LEXINGTON - KY– Oct. 7, 2019 - Classic Champions was the title sponsor for the Developing Jumper Tour held over eight weeks at the Kentucky Horse Park throughout the 2019 spring and summer. The Tour showcased young rising stars and hopeful contenders for the coming years. The Tour culminated with the ninth week’s Finals held in the impressive Rolex Stadium during the Kentucky National Horse Show.
The event’s champions in the 4,5,6 and 7-year-old divisions were all American-bred horses from top breeders in the U.S., including Spy Coast Farm, AliBoo Farm and Our Day Farm. Three of the four Classic Champions Award of Distinction winners were American-bred. The Award of Distinction was granted by the judges for rideability, quality of canter, jumping form and overall promise for the future of the sport. To have such a high percentage of American bred horses garner the top distinctions indicates progress in show jumping in this country.
“This is exactly the point,” said Tom Holden, vice president of Classic Champions and course designer for the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Finals. “This immense country has all the potential to build a successful program like that we’ve been doing in Europe for many years. From the breeder's point of view, the rider's point of view, the owner's point of view it's just a win-win situation.”
Classic Champions is dedicated to providing age-adapted courses to help develop young jumpers. They support the use of experienced course designers specifically trained to build courses for young horses. The goal is to provide positive educational experiences for the developing horses at top-notch venues.
“Tom has been the course designer for the Young Jumper Championships in Dublin, Ireland for over 16 years,” said Cynthia Hampton, founder and president of Classic Champions. “He brings a wealth of knowledge about training young jumpers and providing a positive competition experience so they can progress to their fullest potential. We want to spread the knowledge that he and other course designers have to educate all involved with young show jumpers so these horses can excel in their athletic careers. We hope our criteria will become the basis for young jumper competitions in North America.”
Hampton founded Classic Champions in 2015 after her return to the U.S. from 20 years of living in France and competing in show jumping. She found that the young jumper competition in North America was not providing consistent positive educational experiences for talent to be developed to its fullest potential. Classic Champions supports events and education to spread the word from experts on the development of young show jumpers.
“We thank our sponsors, Dover Saddlery and L.V. Harkness, all the show managers, course designers, owners, breeders and riders for a great summer season," Hampton said. “We are planning a winter season in Florida and are in discussion with several show organizers. Keep posted for an announcement about Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour for 2020.”
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Classic Champions Inc. is a nonprofit organization that brings successful European principles to competitions for young jumpers. Classic Champions supports competition opportunities that are both sporting and educational. The goal of the organization is to focus on and facilitate the development of young jumpers to their fullest potential in North America.
Founded in 2015, the Classic Champions Tour is tailored for 4,5, 6 and 7-year-old jumpers to implement European practices with courses created by experienced, specifically-trained course designers with adapted heights, types of fences, lines and turns in venues with top-notch footing.
Classic Champions aims to benefit riders, trainers, breeders, course designers, judges and officials in the sport of show jumping. The goal is to build a viable structure for future high-level equine athletes to be capable of distinguishing themselves both at home in North America and on the international stage. Learn more on their website here.