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March 3, 2014

Stephens Parts Ways With Hampton Classic

Steve Stephens has retired as manager of the Hampton Classic Horse Show after 30 years. Photo by Kate Soroka..

After 30 years of service, Steve Stephens has retired from his position as horse show manager for the Hampton Classic Horse Show (N.Y.).

“Steve has played an integral role in the growth of the Hampton Classic into one of the world's most highly regarded horse shows and no words can express the credit he is due,” said Dennis Suskind, president of the Hampton Classic Board of Directors, in a written statement. “His efforts have helped the Classic achieve a position of prominence in the horse show world and we all owe him an incredible debt of gratitude.”

Stephens declined multiple requests for comment, saying only that “the Hampton Classic has been a cherished part of my life. There is no question that it will always hold a dear place in my heart, but there comes a time in life when you know it is time for a change. I am proud of all we have accomplished with the Hampton Classic and the respect it commands as one of the world's finest horse shows. My commitment to the Hampton Classic will remain forever, and I want to express my thanks for the opportunity I had to be part of it,” in a press release.

Before he became manager of the Hampton Classic in 1984, Stephens had accrued two decades of show jumping experience at the grand prix level, winning events like the American Gold Cup and American Grandprix Association Championships. He has also been technical delegate at four FEI World Cup Finals and served as manager of the Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) and the National Horse Show.

He’s now best known for his course designs at many of the country’s biggest horse shows, and he served as course designer at the 1987 Pan American Games and 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. He recently designed courses for the World Championship Hunter Rider week and the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at FTI WEF.

Stephens will continue to serve on the Hampton Classic’s Horseman’s Advisory Committee. Former assistant manager Allen Rheinheimer will succeed Stephens as manager. 

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