand Short Stirrup Championship and the Conway Cabbage Award sponsored by Denise Maynard. Solaka piloted Fancy Pants Equestrian LLC’s Blue Surprise to great success in the Macrae Skye Short Stirrup Equitation 11-12 Section B, which earned them the most points of every Short Stirrup division. In the 10 & Under age group, Lily Amit of Brooklyn, NY, rode to top honors aboard Alexandra Talmage’s Covenant Ciao Bella in Section C. 

For live show results, visit

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.

Outside the show rings, families can enjoy unique shopping; hands-on activities, pony rides and petting zoo animals at the Kids Exhibition Tent; and many more fun activities during News 12 Long Island Kids Day (Saturday, September 2).

Daily admission to the Classic is $20 per carload. Admission is free on Monday; seniors and military are also admitted free on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Grandstand tickets for the $425,000 Longines Hampton Classic Grand Prix on Sunday, September 3, are $55 per person for reserved bucket seating. Grandstand tickets are electronic only; E-Tickets are provided thanks to support from Green is the New Blue.

For those who can’t make it to the show grounds, complimentary live webcasts of all Grand Prix and Aspinall Ring competitions air on the Hampton Classic website. Produced by ClipMyHorse.TV, the Grand Prix Ring livestreams are sponsored by Longines and the Aspinall Ring livestreams are sponsored by ClipMyHorse.TV. In addition, WVVH-TV, Hamptons Television, broadcasts up to five hours of competition and highlights each day during the Classic. These broadcasts can also be seen online at

For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at or call 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.

Original press release courtesy of Classic Communications/The Hampton Classic.