© 2015 Classic Champions


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Meet Our Executive Board



Cynthia Hampton

Founder & President

Founder and President of Classic Champions, Inc., Cynthia Hampton, began riding as a child, competing in the hunters, jumpers, equitation and 3 day eventing. In 1968 she won the Oregon Hunt Seat Championship as a junior rider. As a young adult, she attended Stanford University as an advanced placement student in French Literature, where she earned the merit of being on the Dean’s List in 1969 – 1970. In 1973 she graduated with a BA in Communications, specializing in journalism and documentary film making. She minored in French Literature. She speaks French fluently, having lived in Paris for twenty years, from 1977 to 1997. During that time she worked as a fashion photographer. She showed her jumpers in the Ile-de-France with her trainer, Christophe Escande.

From 1997 – 2008 she competed in show jumpers on the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington and Spruce Meadows). She presently divides her time between Wellington, Florida and her farm in Lexington, Kentucky. 

In 2008 her farm, Hampton Farms, LLc, was incorporated as a world-class showing, training and breeding facility. You can visit her website at https://www.hamptonfarmsllc.biz and on Youtube at HamptonFarmsLLC.

In 2015, Cynthia founded and incorporated Classic Champions, Inc, a not for profit, 501c(3) with the desire to implement European practices for the young jumpers into showjumping in North America. 

Tom Holden

Vice President

Tom Holden started his equestrian career competing in show-jumping and eventing as an amateur for many years before he became involved in course designing with a local riding club at the age of 18. A Horse Sport Ireland Level 2 coach and tutor, he became involved with assisting several senior course designers in Ireland, including the highly respected Sgt Major Steve Hickey, Paul Duffy Snr, and Gerry Byrne, progressing through the course design examination process, earning his FEI level 3 status in 2006. 

Considered to be among the elite in his field, Tom has designed courses at some of the biggest horse shows in the world including Spruce Meadows in Canada, FEI World Cup™ qualifiers in Estonia, Croatia, and Slovenia, as well as the Young Horse Finals at the Dublin Horse Show in his native Ireland.

Ronda Stavisky, Ph.D.

Director of Development

With a varied background including breeder and stallion station owner/manager at Rising Star Farm, Registrar for SBS-NA, and Researcher in Reproductive Biology, Ronda began her breeding career in 2003.  Beginning with Thoroughbred mares, she purchased her first stallion prospect, Cielo B (Simsalabim/Jus de Pomme/Ahorn) in 2003 and that began her love and appreciation for stallions.  Over the years, her focus on mares has changed from TB mares to retired sport mares to buying/breeding mares specifically for breeding in order to produce horses specifically suited for upper level jumping.  At Rising Star Farm, Ronda and her team have focused on raising young stallions.  Over the years, approximately 15 stallions have come through the farm’s showing and breeding program. 
Currently, Rising Star Farm stands 6 stallions, as well as one young stallion prospect who will participate in the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour. Ronda remains dedicated to the correct breeding and starting of young horses in order to prepare them for long-term success in the show ring.

Michel Ismalun

French Nationality

Professional Education

1975: Equestrian National School of Fontainebleau (France)

Recipient of the National Teaching Diploma 1st degree (Teacher)

1976 – 1977: Equestrian National School of Saumur « CADRE NOIR » (France)

Recipient of the Instructor National Diploma (1st out of 36 candidates)

Professional Experiences

1977 – 1982 – Metz – 57. Director of a private Jumping school; (student: Fabrice Dumartin, junior french champion).

Since 1982: Owner of “Le Centre Equestre de la Houssaye”, teacher and Director of an 84 horses stable for professional riders and manager from all countries  

Personal Accomplishment

1975 –1977 – Event rider – France

1977 – 2000 – First category jumping rider; competed in National and International Grand Prix in Europe (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, England, etc…)

Solid experience with young horses, won the 5 years French Championship in Fontainebleau in 1978.

1976 – 1977 – Teacher at « l’Ecole Nationale d’Equitation de Fontainebleau. »

1978 – 2009 – Teacher in Metz and then at Bonnières sur Seine.

So far, we prepared and successfully trained 183 teachers who succeeded at the National Diploma.

Since 1977 – Train and prepare riders for jumping competitions, giving clinics in France and foreign countries.

National Jumping Course Designer since 1994; building around 35 events per year (National and international)

FEI level 2 in 2006.

FEI level 3 in 2010.

Biggest event done: WEG 2014 in Caen (France)

Damaris Ismalun

French Nationality

An accomplished rider in eventing and showjumping competition since the 1980's, married to Michel Ismalun in 1989 and since organizing national and international shows.

National judge for jumping since 2000, FEI level 2 in 2010 and level 3 since 2012.

Responsible for timing for the WEG 2014 in Caen.

Since 2009, in charge from the French Federation of teaching and refreshing all national judges by seminars and clinics.