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Hampton Classic Horse Show Unveils 2022 Poster

The Hampton Classic Horse Show has unveiled its 2022 poster, “Dream Gait,” featuring artwork by Cara Van Leuven of Highland, IL. The 46th annual Hampton Classic returns to Bridgehampton, NY, August 28-September 4, offering more than $1 million in prize money and a new schedule featuring FEI CSI 5* and 2* competitions.
Many of Van Leuven’s oil paintings (Cara VL Equine Art) feature horses with extremely long legs to reflect both their beauty and fragility. Joining the collection of iconic Hampton Classic posters, Van Leuven’s “Dream Gait” is no different with that expression, inspired by her time as a vendor at the 2021 Hampton Classic.
“I was facing the shed rows last year, so I witnessed many of the horses coming and going to the rings,” Van Leuven said. “They were bred, groomed and cared for to the hilt. The beauty and grace of the horse never dulls.”
Due to the likes of legendary show jumping horses like Touch of Class, Big Benand Abdullah, Van Leuven started riding at the age of nine and immediately knew she wanted to jump. She showed in hunters through middle and high school before finding a passion for the jumper ring.
When she left her hometown of Ft. Wayne, IN, to study photojournalism at Western Kentucky University, her life with horses had seemingly ended. She did remarkably well with her camera, earning internships across the country every summer as a newspaper photographer, but the loss of being around horses was marked.
Trying to find solace, Van Leuven turned to hip hop. When she wasn’t break-dancing, she dabbled in graffiti and was busy exploring art in all avenues. Her love of art wasn’t found so much in art museums, but rather on the side of trains.
After graduating, she worked for years as a graphic designer but could not find comfort in a corporate environment. Eventually, a transfer to St. Louis, MO, and the 2008 recession reshaped her lifestyle. She found her home in one of the last unrehabbed lofts of downtown St. Louis, which was full of artists who encouraged her to paint. In 2011, she created her first painting, a 6’ by 6’ design of two horses embracing. Her works are all highly textured and layered expressionist oil paintings, done almost entirely with a pallet knife.
Today, Van Leuven and her husband, Tom York, share beautiful summer days in a small 1861 farmhouse on their Highland, IL, farm. They recently restored an old building in downtown Vandalia, IL, to serve as Van Leuven’s studio. During the winter, they migrate to Ocala, FL, where they are restoring a small ranch property. Their life is rich with two mares, a miniature horse, two Border Collies, and several cats, ducks and geese.
More information on Cara VL Equine Art can be found at
Each year approximately 50,000 people – including many A-list celebrities – come to watch the nation’s best equestrian athletes compete at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Rated USEF ‘Premier-6’ for hunters and jumpers with designated FEI 2* and 5* classes, the Hampton Classic features more than 200 competitions in six spectacular show rings, the Agneta Currey Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, all on its world-class 60-acre show grounds.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, please visit the Hampton Classic website at or call (631) 537-3177. Hampton Classic Horse Show, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation.

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