Jumper Classic Celebrates 20 Years as Boston Area Horse Show
RELEASE: April 8, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Anne Wargo
The tradition of elite show jumping competition with a European look and feel keeps some of the finest international equestrian athletes returning to the Jumper Classic, now in its 20th year. The 2009 Jumper Classic, with its premiere event, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, will be held September 2-6 over Labor Day weekend at New England's finest equestrian show grounds, Silver Oak Equestrian Center, in Hampton Falls, NH. The five-day show, held for the past 19 years in early September, caters to top show jumping riders and their horses, as well as aspiring young riders and students who compete in some 40 classes for more than $200,000 in prize money.
"New England at that time of year is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world," said Olympic veteran Nona Garson, who won the 2002 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix. "The Jumper Classic always has great courses and the horse show goes out of the way to do everything the exhibitors want."
An annual draw for the nations top riders, the $75,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix is the only American Grand Prix (AGA)-sanctioned event in New England. Fidelity Investments has been the title sponsor of this prestigious event for the past nine years. "Fidelity Investments is pleased to support the Jumper Classic again this year. It is a pleasure to be associated with, and supporting, a show of such high caliber," said Jennifer K. Brown, Executive Vice President, Corporate Alliances.
"Top riders on their way to competing for Olympic Gold have made the Jumper Classic a destination, and so have Gold medalists returning victorious from the Olympics, like McLain Ward, who claimed the top spot in our grand prix last year," said Melissa Lovasco, President and CEO of the Jumper Classic. Audiences have been treated to performances by many of the nations top international riders, such as Nona Garson, Margie Goldstein-Engle, McLain Ward, Leslie Burr-Howard, Kent Farrington, and many more. "We have many riders that rode in the Jumper Classic early in their careers, and now they return as pros with their students and sponsor some of our bigger classes. We have amateur riders who like to choose from our wide variety of classes, and compete with friends and meet riders of all levels. It's a challenging and exciting show for the riders, but its in a relaxing setting that family and friends can enjoy. It's an annual tradition!," stated Lovasco.
"We're looking forward to a very special 20th anniversary that includes our sponsors, like Coca-Cola who has been with us since the first year, and some new faces and horses that are making their mark on this thrilling sport. We anticipate that the great southern New Hampshire seacoast location, the Labor Day holiday weekend, and the wonderful show grounds will all make the Jumper Classic the destination for show jumpers and spectators who will make new memories at this end of summer show," said Lovasco.
Sponsors like Seacoast Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola of Northern New England, who returns each year, have been proud supporters of the Jumper Classic since 1989. "Over the years it has been an event that has drawn large crowds to our territory and has been well organized and well attended. We look forward to continuing the partnership for years to come and are excited to see the event being held in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire," said Shayne P. Durant, General Manager of Seacoast Coca-Cola.
In 1989, the Jumper Classic, often referred to as "the Boston Classic," was founded by show jumper and businessman Donald Little, who continues to compete in the event. In it's earliest years, the Jumper Classic was held on the small but picturesque show grounds at what was originally the home of the United States Equestrian Team in South Hamilton, MA. In 1998 Little handed the reins to Lovasco, who has worked diligently to increase sponsorship and class offerings and to increase charitable