Hamilton stands to put the theatrics of Hollywood to shame this week as the kicks off at the Schooling fields.
The event, which began Thursday, is drawing .
Friday sees the stakes begin to climb as riders compete in the 20 and 30-meter events with the top prize of $6,000 going to the winner of each.
Soon after the sun spreads its rays over the fields on Saturday - - riders will begin warming up for a total of 29 classes.
Spectators can take in the performances of the manicured riders and their mounts, or turn their attention to other diversions.
In what promises to be a fair-like atmosphere, kids can get their face painted, take in a dog-agility demonstration and try riding a pony while adults shop the booths of the many participating vendors.
The presence of Bruins stars Tyler Seguin, and Adam McQuaid too, is certain to raise excitement. The hockey team’s center and defenseman will be on hand from 1-3 p.m. to greet fans and sign autographs.
The peak of Saturday’s equestrian drama will be the Hunter Derby in which high caliber riders will urge their charges over a challenging jump course with the hopes of taking first prize honors of $10,000.
On Sunday, the final day, opening ceremonies at noon will ignite a fast burning day of competition between riders vying for the $50,000 Grand-prix.
On the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the event will pay tribute to the victims of the attacks and the valiant effort of the first responders. Those assisting in the commemoration include firefighters from , and Essex, the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit and the Marine Color Guard.
Before horses sail over Grand-Prix obstacles nearing six-feet, paratrooper Mike Carpenter of Skydive New England will drop from a plane bearing an American flag.
“I’ll free-fall for 10 seconds or so at 120 miles an hour, open my chute, slow to 70 miles an hour, and at 35 miles per hour make a hook turn and leap the Grand Prix’s broadest jump in front of the VIP tent,” says Carpenter.
Three others of his team jumping with him will decorate the sky with smoke and streamers.
Gene Survillo, the Chief of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit, who has been with the rangers for 30 years, will be riding his mare Mystic in the ceremonies.
“I first met (event founder and chairman) Don Little when the Ritz was sponsoring the event,” said Survillo who added, “(our unit appreciates) the generous support of the people involved in this event.”
“The horse guard is particularly important because of 9/11,” said Survillo, “And also because of the public-private partnership that is helping the unit get back on its feet.”