Sunday, September 4, 2011
I've only attended the classic once and that was about twenty years ago. We were invited to the big tent and it was fun to take our children, who were pretty young at the time. We put then in the front seats and watched them recoil when those huge, beautiful horses came galloping by only a foot in front of their seats. It was a fun afternoon and an experience.
The Classic has grown over the years and its a pretty big deal now, with television coverage and acres of its own space in Bridgehampton where the tent frames and grandstands are permanent. We haven't had the occasion to go back to the classic until this week. As a new member of the Southampton Hospital Board of Directors I was invited to attend yesterday's events because the hospital is the recipient of the proceeds of the classic every year. It was a great opportunity to get back to the big striped tent and enjoy some time with the horsey set, so we went. I especially enjoyed walking through the boutiques, a virtual shopping mall of tents for the equestrians to enjoy wit lots of leather boots, sweaters, and jodpurs for sale. So many beautiful things to buy - or admire! Because of Hurricane Irene the classic started three days late, having had to take all the tents down and then put them back up again when the storm passed.
I'm not a "horse" person in that I've never had the opportunity to ride or spend much time around them. My ancestors were blacksmiths and raced horses at the track on Long Lane back in the late 1800s and early 1900s so that seems strange to me, that the family didn't stay in touch with horses in some way or another over the years. But they didn't so there was never an opportunity for me to do much other than admire them from a distance, which I always have. So getting a bit more "up close and personal" with these gorgeous creatures was a treat. I love the smell and sound of horses as they stomp and whinny in their stalls and I love watching them work in the ring.
What a nice treat it was to see some of the best of these beautiful animals from the comfort of the big tent. I felt very lucky indeed.