Allison Toffolon, of Bronxville and Bridgehampton, 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 Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton.
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.
According to The Classic, the competition’s purpose is to prepare young riders to compete in the jumper ring, so it’s held in the 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,” Toffolon said.
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,” she 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,” Toffolon said.
Toffolon’s parents own a summer home in Bridgehampton, and she’s been riding in the Hampton Classic since she was 6 years old, 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.
Photos by Daniel Gonzalez. Words from hamptonclassic.com.