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Hampton Classic closes with Olympian McLain Ward's seventh Grand Prix win

Ramona Singer, star of "The Real Housewives of New York City", discussed her favorite things at the Hampton Classic Horse Show on its final day of competition Sunday. Credit: Newsday / Vera Chinese

Celebrities and well-heeled Hamptonites were once again among the rosé-sipping spectators wearing white for the last socially acceptable time of the year during the final day of the 43rd annual Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton.

The horse show, a Labor Day weekend tradition that marks the unofficial end of summer in the Hamptons, once again drew an estimated 60,000 people, 1,600 horses and celebrities including Brooke Shields and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the Snake Hollow Road showgrounds.

The marquee event, the Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI, presented by Douglas Elliman, kicked off on Sunday with a dressage demonstration performed to the tune of “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas. Later in the day, rider and two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, riding atop gray mare HH Gigi’s Girl, was the winner of the $300,000 Grand Prix. It was his seventh time taking home the top prize.

The Grand Prix was certainly the show’s biggest draw, though an informal secondary competition was held atop the tables in the VIP tent.

There, some corporate table holders hire professional designers to curate their settings with orchids, vases filled with apples, fine linens and more.

“I love the table settings, and I love seeing the competition, the beautiful horses and how everyone looks so stunning,” said "Real Housewives of New York" star Ramona Singer. “Especially on Grand Prix day.”

Barbara Campbell, who along with her husband, shoe industry magnate Bob Campbell, owns Campbell Stables in Water Mill, enlisted the help of her interior designer friend Alyse Ruth to decorate their area. They chose baguettes placed inside wicker picnic baskets atop a red gingham runner.

“It’s the same people every year doing the tables,” she said. “You have to really come up with original ideas.”

Over at the Hermès table, branded placements were laid next to elegant white rose bouquets.

The luxury brand, which sponsors the $10,000 junior amateur hunter classic at the event, has a natural relationship with the horse show, said Priscilla Gremillion of the Manhasset Hermès store. 

“Our first client was a horse,” she said, explaining that the company made saddles and bridles before its famous handbags. “We started making bags after the automobile came out.”

Caterer Christopher Robbins of Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs was once again hired to serve Maine lobster, shrimp rolls and Southern fried chicken to the VIP crowd.  More than 4,000 meals and 6,000 drinks — much of that Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s rosé — were served on Sunday alone, he said.

Other attendees included Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, both Democrats, and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who were all spotted posing together for a photo in the VIP tent.

“The best part [of the event] for me is the social aspect,” Schneiderman said. “I don’t know much about horses, but it is a lot of fun. It’s a big Hamptons to-do.”

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