21 Aug 2014
66° Mostly Cloudy
Patch Instagram photo by huntleyellen

Jumper Classic, Founded in Hamilton, Will Return to North Shore

The Jumper Classic plans to return to its North Shore roots this July after a five-year stint in seacoast New Hampshire.

Jumper Classic, Founded in Hamilton, Will Return to North Shore

The Jumper Classic, a horse show that the late Don Little started in Hamilton 24 years ago, is returning to the North Shore in Ipswich this summer.

"He created this 24 years ago," said Melissa Lovasco, the event's president and CEO, and she took over in its 10 years.

Five years ago it moved to Hampton Falls, N.H. and in 2010 Little started a second show that has been held at Myopia Hunt Club. That show will not happen this year.

This week organizers of the Jumper Classic said the 2013 show will happen on at the 100-acre Maplecroft Farm in Ipswich from July 10-14.

Competition will range from children's classes to the $75,000 Grand Prix. The new date should help open the event to a larger number of young jumper who will be in school break in July versus the fall, Lovasco said.

"We've decided to move it to the summer because we missed a lot of the kids that compete," she said.

About 600 horses are expected to come to Ipswich for the event, which will include a $15 million economic impact on the area, she said.

Lovasco said her lease had ended at the Hampton Falls venue and Hampton-North Hampton Patch, a partner site in New Hampshire, to the New Hampshire venue - Silver Oak Equestrian Center.

Lovasco had sued Silver Oak alleging that the Jumper Classic was kicked off the property and that $200,000 to $300,000 worth of equipment was not returned. In turn, the now late Silver Oak owner David Birdsall sued Lovasco.

Both cases are still active, Lovasco said, and she has paid the $20,000, which has been placed in an escrow and the final payment may end up closer to $6,000.

Lovasco said that organizers did not want to deal with Silver Oak, a venue that she said has been difficult.

It was also difficult to get sponsors on the New Hampshire seacoast versus the North Shore, she told Hamilton-Wenham Patch on Tuesday.

"None of the sponsors would go over the (state) line," she said. "We needed to come back to the North Shore."

The all-grass surface of the former polo field at Maplecroft is preferred over sand by competitors, Lovasco said.

"They love that place, the footing is incredible over there," she said.

The event was founded in 1989 at Brackenside on Bridge Street in Hamilton, moved to Maplecroft Farm for two years and then to Myopia for six years, before spending the past five years in New Hampshire.

Lovasco said the event has a one year agreement at Maplecroft and "we'll see where it goes from there."

Tickets will go on sale in March.

Share This Article