Allison Toffolon, of Bronxville, N.Y., coolly earned the highest scores in both rounds of the Sam Edelman Equitation Championship, to edge Victoria Colvin and Sylvia de Toledo, on Thursday afternoon at the 37th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show.
Riding her own horse Class Action, Toffolon, 16, scored 90 points in the first round and 89 points in the second round. “I took a lot of deep breaths to stay calm before I rode the second round,” she said.
The competition’s purpose is to prepare young riders to compete in the jumper ring, so it’s held in the Hampton Classic’s expansive Grand Prix Ring. Some 51 riders started the first round, with 15 returning in the second round in inverse order of standing.
Toffolon credited trainer Andre Dignelli, of Heritage Farm, with preparing her for this unique class. “I think it’s really an honor to win this class, since my trainer’s students have won it so many times before. It was a great opportunity to represent him here,” said Toffolon.
She said that Class Action, whom she’s owned for two years, was another reason for her success. “He really likes courses like this. We were seventh in the [$50,000 USHJA International] Hunter Derby on Sunday,” Toffolon said.
The time allowed for riders to complete the second-round course was a tight 75 seconds, and most of the riders (including Toffolon and Colvin) finished 1 to 5 seconds slow. The judges deducted 1 point from riders’ scores for every second they exceeded the optimum time. “I think they wanted to make it hard; they wanted us to take chances, to see what mistakes having to ride faster would cause,” said Toffolon.
Toffolon’s parents own a summer home in Bridgehampton, so she’s been riding in the Hampton Classic since she was 6, when she rode in the leadline class. At age 10, she won the grand pony hunter championship. “This is my favorite show,” she said.
The 37th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show runs through Sunday, Sept. 2, and features world-class show jumping competition, as well as magnificent shopping and a variety of entertainment attractions. The Classic features six show rings with more than 100 classes of competition for horses and riders of all ages. A wide range of jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes are all part of the Classic’s schedule, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.
Further information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show is available at the Hampton Classic website at www.HamptonClassic.com or by calling 631-537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.