The New York Racing Association will match all prize money won by registered American Thoroughbreds on opening day of the 41st annual Hampton Classic Horse Show as an incentive to promote the presence of the breed in the show ring.
The NYRA Thoroughbred Incentive Bonus on Aug. 28, the first day of the world-renowned equestrian event, will offer matching prize money to all local hunter divisions, the $30,000 Speed Challenge, and the $10,000 Marders Local Hunter Derby. The Hampton Classic, one of the largest outdoor horse shows in the United States, runs through Sept. 4 in Bridgehampton, N. Y.
"We are very excited about this year's additional classes on opening day and are thrilled that NYRA is offering a Thoroughbred Incentive bonus," said Shanette Barth Cohen, the horse show's executive director. "What a fantastic way to reward and help promote this multi-talented breed. I had an off the track Thoroughbred and know first-hand what special horses they can be."
An official sponsor of the Hampton Classic Horse Show, NYRA will double the prize money won by Thoroughbreds in the Marders Local Hunter Derby, a new addition to the opening day schedule that features two rounds of 3-foot-3-inch fences; the Speed Challenge, an open jumper class also new to opening day, and all local hunter divisions, including hunior, amateur-owner, professional and non-professional, on opening day.
"We are proud to partner with the Hampton Classic and offer the NYRA Thoroughbred Incentive Bonus," said Martin Panza, NYRA senior vice president of racing operations. "This will enhance existing programs such as Take the Lead, Take2, and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in promoting the breed and incentivizing people so that Thoroughbreds can have a second career after the racetrack."
A horse is considered local if it has been stabled on Long Island at least 75 days since Jan. 1. A Jockey Club certificate, letter of identification, lip tattoo or TIP card is accepted proof of breed.