I’m so excited to announce today that I am the official blogger for this year’s New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day at the beautiful Wexner residence in New Albany, Ohio, held on Sunday, September 20th! The Classic has been named the #1 Specialty Equestrian Event by the North American Riders Group (NARG) for the past three consecutive years. I can’t wait to share my experience attending this event for the first time. I’ve already spent days scrolling through the list of everything there is to do during the Classic (in addition to spectating its world-class Grand Prix!) and now I’m officially beginning my personal countdown on here! Follow along on my social media and the Classic’s Facebook and Instagram for lots of announcements between now and September 20th!
I’m also equally excited to announce today that I’ve teamed up with Equus Now!, central Ohio’s hunter/jumper tack and apparel destination, for a super fun meet-up on Saturday, September 19th from 4-5pm with some amazing giveaways and raffles coinciding with the Classic, including VIP tickets! That, and the chance to all hang out together in their 18,000 square foot store, which honestly just sounds like a good time in itself. We’ll be sharing more about those giveaways here on the blog, on my social media, and on the Equus Now! social media as the meet-up approaches, so be sure to give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram too!
Meanwhile, here’s a taste of all the excitement to come at the Classic…
As part of the Family Day fun, the New Albany Classic has live music, carnival rides, a zip line, a synthetic ice rink, classic cars and tons of other entertainment. Family Day concert headliners in the past have included Ariana Grande, Jordin Sparks, Demi Lovato, and the Jonas Brothers, just to name a few, and this year’s headliner is going to be revealed any day now. In the meantime, it was just announced that there will be “life-sized” animatronic dinosaurs roaming one of the tents, chainsaw artisans, and a Star Wars themed fencing exhibition simulating a lightsaber battle, all of which sound amazing. Additionally, the Classic works hard to incorporate the local community by supporting activities and performances put on by the Ohio State Marching Band & Cheerleaders, the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, and local sports institutions, not to mention the hard work of over 300 volunteers to make it all happen.
I could go on and on about how excited I am to be involved with a show jumping event of this caliber that also hosts a day that is so refreshing and accessible for everyone, whether you’ve been around horses your whole life or this will be your first time seeing one. The Grand Prix is a $125,000 FEI CSI2* on a pristine grass field and approximately 30 riders will compete. Previous winners of the Grand Prix include Shane Sweetnam (last year’s winner!), Kent Farrington, McLain Ward, and Beezie Madden, among many others. I’m also looking forward to cheering on the few up-and-coming wild cards who are invited to compete and give our sport’s top riders a run for their money! The rider list will be announced in a few weeks. If you can make plans to come, do it! It’s going to be so fun.
One of the most impactful elements of the Classic is that it’s the primary fundraiser for the Center for Family Safety and Healing, which provides resources for people impacted by all aspects of family violence and domestic violence. When you purchase a ticket to the Classic, you are helping to restore hope. To date, the New Albany Classic has raised more than $25 million, and last year’s event was enjoyed by an astounding 18,000 guests. It’s a great example of using our sport as a way to give back and enthusiastically embrace the local community as well.
If you’re interested in making plans to attend (and it’s definitely not too late to…I just booked my airfare last week), tickets for the Classic are only $23 for adults and can be purchased here. The cost of admission benefits the cause and gives you unlimited access to every aspect of the event, including the Grand Prix, concert, rides and entertainment, so it’s quite a steal. The Port Columbus International Airport (CMH) in Columbus, OH is only 15 minutes from New Albany and there are numerous options for accommodations in the area.
If you’re coming, be sure to comment or send me a message. Hopefully I’ll see you there! In the meantime, keep checking back here and following on social media for more exciting announcements about the event and the Equus Now! meet-up, including this year’s headline concert performer and rider list! 34 days to go!!