Employees from the Brandywine Tent Co. take down a tent...

Employees from the Brandywine Tent Co. take down a tent at The Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene. The horse show has canceled opening day and hopes to begin competition on Tuesday. (Aug. 26, 2011) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Work crews expect to be busy putting up tents Monday in Bridgehampton as the Hampton Classic gets ready for its delayed opening on Wednesday.

Sunday's scheduled opening of the annual horse show was canceled last week because of the threat posed by Hurricane Irene. Organizers started taking down their tents on Friday after talking with Southampton Town officials about the possible arrival of hurricane-force winds. They also decided to keep horses off the Classic grounds and took down the temporary stables.

On Tuesday, horses are scheduled to start arriving at the Snake Hollow Road show site at noon and the big boutique area will start setting up.

"We have a lot more crews working than we normally do," Shanette Barth Cohen, executive director of the Classic, said Friday.

The Hampton Classic -- which traditionally marks the end of the summer season on the East End -- is normally a weeklong event that can draw 20,000 or more visitors. Its hunter and jumper competitions attract dozens of nationally ranked riders, and the Grand Prix championship regularly ranks as a World Cup qualifying event.

Riders from seven countries, including two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, are expected to compete in this year's Classic events.

Because the schedule is being compressed, some events, including the annual ASPCA adoption day, have been eliminated. Instead, officials are trying to create a virtual adoption day on the Classic's website, hamptonclassic.com, which will also carry the revised events schedule.

This is the Hampton Classic's 36th year. Since it began, the event has raised about $2 million for Southampton Hospital.