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TRIPLE CROWN 12 Born to run 16 true to the track 18 riding high 24 A FOAL NAMED WAG 28 path to serenity 30 HEART to heart
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editor's letter Georgette Gouveia If, like me, you’re a fan of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” horses and sports, then you no doubt relished the recent segment on polo and Argentina’s Nacho Figueras, arguably its best and best-known player. The profile was greatly enhanced by Figueras’ darkly dashing presence and the visceral camerawork that made you feel as if horses and riders would come thundering toward you at any given moment. But most important, you came away with the sense that Figueras, a family man, wants to be an ambassador for his sport and mentor in this country, encouraging youngsters who might not otherwise have the wherewithal to take up polo to dream about some day becoming as good as he is. How fortunate we are to have his presence occasionally at the Greenwich Polo Club, whose season begins June 3. Figueras is becoming a partner in another Peter Brant venture, the Bridgehampton Polo Club, where the Argentine star will help launch a tournament July 21. In this our second horse issue – which follows up on the hooves of one of our
most popular issues ever – we consider people like Figueras, who are passionate about riding. Cover girl Georgina Bloomberg expresses her love of horses through her equestrian pursuits, her charitable endeavors and the young adult fiction she pens. Her friend Philip Richter, an investor and accomplished hunter-jumper, is giving western-style riding a whirl. Judith Huntington enjoys riding so much that she makes time for it in her busy life as president of the College of New Rochelle, while for WFAS account executive Lisa A. Krist, riding has been a constant on a path filled with twists and turns. Our breezy riders range from Alexa Adelson, who’s at the beginning of what could become a big equestrian career, to Adie von Gontard Jr., who savors sharing his Greenwich horse farm with others now that his polo playing days are behind him. Here you’ll also meet those who make their living bringing horses and riders to the public, like Yonkers Raceway veep Bob Galterio, as well as those who enjoy observing the racing life, as in our piece
on the allure of racehorses. I myself have always been fascinated by the speed, power, beauty and endurance of racehorses. In my youth, I would pore over the names and stories of the mere 11 who had ascended to the Triple Crown, especially my favorites – the greatly named Citation, who galvanized the post-World War II era; and Affirmed, the last horse to date to capture the trifecta. Still, my love has been a guilty pleasure. Almost everything in life has a shadow side, and the equine world is no exception: Many of these magnificent creatures have been neglected, abandoned, abused and slaughtered. Dr. Erika’s column uncovers some of the horrors that pregnant mares are put through just to produce the urine used in the menopause drug Premarin. It seems doubly sad, when these animals have proved such a balm to disabled individuals, as Patricia Espinosa’s stories on Pegasus Therapeutic Riding attest. But help is out there. A group of media students at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield work with abused horses at
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H.O.R.S.E. in Washington, Conn. And Geoff Kalish introduces us to the Rubins, a Long Island family of vintners whose winery is also a sanctuary for horses that would otherwise be destroyed. It’s heartening to know that humans are giving back to a species that has given us so much.
They say you always hurt the ones you love. If so, we really must’ve really loved Waggers Ryan Doran and Dr. Erika Schwartz last month. We credited the lovely photographs that accompanied the story on Doris Sassower and her Soundview Manor (Pages 34 and 35, April WAG) to David Bravo instead of Ryan. Then on Page 82, we forgot to list Erika’s title. It’s Erika Schwartz, MD. And for good measure, we forgot her tagline, which states that you can reach her at Erika@drerika.com. Apologies, Ryan and Erika. We’ll try to show our appreciation in other ways in the future.
“You have a 100-pound jockey and a 1,000-pound horse. That combination is bigger than Derek Jeter. It’s tremendous athleticism.”
The new guys: Among the Triple Crown contenders this season are Union Rags, left, and Hansen. Here Hansen 12 edges out Union Rags at the Breeders’ Cup last year.
— John Cirillo
Photographs from Associated Press.
The rivals: Affirmed, on the rail right, and Alydar neck-and-neck at the 1978 Belmont Stakes and through eternity.
Born to run Racehorses capture the human experience By Georgette Gouveia
ublicist John Cirillo remembers the moment he fell in love. “I was in my early teens and my parents had friends who used to go to Belmont every year.” That uncharacteristically hot June Saturday in 1973 was no different, and young Johnny went along. “There had to be 50, 60, 70,000 people there,” recalls Cirillo, whose Cirillo World Public Relations specializes in sports and entertainment, “and I’m standing on one of the benches.” What Cirillo witnessed then was racing history as a big, great-hearted, handsome chestnut colt already on his way to becoming a legend came blazing down
the stretch. Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths that year with an American record time of 2:24, completing his Triple Crown conquest and leaving Cirillo’s teenage self to gasp in his wake, “Wow.” Marc Malusis, an on-air host for Sports Radio 66 WFAN, had a similar experience. “In 1992, I took a road trip with my father and uncle to the Kentucky Derby. I was 16. I fell in love with the magnificent beauty of these animals that go out and run their hearts out.” But young Marc was also taken with the ambience. “Watching the horses walk shed row, cool down and have a bath: These were good times with the family,
filled with storytelling.” For many racing buffs, then, the intoxicating blend of aesthetics and athletics is an irresistible lure. “Aside from the wagering aspect, there’s the pageantry of the colors and the majesty of the horses,” says Bob Galterio, vice president of Empire City at Yonkers Raceway. “They really are athletes.” “The Thoroughbred racehorse is as good an athlete as any NBA player or baseball player,” says Cirillo, who worked for the New York Knicks for 13 years. “You have a 100-pound jockey and a 1,000-pound horse. That combination is bigger than Derek Jeter. It’s tremendous athleticism.” And its ultimate test, the Triple Crown
– which begins with the Kentucky Derby on May 5, to be followed by the Preakness May 19 and the Belmont Stakes June 11 – is as herculean an undertaking as March Madness, the World Series or tennis’ Grand Slam. “In the span of five weeks,” Cirillo adds, “you have three grueling races,” with the longest, at 1½ miles, coming at the end. Indeed so great is the challenge that only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown since Sir Barton earned the trifecta in 1919, with Affirmed – a descendant of both the legendary Man o’ War and the 1937 winner War Admiral – being the most recent champion, 34 years ago. Why have there been no Triple Crown winners since? 13
The runaway favorite: Secretariat, with Ron Turcotte aboard, wins the 99th Kentucky Derby in 1973. Associated Press photograph.
“The breeding today is more for speed than for durability,” Malusis says. “The horses are not as strong mentally and physically. It all starts in the breeding.” Lou Sahadi – author of “Affirmed: The Last Triple Crown Winner,” new out in paperback – agrees, adding that the breeding issue cuts both ways: Not only are horses bred for speed over endurance but there’s big money in the stud fees of a Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont Stakes’ winner. Why risk injury in a Triple Crown quest? “The dynamics of racing have changed,” says Sahadi, a former Snedens Landing resident. “It used to be the sport of high society, the sport of kings. Now it’s a business.” A business in which every owner is seeking every technical, technological advantage, Galterio adds, thereby creating a more level playing field. But Cirillo disagrees with the notion that breeding has made racehorses less durable, noting that in the ’90s and ’00s, many steeds captured two legs of the Triple Crown, including Silver Charm, Charismatic, Funny Cide and Smarty Jones. “What has happened is that if a horse loses the Derby, the owner may take the Preakness off the table and then the horse is rested for the Belmont. The potential spoiler has a much better chance of being a spoiler.” Sometimes, you spoil yourself. Cirillo recalls Spectacular Bid’s attempt to follow Affirmed in 1979, which was denied when Bid stepped on a safety pin in his stall at the Belmont and lost the race. “It’s three races in five weeks,” Cirillo reiterates. “Everything has to go right.”
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And that means the team – owner, trainer, jockey, groom, horse – must work as one, sometimes against all odds. In the case of Affirmed, Sahadi says, “you had a jockey (Steve Cauthen) who had just turned 18, sleeping on the floor of a hotel room the night before the Kentucky Derby, and an owner (troubled Wall Street financier Louis Wolfson) who had been vilified and snubbed by society.” Add to the mix hard-luck immigrant Cuban trainer Laz Barrera. Binding them all together was Affirmed – smart, steady, disciplined and so laidback that he could lie down in his stall for a nap regardless of the hustle and bustle around him – the antithesis of the stereotypical racehorse. WARBURG REALTY Yet whenever high-strung rival Alydar approached him in the Triple Crown, look out: Affirmed, a classic leader of the pack, would cock an ear, give him the fish eye and surge ahead. Their’s is generally considered to be horseracing’s greatest rivalry, culminating in a Belmont Stakes in which Affirmed won by a mere head. Great teamwork made it happen, Sahadi says. “I’ve never found any other
animals like these that are so well taken care of. The jockey develops a relationship with the horse that is like a man and a woman.” Still, brutal examples of abuse, neglect, over-breeding and abandonment persist. Just two months ago, HBO canceled its horse racing drama, “Luck,” when a third animal died during production. “Am I going to tell you that every horse is treated correctly?” Malusis says. “No.” Ultimately, the human members of the team choose what they do. The horse doesn’t. But Galterio says, “Most people understand that (these horses) are bred to race. If not, I’m not sure what they’d be doing. What the racing industry does is its best to safeguard the animals on and off the racetrack.”
There is another human element here, and that is the imagination the public brings to the track. “I go to the track, because it helps me get lost away for a little while from life’s cares,” Malusis says. “It can be an escape, and then more and more, you read the behind-the-scenes stories of the owners, jockeys and trainers – the human successes of having become part of the story of the colt striving for greatness.” The colts: We identify with them, don’t we? The out-and-out winners like Man o’ War, War Admiral, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew. The little horses that could like Seabiscuit, giving a frightened nation hope in the Great Depression. The frontrunners like Affirmed, “rising up,” in the words of “Eye of the Tiger,” “to the challenge of our rival.” The woulda-couldashouldas like the fabulous gray stud Native Dancer, whose only loss, in the 1953 Kentucky Derby, was blamed on jockey Eric Guerin. (As one Churchill Downs board member famously grumbled, “He took that colt everywhere on the track except the ladies’ room.”) Then there are the tragic figures like Barbaro. When this exquisite chestnut broke his leg in the 2006 Preakness, a horrified nation watched, waited and willed his recovery, only to see him succumb to laminitis – the hoof disease that also took Secretariat and Affirmed – eight months later. “There were people who drove to the equine center in New Bolton, (Pa.),” Cirillo says. “Children wrote get-well cards. He was as beloved as any ballplayer.” “I think Barbaro was a Triple Crown winner,” Malusis says. “Anytime you see a horse break down, it breaks your heart.” This year, he’s got his eye on Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz, an Olympic equestrian who was Barbaro’s trainer. And we’ll be watching, because whether it’s a Secretariat or a Seabiscuit, they’re us. n
true to the track Yonkers Raceway’s colorful history By Georgette Gouveia The story of Seabiscuit – told in Laura Hillen- comes in, taking the Scarsdale Handicap in 1936 on his brand’s book and the 2003 movie – is one of those horse way to his eventual showdown with War Admiral. tales that everyone thinks he knows: How the ungainly, The track hosted “the flats,” as this kind of Thoroughlittle colt, who had lost his regular jockey to a riding ac- bred racing is sometimes called, until 1942, when it cident, came out of the West to defeat that powerful East- went back to harness racing. In 1950, the Algam Corp., erner, War Admiral, in the 1938 Pimlico Special. headed by William H. Cane, turned the site into Yonkers The facts are a little less romantic, as facts often are. Raceway. For one thing, Seabiscuit and the Triple Crownwinning War Admiral shared some great genes as descendants of Man o’ War, although neither resembled that legendary steed, who won 20 of 21 races in the post-World War I era and is generally regarded as one of the greatest Thoroughbreds ever. (The shapely, velvety War Admiral, though perhaps handsomer than Seabiscuit, wasn’t particularly big either.) Secondly, although Seabiscuit was a star of the West, he also shone in our own backyard. “Seabiscuit won more stake races at Yonkers’ Empire City than at any other racetrack,” says Bob Galterio, vice president of Empire City at Yonkers Raceway. It’s just one of the juicy nuggets that give the place – a half-mile Standardbred harness-racing dirt track and slots racino – its piquant history. A Yonkers’ landmark, the track began its life in harness racing when William H. Clark opened it as Seabiscuit with rider George Wolf. the Empire City Trotting Club in 1899. His death a year The turbulent ’60s saw a decline in harness racing’s later sent the place into litigation and the track went dark, popularity. But better times were ahead. In 1972, the save for events like the 1902 car race in which Barney Rooney Family – as in the five sons of Pittsburgh Oldfield, driving the Ford “999,” set a one-mile record Steelers’ founder Art Rooney – acquired the track. with a time of 55:54 seconds. While remaining a home to harness racing, the track New York grocery titan James Butler would return the welcomed flea markets and the annual Westchester other kind of horse power to Yonkers, reopening the ven- County Fair, sponsored by the Westchester County ue in 1907 for Thoroughbreds, who, Galterio says, are Department of Parks, in the 1990s. The finish line more fragile than the Standardbreds used in harness rac- was moved in 1996 to the end of the stretch, increasing and thus race less frequently. This is where Seabiscuit ing its length to 660 feet, and a year later, the grand16
stand was demolished. For a time, it looked like Yonkers Raceway would be transformed into a new home for the New York Jets. (Just think: Tim Tebow could’ve been playing there.) But the site was destined to remain a track. In 2001, New York state authorized slot machines at eight racetracks, including Yonkers Raceway, paving the way for a $225 million renovation by EwingCole. The original six-story clubhouse was refurbished to accommodate more than 2,000 video gaming machines and restaurants on the first two floors. A one-story building was added to hold an additional 3,000 video gaming machines, a food court, bars and an entertainment lounge. The public apparently liked what it saw: During the first week of its October 2006 opening, the raceway netted $3.8 million, streaking passed its nearest competitor, Saratoga Casino and Raceway, by two-thirds. Since then, the track has undergone a renaissance, Galterio says. “We have the best drivers and trotters. We simulcast the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May. There will be a summer festival with bands, games and more and a fall festival.” The track – which is home to the Messenger Stakes, one leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers, as well as the Yonkers Trot, a leg of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters – will again welcome the Art Rooney Pace, June 2. And for the first time in more than 30 years, there will be a concert series this summer. Guess the Bo Diddley song used in the track’s commercials is true. You really can’t judge a book by looking at the cover. For more, visit empirecitycasino.com. n
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riding high By Georgette Gouveia Photographs by David Bravo
“A DOG MAY BE MAN’S BEST FRIEND, BUT THE HORSE WROTE HISTORY.” — Author Unknown
19 Judith Huntington
If you were going to make a movie about Judith Huntington’s life, you might look to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” for inspiration, then add a dash of “Gone With The Wind.” “I grew up in Mount Vernon on California Road in a stately mansion with wrought iron gates with my big fat Italian family,” she says. “It was like Tara. It was really fun to grow up with my grandparents and cousins.” Part of the fun was the nearby Flying Arrow Stables, which Huntington first visited when she was 9 years old. “I just fell in love with it from the first time I was on the back of a horse,” she says. “I felt as if I were one with the horse.”
That bond between horse and rider is one that Huntington, who started participating in horse shows when she was very young, has sought throughout her life. After the family moved to Thornwood, she rode at Beech Hill Farm Equestrian Center in Pleasantville. Then when she was in high school, her parents bought her Napoleon, a big Thoroughbred. “He was sleek and honest and would take me over every single jump.” Huntington competed locally in dressage – sometimes referred to as “horse ballet” – in which the rider takes the horse through a series of movements with the
him. “It’s the total experience that creates the bond.” The nurturing aspect of horsemanship explains the powerful connection between horses and women, she says. “I love all animals,” adds the “mom” of two dogs – Lola, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and Daisy, a Yorkie Poo. “I’m a CPA by training, but my dream job would be to have been a vet.” Perhaps not surprisingly, she does not venture to the track. “I don’t enjoy it. It’s foreign to me. I worry about how the animals may be treated.” Concern for Napoleon, who was suffering from shoulder bursitis, ultimately led
Judith Huntington rides Tallulah at Birdstone Farm in Cross River.
It’s a feeling that Huntington – now president of The College of New Rochelle – savored again recently when she visited Birdstone Farm in Cross River for a photo shoot with WAG’s David Bravo. (Huntington, who lives in New Milford, rides at Starlight Farm in the Connecticut town.) A stunning blonde, she brims with enthusiasm for whatever she undertakes, be it horsemanship or educational leadership. So it’s no surprise that she took to Birdstone (“a beautiful, elegant farm”) and Tallulah, “a beautiful, big horse” that had been a working animal for the Amish. After “a few bonding moments” with Tallulah – Huntington pet her and gave her some hay – she took her outdoors for “a little loosening up.” “By the time we got in the indoor ring, there was that feeling of total relaxation that horse and rider dream of,” she recalls. “I thought to myself, ‘I could do this all day long.’ We were just totally as one.” 20
utmost subtlety. “Dressage is all about form. You’re controlling the horse with the leg, the voice and a light touch of the hand. It’s the sense of response between the two of us.” As much as she loved riding Napoleon, caring for him was just as important to her. “I was a barn rat,” says Huntington, who boarded Napoleon at Greenfield Stables in Armonk, where the late owner Jerry Carollo was her trainer. (Jerry’s widow, Kristen, and her Courtyard Farm in Bedford Hills were profiled in last May’s horse issue.) “In high school and college (Pace University), I worked at the barn for (Napoleon’s) board. Riding is an expensive, expensive hobby. I felt I was doing what I could to contribute.” (Little did she know that her schoolteacher-mother and lawyer-father were putting her contributions in the bank for her future.) But she also fed Napoleon and groomed
Huntington to donate him to the Kent School in Connecticut. Even though he was going to a good home, “It was the saddest day of my life. I loved him and I know he loved me and trusted me.”
An equestrian passion is just part, however, of what makes Huntington tick. Even as a young girl, she was too caught up in her schoolwork and such varsity sports as softball and volleyball to take her show-riding to the next plane. Working is another key facet of her personality. “I’ve had a job since I was 15. It’s a very important part of who I am.” Before joining The College of New Rochelle in 2001 as vice president for financial affairs, she worked for 15 years with the accounting firm KPMG L.L.P. as audit senior manager in the company’s metro New York higher education,
research and other nonprofit practice, providing audit and accounting services. She also worked in the firm’s banking and Securities and Exchange Commission practice and was an instructor and recruiter. On July 1 of last year, she became the 13th president in the college’s 108-year history. “I couldn’t be more proud and privileged to be president. It’s an opportunity to be creative and innovative.” Founded by the Ursulines, a Roman Catholic religious order, CNR remains committed to the order’s core values of liberal arts education, particularly for women, and service to others, she says. “What worries me today is that students are learning informal communication with Twitter and Facebook,” she says. “We need to train students to think critically and to communicate. You need to know how to write, I don’t care what you do for a living.” While three of the college’s four schools – the School of Nursing, the Graduate School and the School of New Resources – are coed, the School of Arts and Sciences remains devoted to educating women. And though many members of the “unique” student body – which includes married and first-generation individuals – aren’t Catholic, “they all have the opportunity to experience the value of service.” CNR has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service 2012 Honor Roll – the third year in a row that the college has received this national recognition. Under her leadership, the college has maintained an investment grade Baa3 rating from Moody’s Investor Services and completed the $28 million Wellness Center for club and intercollegiate sports, fitness and health education. The building has been awarded silver LEED certification as an example of sustainable architecture. As she keeps the college on track, Huntington meets once a month with her predecessor, Stephen J. Sweeny. “I credit him with a wonderful transition,” says Huntington, who was president-elect for a year. “We talk, we laugh. What a wonderful opportunity to have a confidant like him.” With a demanding job and a devoted family – husband Brad is president of Tri-State Engineering, daughter Amanda is a junior at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield and son Bradley Jr. is a senior at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers – there’s not that much time for riding. “But I carve out the time,” she says. “I fit it in.” Because for Huntington, riding is a metaphor for life. Challenges, after all, may throw you. “But you’ve got to get back on the horse.” n
Thank you to our loyal patrons and friends for 20 great years! Valerie, David and Staff This is the 20th anniversary of Valbella at its Riverside location. Three graciously appointed dining rooms overlook a newly landscaped exterior with original gaslights and a new patio with water features and fire wells. Its most requested dishes have been included in the menus. Evening dinners in the wine cellar on a heated granite table and alcoves with pocket doors for privacy –– surrounded by wines of the finest vintages –– should definitely be experienced. Valbella is an elegant venue for private parties, weddings, special occasions or simply dining with someone special. Located just off I-95; valet parking service available.
LUNCHMonday to Friday, noon to 3 p.m. DINNERS – Monday to Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 p.m. Closed Sunday Phone: (203) 637-1155 (For more information, call Nick.) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.valbellact.com
FOCUS. BY EQUINOX.
Adalbert “Adie” von Gontard Jr. and Wag. 24
A Foal named Wag One of the joys that await at Adie’s farm Story and Photographs by Patricia Espinosa “Hold on tight,” Adalbert “Adie” von Gontard Jr. says as I climb into his golf cart for a tour of Field View Farm, the stately brick home on 20 rolling acres where he and wife, Mamie, have lived since 1951. Charging ahead, he races around the Greenwich farm, showing me the lay of the land. Animals abound at Field View Farm. There are quarter horses, miniature horses, a Dexter Black Angus calf, a Sicilian donkey, a Mexican burro, chickens, geese, doves and dogs. And that’s not including the wild animals, such as the deer and turkeys he puts food out for. “I love nature and I love to keep the trails open. That’s the way I like to live and that’s what I’ve created here at Field View Farm,” he says.
Born to ride
After the tour he ushers me into his office, which adjoins the horse barn. Framed photographs reveal Adie with former presidents, princes, other heads of state, football players, celebrities and captains of industry. If only these walls could talk, I think to myself. In a sense, true celebrity – the kind born of accomplishment – is in Adie’s DNA. He grew up in St. Louis in a well-known industrial family. His great-grandfather was the founder of Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co., and his
Adie von Gontard Jr. playing polo as a young man.
father was a former chairman of the board. In St. Louis, he was part of a family tradition, playing
polo at the St. Louis Country Club, the oldest active polo club in America. “I come from a horse family. Horses have always been a part of my life,” says the 87-year-old. Childhood summers were spent in Germany on the family farm. As an adult, he earned an international reputation as an accomplished horseman and formidable polo player while also raising horses in Texas. His wife’s family founded Pitchfork Ranch near Guthrie, Texas in 1883. With 172,000 acres, Pitchfork is among a handful of great American ranches and gave Mamie (the former Marie Williams) the opportunity to develop her equestrian skills. “We used to have ladies’ races in St. Louis,” he recalls fondly, “and I would always give Mamie one of my horses and she’d always win. She was a beautiful rider.” The couple’s three grown children were raised on Field View Farm and taught to care for its animals. “My children were my grooms,” Adie says. It was that upbringing that instilled in each a great love of horses and a passion for riding. Indeed, once a ranked polo player, son Adie III now lives in Virginia on a 1,600acre hay farm. Daughter Marie Eugenie Daniel lives with her husband on the 43,000-acre Circle Bar Ranch in Truscott, Texas, where she’s a full-time rancher. Younger
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daughter Vicky Skouras lives in Greenwich and continues to help her dad with his horses. Vicky is chairman of the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association and a volunteer at Pegasus, which offers equine-assisted activities and therapies to more than 225 children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.
Brandt’s the man
A passion for horses extends well beyond the immediate family. “Many of my cousins still compete in polo and jumping today.” Adie’s cousin Peter Orthwein plays high-goal polo against Peter Brandt at the Greenwich Polo Club, which the two run. According to Adie, Brandt has done more for Greenwich than anyone. “I think he created Camelot in Greenwich. The way he built the polo at Conyers Farms with its 10-acre lots, he brought the best polo in America to Greenwich.” He pauses for a moment, and with great admiration says, “We’re very lucky to have a man like Peter Brandt in Greenwich.” This says a lot coming from a man who was once governor of the United States Polo Association and chairman of the Northeast Circuit. 26
The equine enthusiast is also a past president and chairman emeritus of the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association, a nonprofit founded in 1914 to preserve and maintain open space and the riding trails, as well as to foster horsemanship in Greenwich.
In St. Louis, he was part of a family tradition, playing polo at the St. Louis Country Club, the oldest active polo club in America. “I come from a horse family. Horses have always been a part of my life.”
These days Adie enjoys riding horses from time to time, but finds more pleasure in watching polo matches and caring for his animals. “The polo today is so much better. Back in the day, we used to play family low-goal polo where we played with my brother and our sons. Today, it’s more professional.” Twice a year, a bus loaded with children from the Boys
and Girls Club of Greenwich comes to the farm to visit Adie and his animals. “The children love coming here and I always look forward to their visit.” A 31-year member and trustee for the club, Adie established a scholarship for anyone interested in becoming a veterinarian. Not surprisingly, this year the Greenwich Rotary Club has chosen Adie as Citizen of The Year and will honor him with a dinner May 17 at the Round Hill Club for his outstanding service to the community, including the Boys & Girls Club and the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association. A few days after our interview, he invites me back to his farm with my kids to show us the colt born just hours after our interview. The site of the newborn colt trotting around on his not-yet-stable legs with his mother by his side was nothing short of magical. “You don’t see this every day, and it really is something. That’s why I wanted you to come see it,” he says. Always the charmer, Adie tells me he will name the colt Wag in honor of our interview. “Well in that case,” I jokingly tell him, “we’ll have to put him on the cover.” (He almost made the cover; check out our contents page.) n
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By Georgette Gouveia Photograph by David Bravo
Lisa A. Krist with Dazzle.
t’s fair to say that Lisa A. Krist, an account executive at 103.9 WFAS-FM, has had her share of peaks and valleys, twists and turns. She’s seen businesses succeed and fail, lost both her parents and had her hips replaced at a relatively early age. What keeps her riding high are her Christian faith and love of music and animals, especially horses. Over the years, she’s been a riding instructor, horse trainer, collegiate equestrian, horse farm manager and an avocational horsewoman. It is, she says, in the blood. “Every true horse person I’ve known was born that way,” she says. An ebullient woman with a larger-thanlife personality, Lisa is chatting over the course of one of those intimate, instantfriends kind of lunches that only women seem to share. We sit at a window table at Hunan Village II in Hartsdale, overlooking Scarsdale’s beautiful stone Hitchcock Presbyterian Church, where Krist worships and sings tenor in The Chancel Choir. (She has a big range.) It’s a long way from the New York/Los Angeles business communities where she enjoyed some of her greatest success and from Iowa, where she endured some of her greatest challenges and where our story begins. Growing up in West Des Moines in the
Hawkeye State, Krist saved her babysitting money to rent a $4 horse at the local stables and quickly learned that you don’t get on a horse that’s been in the barn all winter – unless you like the long walk back to the stables. (Also beware the best friend who asks, “Want to go first?”) Krist’s horse sense grew, however, and soon she was teaching riding as well as winning blue ribbons as part of the equestrian team at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she studied business, advertising and fine arts management in an interdisciplinary program. After college, she headed out to LA. There she was employed by Morgan Stanley, but also found time for her equine passion, spending $1 on a wild Arabian named Little Starr, whom she boarded at Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables, beneath the Hollywood sign. “She was a great beauty, and she was fast,” Krist says of Little Starr. “We had a lot of fun up in the mountains in the Hollywood Hills.” Krist sold Little Starr to a 10-year-old when she moved to Manhattan to manage a new merchant bank and put her love of horses on hold for a while. Perhaps it was just as well. When the floods of 1993 came to Iowa, her family asked her to come home to help. When she returned to the East, she became acquainted with Pelham Bit Stables, now the Bronx Equestrian Center, and a horse named, fittingly enough, Pegasus,
after the winged steed of Greek legend. “I began teaching camp in exchange for riding sale horses,” she says. “That was a blast. I was teaching there when one day I said, ‘I’d like to do this full-time.’” A piece on the center that was cablecast on NY1 garnered Krist “so much business I couldn’t see straight.” In 2004, she was offered a job with an A-Circuit barn on the same day that Iowa and tragedy intervened once again. “My mother called and said, ‘I have cancer. Will you come home and take care of me?’ She was my best friend.” Krist stayed through the end, which came in January the following year, while also helping a friend there who had had a massive stroke. Riding kept her on track. “One thing I’d do was go to the local barn. It’s one thing I could focus on – staying on a horse. It was my mental clearance day.” Soon opportunity came calling in the form of River Song Farm and Stables, a 150-acre spread in Adel, Iowa. Krist ran the farm – doing everything from teaching riding to mucking out stalls – while a real-estate firm developed a small portion of it for housing. Krist had the program booked in six months. But toward the end of 2007, it all came crashing down. Faced with no money, a fierce winter and some 50 horses – both boarders and schoolhorses – that still needed to be cared for,
Krist nonetheless held on through 2008, doing most of the work herself from 5 a.m. until midnight and using her marketing skills to attract riders. “I was too busy for despair, and I’m a determined little bird,” she says. “I could hear my mother saying, ‘Put the rod up your back and the boot in your bottom and get on with it.’” She sold 12 of the horses there, bringing nine back East. Bingo, a big quarter horse, died not long after. In Goshen, N.Y., Krist boards the other three – El Dorado, a Palomino who’s her best pal and runs like the proverbial wind; Eryka, a bright chestnut mare with an unusual flaxen mane and tail who’s a Trakehner, a breed that was beloved by the Prussian kings; and Dazzle, an idiosyncratic chestnut gelding. Home in White Plains, Krist has reconnected with her Presbyterian and musical roots. She once made good money singing rock ’n’ roll, pop, country and blues. Now she prefers classical and church music. Riding once again has been invaluable, along with the three cats – Peppermint, Tristan and Mr. Pink. With animals, particularly horses, you have to check the emotionalism at the door, she says. “If you’re tired, they’ll be tired. If you’re grumpy, they’ll be grumpy.” Instead, she hears her mother’s voice and puts the rod up her back. It’s good advice for riding – and for life. n
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Sacred Heart University (SHU) student Leah Salindong visits with Cooper at the H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut farm in Washington, Conn. Courtesy of Sacred Heart.
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Students at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield have been busy developing their H.O.R.S.E. sense. They’re volunteers at H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut – the Humane Organization Representing Suffering Equines located in the town of Washington – along with their teacher, Debbie Danowski, an associate professor of communication and media studies. Moved by the organization’s enthusiasm and commitment, Danowski has been working with the nonprofit since November. “When I first began volunteering, I was very impressed with the organization, which has been in existence for over 30 years and has saved more than 650 horses. I decided to incorporate my volunteer work into my class so that my students would have practical public relations experience working for an established and respected organization,” she said. Danowski’s students took a trip to the H.O.R.S.E. farm in February and have been working to promote the organization ever since. That includes writing press releases, designing fliers, using social media to advance various fundraising efforts and otherwise creating awareness about the good work being done by H.O.R.S.E. All of the horses that come to the farm have been abused, neglected and starved. H.O.R.S.E President Patty
SHU student Lauren Kalil visits with Dara.
Wahlers and her group of volunteers work to rehabilitate and care for them. Wahlers’ team emphasizes that each horse has its own story, and that’s what the students publicize. Danowski believes such volunteerism allows her students to have an active and engaged learning experience that cannot be duplicated in a classroom. Students face real-life public relations situations that they must learn how to handle. In addition, they have learned a great deal about animal welfare and the unfortunate ways in which the horses are sometimes treated. “Working as a volunteer for H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut has been a great experience. Being involved with the organization through my class has allowed me to be physically engaged in helping advertise for H.O.R.S.E. By promoting the organization and being an advocate for its cause, more people are becoming aware of its needs and what the volunteer group is truly about,” sophomore Lauren Kalil said. For more information, visit horseofct.org. n
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efore any praise can be heaped upon the magnificent horse, we must first give due to the maligned mule. It was a mule that Jesus rode into Jerusalem rather than a horse. And sure-footed mules remain the mode of transportation along the steep and treacherous paths of the Grand Canyon. (Some of those beasts of burden no doubt wonder how they can toss those overweight tourists off their backs into the rocky abyss.) In modern culture, it was Francis the Talking Mule who came before Mr. Ed in the talking animal genre of Hollywood. Francis (née Molly, would you believe) would not curry favor with studio bigwigs. Neigh, rather nay, it was the golden Palomino, like the hot blondes of the Hollywood Babylon, that would win out in the exciting new medium of television. Francis and Donald O’Connor – a hoofer in his own right – were the dynamic duo in the movies before Mr. Ed and Alan Young (aka Wilbur Post) took the routine to TV in 1961. Francis was an Army mule, 123rd Mule Detachment, who starred in seven movies, including – Let’s say it all together now –“Francis Goes to West Point.” But it was the taller, muscular horse that would be the oat-burner of choice for TV. Mr. Ed was the only horse who ruled the airwaves from 1961 to 1966. “Wilburrrrrrr” – Ed’s architect owner, who had his office in the barn –played second fiddle to the horse. But Ed was no hapless character who relied on hijinks for laughs. He offered insight – from smoothing over matrimonial spats for his clueless owner to prankcalling neighbors, including a young Clint Eastwood. (It’s interesting to note that “talking horse” led to “talking horsepower,” as in “My Mother the Car,” which starred Jerry Van Dyke and Ann Sothern as the voice of the car. Needless to say it lasted one season, 1965-66) and has been razzed as the worst TV show ever, although there are certainly a lot more contenders –“Joanie Loves Chachi,” “Cop Rock,” “Bethenny Ever After” or “Housewives of (insert city,
state or county).”) Alas, after Mr. Ed’s run on TV, no horse was ready to take over the reins. Those steeds on “Bonanza,” “The Big Valley” and “The Virginian” were merely background for the human stars. Among the major studios, Disney tried to bring the horse to a starring role in 1968 with “The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit,” starring Kurt Russell and Dean Jones. The studio tried in 1976 to resurrect the mule in the movie “Gus,” a Don Knotts vehicle that featured an animal with a penchant for kicking field goals. But Gus did not talk. We would have to wait until 2001 and leave it up to DreamWorks to bring back a talking mule in “Shrek,” with Eddie Murphy giving voice to the character Donkey. The horse was back in “Seabiscuit” (2003), showing its legs in “Secretariat” and “War Horse.” Horses also had dramatic turns in two popular movies, in which they unfortunately met ignoble ends. In “Animal House,” Flounder fires a blankfilled gun near Neidermeyer’s horse in Dean Wormer’s office and the horse drops dead of a heart attack. Who will forget the sound of the chainsaw as the janitors attempt to move the horse the next morning – now in full rigor – through the dean’s office door? In “The Godfather,” the untimely arrival of Hollywood producer Jack Woltz’s prized horse, Khartoum, under cover of night – and blanket – gave new meaning to the term “bed head.” And who will forget the sound of Woltz wailing into the early morning light? Back on the tube, no one could fill Mr. Ed’s shoes, though Chestnut on CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” has taken up the challenge. The Eye Network, however, has chosen to relegate Chestnut to non-recurring status. Our next chance of seeing horses – plural – in starring roles on TV is this month, first with the Kentucky Derby, followed by the Preakness and then the Belmont Stakes. Would it be too much for Disney to show up at the end of the race and ask the winning horse: “You’ve just won the Kentucky Derby. What are you going to do next?” Maybe, just maybe, we’ll horse-talk on TV again. n
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“WHEN YOU ARE ON A GREAT HORSE, YOU HAVE THE BEST SEAT YOU WILL EVER HAVE.” — Sir Winston Churchill
no fences Fairfield County Hunt Club shows its public face By Carol E. Curtis Photographs by David Bravo
n the annals of posh Fairfield County venues, Fairfield County Hunt Club has a place near the top. On 38 acres along historic Long Lots Road in Westport, the landmark clubhouse, stables and perfectly manicured lawns form a picture of elegance and exclusivity. The 250 members – a mix of older established riders and young families with children 34
– avail themselves of everything you would expect from a top country club, including expansive grounds, gourmet dining, a pool, tennis and paddle tennis in addition to the active riding program. But there’s a civic aspect to all this exclusivity as well: The club’s Benefit Horse Show, held on the grounds June 19-23, is open to the public free of
charge. Parking is also free. Regarded as one of the most prestigious shows in the country, the five-day event offers a $25,000 grand prize and features more than 250 classes in which national and local equestrians of all ages compete. “Everyone thinks this is a private club, and it is,” says Tracy Harris, cochair of the show along with Jennifer Ross. “But the June show is a com-
munity event. Families are welcome to come and watch top-notch equestrians compete at one of the most beautiful and historic shows in the country.” The club stables about 80 horses. That rises to more than 500 during the show, including many brought in for the day. Among the features are a live band, Voodoo Carnival, exhibitors and shopping at the Paddock Boutique.
June 23 is Family Fun Day, with activities like face painting expressly for children. The show got its start in 1924, when there were just 28 event classes. There was no Interstate 95 back then. The area consisted mostly of open fields dotted with the country and summer residences of New York business executives.The club itself dates from 1923, when Averell Harriman commissioned sculptor Laura Fraser to create a polo medal. In order to understand the game, she borrowed mallets, mounted a horse and started knocking the ball around her Westport property. She was soon joined by others in her neighborhood and before long, informal games were taking place using two stone gateposts as goals. A year later, the interest led to the formation of a club for horse shows, polo matches and hunting. Initially headquartered off Redcoat Road, the club moved to its present location in 1925, with a $75,000 bonding agreement to finance the clubhouse recorded a month later. With all its activities, it didn’t take long for the club to become nationally known on the horse circuit. Its threeday Class A show events were soon attracting the finest exhibitors in the East. Hunting at the club was also officially launched in the 1920s. The huntsmen would ride from Westport to Fairfield’s Greenfield Hill church for the “blessing
of the hounds” and a sip (or more) of the traditional “Stirrup Cup.” They would continue to what is now Fairfield’s Patterson Club and into the open fields to run the hounds after a fox. Most of that ceased by the early 1950s, as newly developed suburbs attracted young families, and the area turned into a commuter community. The hunt moved to Newtown, then Bridgewater, where it is held today. Polo was popular for several years, but in the early ’80s interest waned and it was discontinued. Still, the horse shows continued to grow. The club’s challenging outside course has been deservedly famous since the ’50s, when the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team held its Connecticut, New York and New Jersey trials at the June show. This year’s June event will be managed by William Aguirre and JP Godard, a course designer who also manages a successful horse show circuit in the Southeast. Aguirre is a veteran of club shows for more than 15 years. Proceeds will benefit the EQUUS Foundation, a national charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for horses through a range of programs. “It’s so exciting,” says Harris, herself a lifelong rider and horse show participant. “I don’t think a family event could get any better.” For more, visit huntclubonline.org. n
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Jet-propelled Mark Sanchez on studs (as in himself, Tebow) and duds (as in clothing) By Georgette Gouveia Photograph by Bob Rozycki “I keep teasing him that I’m going to make him cry,” Brian Boyé, fashion director of Men’s Health magazine, said in an ode to Oprah as he sat down to interview New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez during an event at Neiman Marcus in White Plains. “Mention Tebow,” one female fan joked. Ah yes, the 800-pound gorilla – make that the gorgeously chiseled 245-pound backup quarterback/cultural icon – in the room. Though Tim Tebow was not present at the Q&A – a collaboration among Hugo Boss, Men’s Health and Neiman’s, located in The Westchester – he was a presence at the start. To their credit, Sanchez and Boyé addressed what everyone was thinking head on, albeit gracefully. “He’s been as good of a guy as anybody says,” Sanchez observed of his new teammate, traded to the Jets March 21 amid much fanfare. “I’m thrilled to be working with him.” Noting that Tebow is a “big, strong guy,” Sanchez said that he himself would be putting on more muscle mass during this the conditioning and strengthening portion of the Jets’ off-season, perhaps the better to withstand the onslaught of the archrival New England Patriots’ front four. Sanchez also acknowledged the disappointment of the Jets’ mediocre 8-8 season last year, in which his leadership was questioned by some teammates. “It’s just so good to get back in the element (of football),” he said of the off-season training program. “When the season is over, you have to have decompression time, especially after last season.” Here Sanchez laughed, adding, “Hang in there, Jets’ fans. It’s going to get better.” That drew cheers from the supportive throng of about 100, mainly children sporting Jets’ jerseys with “the Sanchize’s” No. 6, women in high heels and higher skirts and men with cameras who were most definitely not fashion paparazzi. Hugo Boss has been conducting similar dialogues with athletes of other teams in other Neiman Marcus cities. For the White Plains event, Sanchez cut a darkly handsome figure in a black Hugo Boss suit, white shirt, skinny black tie, black lace-up shoes – and for a bit of edge – teal and gray horizontal-striped socks. (Ironically, Tebow wore a pale gray off-the-rack Hugo Boss suit with a green tie for his introductory press conference that made 36
up in Jets/springtime/regular guy iconography what it lacked in proper fit.) Though the California-nurtured Sanchez described himself as a T-shirt, shorts and sandals kind of guy off the field, he acknowledged that dressing well is part of the job. “When you become a professional, you’re part of a bigger brand,” he said. “It’s important when you’re a quarterback and not just any quarterback but the quarterback of the New York Jets. It’s important to me.”
“When the season is over, you have to have decompression time, especially after last season. ... Hang in there, Jets’ fans. It’s going to get better.” — Mark sanchez
While he acknowledged that New York fans are “passionate” in their feelings, “They let you know right away,” he noted that being a Jet has its perks – the Empire State Building lit in Jets green; actor Adam Sandler, a huge Jets’ fan, down on the field. The price of those perks has been a discipline acquired in youth. Sanchez painted a picture of strict but loving parents who expected good grades, proper grammar and respect for elders, along with two teasing older brothers who kept his ego in check. Such discipline has served him well under the microscope of the New York media. Contrary to the popular portrayal of the Jets as a team that puts the “fun” in dysfunction (see HBO’s “Hard Knocks”), Sanchez offered a revelatory portrait of a team where players are expected to thrive under the intense public glare and to snap to when coaches offer instruction. He did an amusing impersonation of Tony Sparano, the Jets’ offensive coordinator – he of the wildcat option that brought Tebow to New York –in which Sparano sounded a lot like Joe Pesci. “Ya got it? Ya got it?” Sanchez quoted Sparano as saying. To which, apparently, the only response is “Yes, sir.” n
L A S E R
G R O U P
The eclectic horseman East, West, riding’s best for Philip Richter By Zoë Zellers
hilip Richter has been “horsing around” practically since the day he was born. His introduction to the show jumping circuit began in his childhood on Bedford’s Coker Farm. Show horses and retired horses, owned by his mother, the equitation and hunter trainer Judy Richter, dotted the lush landscape of his backyard. Although the cast of characters has changed with time, Coker Farm is still a training ground for the best in show. As a kid, Richter learned from watching horse enthusiasts come and go, including Andre Dignelli, who was Judy Richter’s working student before he became the great trainer he is today. (See related story.) Given his childhood and family history – “My mother’s parents met on horseback in Kansas City in the 1920s. My father had lots of horses in his family (in Germany)” – it’s only natural that Richter became a rider, too. With the help of a team that includes rider Norman Dello Joio and his mother, he is able to balance the sport with his busy day job as a partner and managing director of the investment firm Hollow Brook Associates L.L.C. Time permitting, Richter travels from his New York City home to ride his hunters and jumpers, like the Grand Prix horse Glasgow, at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla., and the Devon and Hampton classics in the summer months. But recently the horseman decided to take a turn at something new – Westernstyle riding. He quickly discovered that this competition ring is a far cry from the familiar circuit – and a lot of fun.
He traded in his tall polished riding boots for cowboy boots, albeit couture cowboy boots, and traveled to Stephenville, Texas, to compete in the Cowboy Capital Classic, which he discovered really is a whole other animal. “It’s a really fun sport,” Richter said of reining – the western equivalent of dressage. “It’s up-and-coming. It’s very technical and it’s not an easy sport by any means. It’s very different than show jumping.” His turn at reining was inspired by his fiancée, Sarah Willeman, who he describes as a “very accomplished equestrian. She won all the USET Medal Finals and the ASPCA Maclay Finals.” The two knew each other from the small world of 38
the show circuit. He also speaks kindly of equestrian-friends Georgina Bloomberg, our cover subject, and Jessica Springsteen, Bruce’s daughter. Richter always thought Sarah was really attractive. But the two didn’t start a relationship until he found out that she, too, was living in Manhattan. (Thanks, Facebook.)
ing off. It’s like what show jumping was 10 years ago.”
While acknowledging that he doesn’t yet know much about reining, he is thrilled by the sport and the Texan horse culture, where there are few Easterners in sight. Six months ago he bought his first
Willeman went to Stanford University, where they had a reining horse at the barn. “She got really into it and hooked up with the best trainers, Tom and Mandy McCutcheon. She started showing, and they became friends, so she bought Tom a horse to compete at the WAG in 2010.” (That’s the other WAG, as in the World Equestrian Games). “Tom took (the horse) to the WAG and won double gold in the reining and actually, the horse – his name is Gunner Special Night – he was USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) Horse of the Year, which was the first time that a western horse was Horse of the Year, because normally it’s show jumpers or more English type-disciplines,” Richter said, beaming with pride. “Western reining became a discipline about 10 years ago, and the sport is tak-
reining horse to show. “They all have funny names, these horses. This horse is One Last Corona, because its mother was Corona Nita and she died shortly before this horse was born, and so this was her last baby and she was apparently a good producer. They do all embryonic transfers so the actual mother rarely carries the foal.” He said that the body and feel, even the mental state, is widely different in reining. “I’m not a super jock or anything, but I work out and I think it helps to be lighter than heavier for sure…. In show jumping, you’re trying to kind of feel the horse with every step. Your reins are tight on the mouth so you feel the mouth, your legs are tight on the horse all the time and you’re directing the horse all the time. In reining, you don’t touch the horse’s mouth. You put your leg on
the horse and it slows down whereas in show jumping you put your leg on the horse and it speeds up. So it’s an entirely different feel altogether. “And the reining horses are very sensitive to every move. You tell them to do something almost by thinking it, whereas with show jumping you direct the horse a little bit more.” Richter said that while he learned the importance of developing strong bonds and remaining calm around the animals from a young age, he’s also “a big believer in sports psychology. I have a book in the tray of my tack trunk that goes to all the horse shows that I always look at before I go in the ring. It’s called ‘Thinking Body, Dancing Mind,’ and it’s about Taoism and sports. It sounds very basic, but it’s about visualizing success and giving yourself reaffirmations of success. “You get to know these animals really well. You know what they like. You know what they don’t like and you try to avoid opening up the can of worms of things they don’t like,” he said, referring to his horse Firefly’s pre-competition quirk. “It’s silly things like that. To me, it’s something he needs and I’m asking him to go into the ring and jump this big course, and all he’s asking me to do is let me scratch his nose.” While taking a call to confirm the car pickup for that evening’s flight down to Austin to meet Willeman, Richter thought about it more and continued. “Horses are very sensitive animals. They know when you’re on, they know when you’re off – at least my horses do – so you just want to be very level, balanced, centered and relaxed…. I don’t want to be worrying about my investment business when I’m in the ring. Horses know everything, and even reining horses maybe more so, because they have to be more intuitive almost than show jumpers to know the maneuvers.” Richter coolly juggles a demanding business travel schedule, a newfound hobby in reining, a constant lookout for almost-ready-to-retire Grand Prix horses to buy and ride, plus the excitement and preparations building up to this summer’s Hampton Classic. But there’s something else he’s happily preoccupied with even more so than work and play – and that’s the walk down the aisle he’ll make at his June wedding, which will be held right at home on Coker Farm. n
“A HORSE IS POETRY IN MOTION.” — Author Unknown
Philip Richter aboard Firefly.
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A pair of winners Trainers Madden and Weiss help spur on Old Salem Farm By Jane K. Dove Photographs by David Bravo
n the highly competitive world of top-rated horse shows, success is built on relationships. Horse and rider, rider and trainer, trainer and stable, all must work together to create the right chemistry so those highly-charged moments in the show ring bring the desired results. Two of the most successful trainers on the East Coast, Frank Madden and Steve Weiss, exemplify the principle of teamwork, not only with their clients, but with each other.
Both men are trainers at Old Salem Farm in North Salem. But back in the day, Madden and Weiss had successful careers as junior riders. “I rode all over the East Coast as a youngster from Massachusetts, and at age 13 or 14, decided I loved the life of showing horses,” Madden said. “I resolved that once I was through riding, I would become a full-time trainer.” Madden took his first job working in New Jersey as a rider and trainer for renowned international equestrian George Morris. It was there that he first met Weiss, who was a junior rider training under Morris. Madden and a partner eventually bought half of Morris’ Hunterdon farm, re-naming it Beacon Hill Show Stables, and took their training operation to Old Salem Farm from 1983 to 1988. 42
Madden then moved Beacon Hill back to New Jersey, where he stayed until 2007. He later sold the business, and, while working at a stable on Long Island about a year ago, crossed paths again with Weiss. It was a stroke of good fortune, Weiss said: “Before arriving at Old Salem Farm, I had spent 20 years working as a trainer with the famous Mark Leone at Ri-Arm Farm in Franklin Lakes, N.J. After that I was hired privately by a family as their personal trainer. As that was ending, Frank and I bumped into one another on the Florida horse-show circuit.” The men talked things through and decided to put everything together and work as a team out of Old Salem Farm. “Because we knew each other and our training styles and philosophies, it was an easy and comfortable transition,” Madden said. “Old Salem Farm was also happy with the arrangement.”
Success at Old Salem Farm
The comfortable symbiotic relationship shared by Weiss and Madden has worked well for their many clients at Old Salem Farm. “The location and the facility, which is outstanding, are very attractive to our clients,” Madden said. “Old Salem Farm sends out a huge and very positive message of success.” Weiss said he and his partner work tirelessly to provide the best possible services to their clients. They’re often on
the job from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., schooling their clients for equitation (the art of riding) and hunter and jumper competitions at top-rated shows up and down the East Coast. “Our planning and training for the year revolves around the big prestigious shows that start out with the Florida circuit, then on to many others, including some here at Old Salem Farm, Devon, Ox Ridge, Lake Placid, Vermont, Kentucky; and ending with the big Southampton event to close the outdoor season. Important indoors shows in the fall are in Harrisburg, Pa. and Washington D.C., then on to the National Horse Show in Kentucky in November.” Madden said both he and Weiss share a joint vision of providing a multifaceted approach to training. “Education and management are obviously a big part of what we do,” Madden said. “We place a big emphasis on safety as well as getting results in the show ring. We advise with choice of horses, selection of a vet, blacksmith services, equine diet, grooming, tack and just about everything else you can think of that relates to going into the show ring and competing successfully.” Weiss said he and his partner owe a debt of gratitude to another Old Salem Farm trainer, Stella Manship, “the hardest working person I know. She makes us both look good and is very important to our success. Without her, things would be a lot more difficult.”
Both men agreed that staying flexible is another key to success with clients. “You might have a great plan, but you might have to alter it” Madden said. “One of the most important things we do is choosing the right horse if the rider does not have a suitable mount when they come to us. It’s easier, of course, if the horse is right from the start. But sometimes a rider wants to make a leap to a higher division and may simply need another horse to do it. Like people, horses all have their limitations.” Weiss and Madden’s client base is about two-thirds junior riders and the rest are adults. Trainers and clients attend two to three shows a month, combining local events with the larger shows where there are dozens of events and classes. With the Florida circuit now history for another year, Weiss said he is looking forward to spending some time back at Old Salem Farm and getting back to training. “I like to orchestrate my training for specific events. I try to make it targeted, rather than just training to be training. I make a plan, then gear up for specific shows. Then we will take a rest before we gear up again. Both horses and riders have to take a break.” Both men said they are satisfied with the paths their lives have taken. “My father, with all good intentions, wanted me to do something entirely different,” Madden said. “But I am glad I chose to do what I love and have never had any regrets.” n
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On a happy path The measured pace of an equine vet By Jane K. Dove Photographs by Bob Rozycki
â€œAt this point, everything works perfectly. My clients and their horses form the basis of my social network and the time I spend with them is very meaningful. Things are good.â€? Dr. 44Christine Koch with Sherpa Guide.
“After looking down some different avenues, I am now very comfortable having found my niche as a primary care practitioner for horses,” said Dr. Christine Koch of North Salem. “I know many of my patients from birth and enjoy keeping them happy and healthy for life. Horses have a good, long life span, so many of their owners become my good friends over the years. I am one of those lucky people that truly loves doing what they do.” Koch (pronounced Cook) grew up in Clarendon Hills, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. “I was always animal crazy and especially horse crazy. By the time I was in sixth grade I knew I wanted to be a vet. Horses fascinated me and I took riding lessons as a kid, strictly pleasure-riding, no shows.” When it came time to go to college, Koch enrolled in a pre-vet program at the University of Illinois, which she completed ahead of time, and went on to get her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1976. “I took every elective I could in subjects having to do with horses. Starting the summer of my junior year in college, I got a job working for a vet at Arlington Park racetrack outside of Chicago. This was a real immersion and eye-opener in equine medicine.”
While still in vet school, she met and married a classmate, Douglas Koch, who was also focused on equine medicine. “We both applied to and got accepted into an internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton facility. We were both then accepted for an additional two-year surgical residency.” The New Bolton Center is worldfamous and best known recently for attempting to save Triple Crown contender Barbaro after a disastrous racing accident in 2006. “If you want to specialize in horses, it doesn’t get any better than New Bolton,” Koch said. “There is so much knowledge available there and you just absorb everything.” Her time at New Bolton was irreplaceable. “Everyone was really, really into it. You could go into the facility at 9 p.m. at night and it would be filled with people. It was a great group. We lived together, socialized together and learned together.” After New Bolton, the couple was appointed to positions on the surgical staff at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Cornell attracted cases from near and far, many from the lower Hudson Valley and Connecticut. “We had several cases from around here
and through networking got to know more and more people in Westchester and Fairfield. In 1980, we decided to go into practice, living in Bedford Hills for a number of years.” At this point, the couple started to go in different directions, ultimately divorcing. “Doug decided he wanted to specialize in racetrack veterinary medicine, with clients at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga,” she said. “I decided to stay with the horse farm practice, doing medicine and surgery for farms like Sunnyfield in Bedford and Run Free Farm in Brewster as well as individual clients in the area. A lot of my clients have their horses in barns on their own property. Others may board them out. I like the personal relationships and the ‘talk-time.’” Despite the different directions they took, the Koches have maintained a connection over the years. “Douglas eventually started a Thoroughbred breeding operation called Berkshire Stud on 500 acres in Pine Plains in Dutchess County,” she said. “He has been quite successful, breeding many winners.” Her interest in equine medicine has always been more “low-key.” “I love the pace of my life treating local horses. I make my farm and private calls from early in the morning until early evening. Day to day, I truly enjoy what I do. I love being outdoors and have developed
a roster of clients I share the same values with. We look at the welfare of the horse rather than the gratification of the owner. Competing is not what we are all about.” Koch said she takes a straightforward approach in her treatment. “I like to keep it simple, if at all possible. I will make a likely diagnosis then come up with a sound and practical treatment plan. I try the basics first before going onto things that are more highly specialized.” She does simple surgeries right on site. “As long as everything is sterile, I find this works out best for horse and owner. Everyone is less stressed, which hastens recovery.” Koch enjoys riding horses as much as caring for them. “I have my own horse, Sherpa Guide, stabled at Run Free Farm,” she said. “He is a 14-year-old bay gelding and I got him from my husband after he had amassed $400,000 in earnings in races and was retired. I worked with him to make him into an excellent trail horse and we also do some local hunter paces and eventing. But no competitive stadium showing.” She is happy with the path her life has taken. “At this point, everything works perfectly. My clients and their horses form the basis of my social network and the time I spend with them is very meaningful. Things are good.” n
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Peter Paul Rubens’ “The Battle of the Amazons.”
Warrior horsewomen The Amazons – more than a myth?
t’s the stuff of men’s and women’s fantasies, though for vastly different reasons – a society of females who made love and war like the men they would occasionally enslave and ravish for procreation. The Amazons have been beloved by ancient Greek storytellers and syndicated-TV producers alike. (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” anyone?) But could these fierce horsewomen who roamed the plains of Eurasia and the imagination have possibly been more than a myth? The myths themselves are like soft S&M porn without the guilt, although they do veer sometimes dangerously into the realm of romance novels, chick flicks and sitcoms. For take-charge women, the various Amazon queens seem to have spent an awful lot of time on the wrong side of love. Take Hippolyta, whose name means “loose, unbridled mare.” Apparently, she did a good deal of loosening and unbridling with mighty Hercules, as evinced by art history, comic books and an episode of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.” (He was supposedly searching for her girdle, or belt, as one of his many labors. Clearly, he found something else.) Later, Hippolyta takes up with that no-goodnik Theseus, who had abandoned Ariadne, even though she spent
By Georgette Gouveia all that time helping him slay her monstrous half-bro, the Minotaur. Way to go, Theseus. Anyway, Hippolyta and Theseus have a son, the virginal Hippolytus, who is wrongly accused of rape by the lustful Phaedra, Theseus’ wife and Ariadne’s sister. See where we’re going with this? In some versions, like the variations of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Shakespeare’s, Mendelssohn’s, Balanchine’s), Hippolyta and Theseus marry and live happily ever after. Not so Hippolyta’s sister and fellow Amazon queen, Penthesilea. She tangles with Achilles during the Trojan War and he slays her, only to fall instantly in love the minute he removes her helmet and realizes she’s a woman. Duh. Whereupon he has sex with her corpse. Don’t ask. Moving on, Queen Thalestris has better luck in “The Alexander Romance.” She goes off to ask Alexander the Great to make passionate love to her for 13 days (a lucky Amazonian number) so she can have a great warrior girl baby and if it’s a boy, Alexander can raise him. He says, “Sure, why not,” and then sends her off with a lovely parting gift that is probably not a blender. There’s some artwork of this, including Johann Georg Platzer’s shimmering 18th-century oil on copper painting that was part of a 2009 exhibit at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. But I also enjoyed the artist Shan Sa’s novel “Alexander & Alestria,” in which the author conflates this warrior
queen with Alexander’s real-life wife, Roxane, who proves to be the Macedonian conqueror’s match. So what does this have to do with horses? Well, all that to-ing and fro-ing required some transport. And that’s not just fervid speculation. According to “Amazon Warrior Women,” one of the “case files” of “Secrets of the Dead,” Thirteen/WNET’s history series, the real Amazons were Sauromatian (later Sarmatian) women, who lived on the steppes of what is now southern Russia from the 6th to 2nd centuries B.C., as originally described by the Greek historian Herodotus. The burial sites of these high-born women reveal a nomadic group skilled in animal husbandry and war – in other words, real horsewomen. Over time, their success led them to become priestesses and traders, migrants and (with their hubbies) invaders of what is now Romania. In the third and fourth centuries, they were overtaken by the Goths and Huns respectively. But vestiges of Sarmatian culture can be found in Mongolia today. Mongolia is the subject of another public-TV documentary, “Wild Horses of Mongolia with Julia Roberts,” in which the actress demonstrates she can ride with the best of them. From “Pretty Woman” to being one with the warrior women of old. n
Winning ways ‘Banner year’ for Heritage Farm By Mary Shustack
t’s all about timing when trying to catch up with horse trainer Andre Dignelli. We were lucky enough to grab a few minutes with the acclaimed horseman just before he jetted off to Holland, Belgium and Germany – a bit of business during the downtime between competitions. With three months of work complete on the winter circuit in Wellington, Fla., Dignelli and the rest of the team at Heritage Farm in Katonah are looking to the spring shows this month at Old Salem Farm in North Salem. Having sold a number of horses down in Florida, they’re ready to replenish the stock. “It’s a good time to regroup, find some horses,” he says. “It’s a buying trip.” And it’s a good time to take stock in another sense and look back at a 2011 competitive season that surpassed all expectations. The Chronicle of the Horse, a trade publication, presented Dignelli and Heritage Farm its Show Hunter Horsemen of the Year award, in recognition, he says, of the “series of championships that we won.” Such an honor speaks to the depth of the program at Heritage. It wasn’t one rider who simply had a good year. The award recognized to consistent results over a full season. Riders Samantha Schaefer, Madison Goetzmann
and Lillie Keenan were among the students earning honors in various categories, from show jumping to hunterderby equitation, from junior hunter to hunter-seat equitation – and beyond. “It was just an amazing kind of run,” Dignelli says, and a great honor for him and brother Michael, whose teamwork is at the heart of Heritage. These days, Andre says he is concentrating on the training, as he has a herniated disk. “I’ve curtailed the showing.” Having won the United States Equestrian Team competition in 1985, Dignelli went on to a riding career that found him ranked third in the nation and 26th in the world. He was part of the team that won a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games as well. For all his personal laurels, though, Dignelli keeps the focus on Heritage. “I think last year was a big year for us,” he says. “I think everyone appreciated it and was kind of humbled.” But the Heritage team is ready to jump right back into the mix. “(For the) people that come and ride with us, it’s all about competition.” And is there a chance for a repeat of the “banner year,” as Dignelli calls 2011? “I think that everybody would like to.” n
Andre Dignelli works with a student at competition. Photograph courtesy of Heritage Farm.
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Going her way
On horseback and off, Georgina Bloomberg follows her own path By Patricia Espinosa Photographs by David Bravo Georgina is wearing her own jewelry, Marni shift dress, $2,155, and patent leather Jimmy Choo pumps, $695, available at Neiman Marcus in The Westchester.
Georgina with Metropolitan.
n James Jones’ “From Here To Eternity,” Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt sums up what makes him tick and sets the maverick apart from the sheep: “A man don’t go his own way, he’s nothin’.” It’s a philosophy shared by equestrian Georgina Bloomberg. Though many know her as the younger daughter of Susan Brown Bloomberg and the man they call Mayor Mike, Georgina has not sought the safe, obvious, easy path. “I’d like to think I go my own way in life,” she says. That has meant in part riding tall in the saddle and not just on the show circuit. Georgina founded The Rider’s Closet, an equine clothing charity; and serves as equine welfare ambassador for the ASPCA; chair of The Horse Council for the Humane Society; and a member of Friends of Finn of the Humane Society, dedicated to eliminating puppy mills. Her love of horses has led her to pen the new “My Favorite Mistake” (Bloomsbury USA), the second in a series of young adult novels set in the world of teen riders. In an age when many of the offspring of the rich and famous fail to clear the pit50
falls of celebrity, Georgina is flourishing. Credit the lovely head firmly attached to the graceful shoulders. Georgina locates the wellspring elsewhere – in the work ethic instilled in her and her sister, Emma, by their father. “That’s one of the things I really admire about my dad, is that he’s able to go after what he wants in life no matter what people say or how much people doubt him,” adds Georgina, who sits on the boards of the Bloomberg Family Foundation and the Bloomberg Sisters Foundation. “I would love to say that I’m like that, but I’m still working on it.”
Back on the horse
She’s well on her way, spurred by her passion for animals and competition. “I love riding and the idea of being able to work real hard at something with a goal in mind and then go on and accomplish that,” she says. In 2008, Georgina (now 29) was one of the youngest riders in the world training for the Olympics. (The average age is mid-30s.) Her plans, however, were derailed when her horse Cim Christo was injured.
She, too, has sustained numerous injuries, including a broken back twice in the last eight years. This past July, she underwent back surgery – unrelated to her equestrian injuries – to repair a condition she was born with that left her back vulnerable. This month she will compete in her first show since the surgery, at Old Salem Farm, site of the May 11 Grand Prix luncheon benefit she is co-hosting with Pegasus Therapeutic Riding. The event is sponsored by WAG and Ariat, the equestrian footwear and apparel company. Georgina still has her sights on competing in the Olympics, but that goal will have to wait another four years. “If I finish my career and I never make it to the Olympics, I’m not going to look back that I was a failure. But at the same time, I think it’s always fun to have a goal.” That eye-on-the-prize mindset is something she shares with ballplayer-boyfriend Justin Dalles, who’s in the Baltimore Orioles’ minor league system. “We’ve been together for 1 ½ years so far, so yeah, I would say it’s serious. I wouldn’t want to date someone who didn’t have a huge passion in life that they want to devote themselves to and work re-
ally hard at. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it has to be something that they’re very strongly passionate about in life.”
Riding the talk
Perhaps the reason horses are such a passion with this industrious billionaire’s daughter lies in the idea that “it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have, a horse is going to treat you all the same. They make you work for the relationship you form with them. They make you work for the blue ribbon. Anything you can get out of them, you have to put the work in.” But Georgina also acknowledges that you have to love the horse and its character to form that relationship. She credits her mother for teaching her to respect animals. “We always had dogs and cats when we were kids,” she says. “I’m very close to my mother and I really respect her, and I think that she definitely has had just as much influence in my life as my father.” Georgina – who divides her time among New York City, her handsome farm in North Salem and an even more magnificent spread in Wellington, Fla., site of the Winter Equestrian Festival –
Georgina with Radio City.
In the beginning, I was so adamant about the character not being me, and then when I was writing the second book, I started thinking this is a character who is hardworking, a good friend, loyal, smart. She’s probably the most likeable character in the book, so if people think that’s me, then I’m very flattered.
— Georgina Bloomberg
has five rescue dogs, six working horses, four retired horses and two mini horses she just adopted. The love of animals has made her an activist. This past March, she and childhood friend Amanda Hearst raided a puppy mill in North Carolina where the two got to see firsthand the harsh treatment these defenseless creatures endure. “I worked with the Humane Society, Friends of Finn in particular, for about two years,” Georgina says. “We’ve done a lot on the legislative side of puppy mills in trying to come up with stricter laws to improve the situation with puppies and trying to punish people who don’t treat the animals correctly.” She has also done a lot of fundraising, which she says is really important for puppy mill raids, because “it’s expensive to find these places, and you have go with vets and volunteers and get the warrant. Everything costs money.” She wanted to experience an actual raid to speak about the issue from the heart. This young woman doesn’t just talk the talk. She rides it, too.
As a professional rider, Georgina buys, trains and sells horses for a living. She also earns money from show winnings, sponsorships and most recently, her writing. “My Favorite Mistake” is Georgina’s second young adult novel co-written with Catherine Hapka. The book takes readers into the elite equestrian world, as seen through the eyes of three teenage riders – Zara, the wild child of a rock star; Kate, a serious working student; and Tommi, an heiress. Not surprisingly, people are quick to point out the similarities between the character Tommi and Georgina. “Maybe it was very naïve but in the very beginning, I never saw myself as Tommi. It’s funny, if you take the fact that Tommi is an inspiring horse rider, her father’s a billionaire, she lives in New York City, that could be about 100 people that I could list right now.” The young author does acknowledge having a little piece of herself in each character. “In the beginning, I was so adamant about the character not being me, and then when I was writing the second book, I started thinking this is a character who is hardworking, a good friend, loyal, smart. She’s probably the most likeable character in the book, so if people think that’s me, then I’m very flattered,” she says. She’s already working on the third book and plans to keep going as long as they continue selling. The books are doing so well, in fact, that she’s been approached about doing a TV show based on the series, which she thinks would be a great fit. “I was never interested in writing, and
Georgina show jumping with Cim Cristol.
actually, I hated writing,” she freely admits. So when she was approached to write a book about equestrian life, she was very skeptical about the idea of doing it and about her writing skills. But what the budding writer discovered was that she really didn’t like writing about something that didn’t interest her. Writing about something she genuinely loved came a lot easier. And with the encouragement of Hapka, who was an established young adult writer, she began to enjoy it. “Catherine brought a lot of young adult experience, and I brought a lot of horseshow experience,” Georgina says of the 50/50 collaboration. Why write for the young adult market? “I think if I made something for adults, it would probably be very racy,” she says, laughing. “Fifty Shades of Grey” racy? “Yeah, it would cause a bit of a stir.”
In 2006, Georgina started The Rider’s Closet charity, which collects and redistributes clothing and equipment to intercollegiate riding teams, therapeutic riding programs and riders who cannot afford what they need. “Because I’m the youngest in my family, I got passed down riding clothes. A lot of the stuff, especially as a kid, you grow out of so quickly before it’s really ever worn out.” With riding clothes to sell and nowhere to sell them, Georgina came up with The
Rider’s Closet, which she ran out of her mother’s garage in North Salem. “Georgina was basically running the program out of her garage and was struggling, because she would leave for the show season in Florida or she would travel internationally to forward or advance her riding career and she would receive these donations and they would pile up in her garage until she got home,” says Todd Gibbs, executive director of Pegasus Therapeutic Riding. (See related stories.) “When Pegasus approached me, it was a perfect fit, because I still wanted to have the program close to me and to my farm so I could still be active in it,” Georgina says. “We thought, We can take her vision and expand upon it,” Todd says. Plus, it was a way to shed light on Pegasus, giving it national exposure. “Georgina has an incredibly warm spirit, and she’s fully embraced the relationship between The Rider’s Closet program and Pegasus,” he adds. “And as we’ve been able to grow this program together, she’s also stayed very close to it. So what’s unique to programs like this is that every donor to The Rider’s Closet program receives a personal handwritten thank-you note with Georgina’s real signature. I can’t tell you the positive impact that’s had on Pegasus.” Just another example of Georgina Bloomberg going her own way. Georgina’s makeup by Pirett Aava; hair by Jackie Reyna. Both from Warren Tricomi of Greenwich. n
Jimmy in charge Georgina Bloomberg’s elegant horse farm lies tucked into the rolling hills of North Salem. Resplendent with the colors of early spring, the farm is home to her 13 horses, some of whom were exercising in the verdant pastures during our recent visit. Behind the light sage and white trim doors of one building is a magnificent indoor ring, dominated by a wrought iron chandelier – more than 20 feet in diameter – that hangs from a soaring ceiling of 50 feet or more. Helping Georgina run the show there is her horse trainer, Jimmy Doyle. While she’s clearly admired by all the horse-farm attendants, no one has more respect for her than he. Jimmy has been with Georgina for the past 10 years, having emigrated from
Dublin in 1993. He received his training at the storied Army Equitation School in Ireland, working as a groom and coach. Life for Jimmy – whether it be winters in Wellington, Fla., or spring/summers in North Salem – revolves around training the horses. He makes sure they are properly fed, have the proper weight and are put through their paces. It is then that he determines if they are ready for the show circuit. Jimmy says Georgina is a “good rider with a good heart,” who will be “back in the game” now that she’s recovered from her back injury. It’s a “tough sport,” he says, but “I love being part of a winning combination – part of a team.” For Jimmy, “It’s been a great journey so far.” 53
alexa adelson – young & distinguished By Georgette Gouveia Photograph by James Leslie Parker
Over the winter, the horseshow circuit was once again in full swing in Florida, where one of its bright spots was Westchester’s own Alexa Adelson. Reporting for Stadium Jumping Inc., Elizabeth Vieira writes glowingly of Alexa’s performance with her mare Reeva II in the Tampa Bay Classic’s division for amateur-owners ages 18-35. “While rounds were consistently steady, Adelson and Reeva II came out on top with stellar form over the fences and a distinguishable forward stride through the twists and turns of the handy round. Adelson, under the direction of Mathew Morrissey, generated two winning courses, as well as a second-place finish in the under saddle.” It’s perhaps not surprising that when you ask Alexa how she’s doing, she is straightforward about her performance, but doesn’t elaborate. At 19, she is poised and sympathetic, more interested in how you are than in touting her accomplishments. Alexa competes in the hunter-jumper category of equestrian sports, which involves going over obstacles. The other categories include dressage (balletic movements) and eventing (cross country). Alexa owns two jumpers, the geldings Padie and Scarabaras, who compete with her in timed events, as well as Reeva, whom she rides in hunter events, which focus more on form. Her equine family also includes her pony, Stanley, whom she no longer shows with now that he is older. But, Alexa adds, “He’s my baby.” There are no stallions in the mix. “It depends on the horse,” she says, “but most riders prefer a gelded animal as he’s easier to keep – not as much attitude,” she adds with a laugh. “Also, a lot of horses shown here are imported, which means they have to be quarantined, and stallions are in quarantine a longer time.” When you’re at a show, Alexa says, you’re there for at least two or three days. “You can’t show every week. You have to have a break.” Generally, Alexa practices in the morning with each horse for about a half-hour, taking the animal over the flats, or level ground. She and the horses practice the jumps once a week. Inevitably, she’s had her share of spills. “I’ve ridden horses with issues. They have minds of their own. …I’ve fallen several times. If you fall, you walk the horse out of the ring, then get back on and attempt the jump again or go on to another one. Once you fall, it stops fazing you. I’ve been lucky.” 54
Alexa Adelson with Yorkie Cubbie and favorite pony Stanley.
Like many equestrians, Alexa fell in love with the sport early. When she was 5, her family – which includes parents Warren and Jan, owners of the Adelson Galleries in Manhattan, and three older brothers – moved from Irvington to Sleepy Hollow. Soon she was taking riding lessons at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. “I didn’t start competing until I was 14. I started coming down to Wellington for the Winter Equestrian Festival.”
For Alexa, however, it’s about more than competition. “I loved riding and have stayed with it so long because of the relationship with the animal. A lot of people are afraid because the horse is so much bigger.” The young horsewoman also takes a pragmatic approach to the sport. “Some of the top riders are in their 40s, 50s and 60s. I can ride my whole life.” Whether she’ll turn pro remains to be
seen. For now, she’s been busy riding, working as a restaurant hostess – though she’s cut back on that – and taking classes at Palm Beach State College at night. This month, the circuit moves on up to Kentucky, bringing Alexa, her horses and faithful Yorkie Cubbie. It’s a lot of work and responsibility, particularly for one so young. But Alexa wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’ll definitely be riding forever.” n
Lively, lived-in, laid-back Tuxford Manor in Bedfordâ€™s horse country By Mary Shustack Photographs by Tim Lee and Bob Rozycki
Presented by Houlihan Lawrence
here’s an echo of England hidden behind a simple stone wall in Bedford Hills. Tuxford Manor is a charming home seemingly transported from the Cotswolds and tucked into four roadside acres in northern Westchester to create a modern-day retreat. And like those country homes of the British Isles, there’s always room for large-scale entertaining within its seemingly sedate confines. “It’s a party house,” owner Shirlee Stokes says with a laugh, summing up what she and her husband, Alan Rothschild, love best about their home. That’s definitely not what one expects to hear when gazing at leaded windows, thick plaster walls, artfully arched doorways and rich, dark woods. And it’s certainly not what one first thinks of when admiring the 1926 estate’s stone façade and slate roof that come into view as you enter the secured wrought-iron gate and follow the generous driveway, complete with fountain. But on second thought – and after spending some time with the gracious and lively couple – it’s actually fitting. They share story after story of dining-room tables filled to overflowing for everything from a Sunday dinner to an engagement party or holiday celebration. Temporary tables are pulled into the formal living room when needed, couches pushed to the walls. 56
And it’s easy to picture the gently sloped and pristinely manicured backyard with teens lazing in the hammock or youngsters splashing about the in-ground pool – charmingly surrounded by grass not cement – while still other friends and family members take a turn on the soughtafter clay tennis court. “We entertain a lot and for us, it was really a place we could easily entertain,” Shirlee says.
A way of life
For every touch of the formal or elegant – and the home has many – there is a counterpoint that is lived-in and laid-back. There is, simply, a sense of welcome. “It’s a big house but an intimate house at the same time,” Alan says. The couple meticulously maintains the 14-room home inside and out. “It’s a big investment,” Shirlee says. “I’m not going to let it go bad.” No major work, though, was needed when they came to Tuxford Manor just over a decade ago. In the early ’90s, a previous owner created additional living space without any loss of character when seamlessly expanding the home. The newer portion, which mirrors the old with countless windows, rich woods and plenty of nooks, is perhaps a touch more contemporary, but equally distinctive. It’s that very combination of elements that led Alan,
an attorney in White Plains, and Shirlee, a soon-to-retire professor of nursing at Pace University, to make this property the headquarters for their blended family that now includes five adult children and a handful of grandchildren. “What attracted us is it wasn’t a cookie-cutter house,” Alan says. “It wasn’t a McMansion.” “It’s just different,” Shirlee adds.
A short tour
And indeed, those differences make for memorable surroundings. The kitchen is a gourmet chef’s dream filled with top-of-the-line appliances, sleek and ample work space, an island complete with seating and a dazzling array of glass-fronted cabinets. The open space spills into a casual dining area and patio beyond as well as a sunken family room, both spaces created by the addition. The remainder of the new space, which features a balcony, includes a large guest wing that could easily accommodate a nursery, office or more and is situated over the threecar garage. An area off the pool is used as both a cabana and exercise room, though this, too, could transform into more living space, an office or artist’s light-filled studio. The original portion of the home meanders, delightfully so. There are a few steps up here and a few down there, leading to a well-appointed formal dining room and a spacious living room.
Shirlee Stokes and Alan Rothschild.
The living room features a large fireplace. A horsethemed painting hanging over the mantel is a nod to Shirlee’s daughter, a local vet who treats a number of horses. “You put a fire in there and it’s unbelievably cozy,” Alan says of one of the many vintage fireplaces. But with its thick walls, the room remains cool in summer as well. Tiny touches surprise throughout, including an Art Deco-inspired powder room (a onetime mudroom), hidden down a few steps off the foyer. A two-story conservatory, visible from that frontto-back foyer, imparts a touch of drama and is Tuxford
TUXFORD MANOR at a Glance • Bedford Hills • 6,731 square feet • 4.021 acres • Bedrooms: 5 • Baths: 5 full, two half • Amenities: Antique fireplaces, leaded windows, enormous chef’s kitchen opens to family room overlooking landscape, front-to-back entry foyer leads to two-story conservatory, large guest wing, patio, pool, clay tennis court, four acres of additional land available. • Price: $2,750,000
Manor’s showstopper. “This room in the winter – and in the summer – is just drop-dead spectacular,” Alan says. And he’s not exaggerating. There are couches and chaise lounges dotting the tiled floor. One can easily imagine scones and tea on a weekday morning or a hot cocoa on a wintry Saturday afternoon. The conservatory also offers sweeping views of the property, including the tennis court said to have hosted former No. 1 Ivan Lendl (now Andy Murray’s coach) during a previous owner’s tenure. The upstairs is a series of bedrooms – the home has five in all – that are also well-appointed and spacious, some with unusual ceiling angles that further add to the European feel. The master bath is both simple and luxurious, complete with steam shower and Jacuzzi.
Having it all
From vintage charm to modern amenities, Alan says that Tuxford Manor has it all. “To me, this is perfect for a family from New York City who wants a weekend home or a full-time house, and doesn’t want the hassle of the Hamptons. You’ve got everything here.” And even though you know there are neighbors nearby, there is a strong sense of privacy further fueled by four adjacent acres the couple also own. “We actually bought it so we could keep it like that,”
Alan notes, adding those undeveloped acres are also for sale. Though Tuxford Manor offers a sense of escape, it’s actually just a short jaunt from town, with the Bedford Hills train station within walking distance. “Civilization is right down the block, and then you drive two minutes and then you’re here,” Alan says. The name Tuxford Manor, by the way, was inspired by a village the family stumbled upon during a trip to England years ago. For now, even though plans for yet another party – a baby shower – are under way, the couple is looking to downsize. They want to stay in the area in a more modest, though equally distinctive, home and spend more time on their boat. “The parties still go on but for the two of us and the dog, it’s kind of much,” Alan says, though he adds Tuxford Manor still captivates him. “We still feel every time we drive in the driveway, we’re lucky to live here. It’s a thrill.” And that thrill is one the next owner, no doubt, will also share. For more information, contact Angela Kessel at Houlihan Lawrence at (914) 234-9099, ext. 359, (914) 841-1919, or firstname.lastname@example.org. n 57
Healing on horseback By Patricia Espinosa
Pegasus instructors Marny Mansfield and Bill Prout flank Elmo.
n Greek mythology, Pegasus was the winged white horse who accompanied the heroes Perseus, Bellerophon and, if Disney is to be believed, Hercules on their adventures. When Bellerophon tried to ride him to Heaven, those mercurial gods caused the steed to buck, throwing him back down to Earth. But Pegasus continued to wing his way to Mount Olympus, where he took his place in the stables of Zeus and our imaginations. Today, the Pegasus name and image are used to sell everything from air travel to faucets. But perhaps most important, they represent a therapeutic riding program in New York and Connecticut, whose mission is to “provide the benefits of equineassisted activities and therapies to individuals with special needs.” The first Pegasus was started in 1975 by a small group of equestriennes at Ox Ridge Hunt Club in Darien. An accredited PATH International Premier Center (the highest standard in the field) Pegasus now has four other chapters as well – Pegasus Farm in Brewster, the nonprofit’s main equestrian center; Fox Hill Farm in Pleasantville; Kelsey Farm in Greenwich and New Canaan Mounted Troop in New Canaan.
Hannah at Demo Day 2011.
“Our program has expanded and contracted depending on where we’re able to have a chapter,” says Christine Fitzgerald, communications director. Regional chapters, like the one I visited at Kelsey Farm, generously donate their horses and facility one or two days a week. The rest of the time they are operating horse farms. In 2007, Pegasus realized a 20-year dream when an anonymous donor gave the organization $1 million to buy its own property in Brewster. “A lot of the day-to-day expenses of the organization are because we own the farm,” Christine explains. “But we’re able to ride so many more students, and we have a program called Horses & Me, which is a ground program. So we can expand how many horses we can have there and we can expand programs to six days a week. It’s definitely worth the trade off.” A horse’s movements are similar to the normal gait of a human. Participants experience the wonder of therapeutic riding through a transfer of motion between horse and rider that is both powerful and healing. Students with special needs – ranging from physical to cognitive, emotional and
developmental – come to the program, mainly through word of mouth. Most of the students are children under 18 years old, though there are some adult students, too. Through learning basic riding skills, individuals can improve mobility, balance, posture, coordination, language development, behavior control and concentration. “It’s the motion, the bonding, the interplay. Horses have this wonderful compassion that makes them very special animals. And with our children, I think motion is a very big part of it,” says instructor and volunteer manager, Bill Prout, who is a PATH accredited advanced instructor. Marny Mansfield, a licensed occupational therapist and one of the few PATH master instructors in the field, leads the Kelsey Farm class of five students, ages 4 and 5, with varying special needs, which included autism, Down syndrome and low muscle tone. As the ringleader, literally and figuratively, Marny stands in the center while students ride their horses around her with the help of volunteers who work as leaders or side-walkers. Volunteers make sure the riders are safe and encourage them to do their best.
“It’s a rhythmic, repetitive movement,” Marny says. “So a lot of these kids, who may not have the best motor planning or the most coordinated activities, find just having that underlying rhythmic activity going on the whole time helps them.” But according to Marny, it’s also much larger than that. It’s “the psychological and social connection with the volunteers as well as the horse and just being on this powerful, wonderful, magical animal and being in control of that, doing something that some of their peers may not do….” “You can’t discount the social aspect of this,” Bill agrees. Because of the social interplay, instructors like Bill and Marny make sure to select compatible groups that are close in age. The disabilities can vary within a given group, but there should be an interaction. In his role as volunteer manager, Bill deals with 500 people in all five chapters. “What we try to do is empower our volunteers, to educate them, to make them understand their role and how important it is. And then basically, the program unfolds because of them. So it really becomes a volunteer-based organization beyond any imagination.” n
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PegTodd of my heart Gibbs was made for Pegasus Therapeutic Riding By Patricia Espinosa Everything in Todd Gibbs’ life, both personally and professionally, has prepared him to be executive director of Pegasus Therapeutic Riding. At the time he was recruited, Todd was working at Sacred Heart University as director of development. A trained physical therapist, he had left the clinical physical therapy world for a career in nonprofit fundraising and spent several years with a consulting firm that worked with organizations very similar in size to Pegasus – all invaluable experience he would later draw on. After four years of a grueling schedule that required him to be on the road nearly most of the week, he left the consulting business to work at Sacred Heart because of the high toll consulting took on his family, particularly his daughters – Taylor, 7, and Madison, 5, who have special needs. (While they are not autism spectrum, they have what is referred to as sensory integration dysfunction, a neurological-based disorder. Around the same time Todd was interviewing for the job, his older daughter’s occupational therapist was independently recommending therapeutic riding. Todd acknowledges that the impetus to leave Sacred Heart for Pegasus began in large part because he was the parent of children with special needs. But the more he learned about the organization, his reasons broadened. The way Todd saw it, Pegasus was an organization that had existed for 25 years and was at the point where it needed to figure out where it was going. “I felt that there was an element of
entrepreneurialism to the job, and what moved me was the fact that I’d spent 13 years in the fundraising world and I’d never seen the types of support in an organization like Pegasus received. And what that told me was the mission was right. This place changes lives.” While he felt he had done many meaningful things in his career up to that point, Todd realized that this might be his one shot to make a difference professionally, so he decided to take a job that would turn out to be a life-changing experience for his family, too. For Taylor, it has meant building a sense of self-confidence and self-worth, affecting every facet of her life. Younger sister Madison also has sensory integration dysfunction, but her needs are different than those of her sister. The soon-to-be kindergartner will start the therapeutic riding program this summer. Since buying the Brewster farm in 2006, Pegasus has been able to grow 50 percent. But it needs to expand even further. To that end, the organization has come up with a comprehensive plan to develop and enhance the Brewster property with a new barn, allowing it to increase the program 100 percent. Site plans have been approved by the town of Brewster, which will include three significant enhancements over the next several years. Those enhancements will be completed based on Pegasus’ ability to raise funds. But judging by the excitement and passion I saw in Todd as he showed me the blueprints, I’m guessing he’s going to get the job done in no time. n
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Majesty, captured By Mary Shustack
is standing in the spacious kitchen of her Ridgefield home, but the fine-art photographer’s mind is miles away. Her face lights up as she talks about a memorable moment during her December trip to Uruguay, another of her annual treks to chronicle a special group of horses at Bordoneo Farm in San Carlos. The air, she says, is heady with the sea, which is visible from the hillside property. The sun is “fighting to burst through the mist. For a photographer, it was really amazing light because it was soft. It was dreamlike.” That morning was one of countless moments Edelman has captured since she first visited the farm a decade ago. Her trips have yielded a book, exhibitions and largescale photographs that customers buy to add depth to their decor – but they have also changed her life. It was in 2002 when Edelman boarded a plane with her daughter, then not yet 2, and first visited the farm owned by a college friend’s mother. “Once we got there, it was magic.” Breeder and rancher Althea Ganly welcomed Edelman, who soon learned how the horses are raised by a method called imprinting. “She raises these horses out of passion,” Edelman says. The process, which in simplest terms is a way of massaging and handling the newborn foals to form a special bond with humans, has a purpose. “What happens is you get these very calm, docile horses, friendly horses,” so while they look wild, they are quite easy to work with. “I didn’t intend on starting this series when I went down there,” Edelman says. But after a second trip, she realized, “I have a body of work here. “I tried to tell a story in the pictures. It’s really about where they live, in the habitat and the beauty of it.” Her photographs were turned into a book, “Sermo Per Equus,” published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name presented in October 2010 at the Murphy and Dine Gallery in Manhattan. It’s been quite a journey for the woman who grew up in New York City as a horse lover who would ride every summer when visiting her grandparents in Germany. “We would go out in the woods there and trail ride. There is an adrenaline rush, an excitement of connecting with nature, of something that’s bigger than you. It’s this synergy that is so exciting and I think that has a lot to do with why people ride.” Edelman, who says she comes from “a long line” of fine artists and creative people, has always had a hand in the creative. “I never thought it was unusual to think visually. I never thought it was unusual to make things.” Today, when not photographing, Edelman might be making jewelry, painting or doing interior design work. She graduated from Connecticut College and with
Bonnie Edelman in Uruguay. Photograph by Marcela Ganly.
great interest in both sports and fashion went on to a ca- be aware of the energy I bring. I’m responsible for the reer in media. An internship at Rolling Stone magazine energy I bring into a room. … It’s so valuable with raising was followed by editorial work for Seventeen magazine, my children and having a family and just life in general.” MTV and Glamour magazine. She is working on a new series and would eventually She went on to Sports Illustrated, reuniting her two loves, like to visit Uruguay in all seasons to round out her work, as a travel editor who coordinated everything from visas to which finds her using “old-school” methods like film and props for the famed swimsuit editions. Traveling the world, she worked with top photographers and soon realized she wanted to join their ranks. When she married John Edelman in 1998 and they moved to Ridgefield, she began her own photography business focusing on portraiture work that “took a lot of my energy.” One day, a child’s appointment was canceled and Edelman was surprised to feel relief and realized “this is not feeding me creatively.” Encouraged by fellow students at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, where Edelman was working on printing, she began to share her work from Uruguay. “They started to say to me ‘You have a story in here,’” she says. And that led to the gallery show and book. While she can’t jet off to Uruguay all “Amistad” was shot at Bordoneo Farm in Uruguay in 2010 and is featured in her the time, Edelman says her trips there book, “Sermo Per Equus.” Photograph by Bonnie Edelman. sustain her when she is back home. a 1960s Rolleiflex camera she calls “a treasure.” She not only captures the images of the horses and cre“I love to use film,” she says. Sometimes, she takes up ates her art, but also learns a lot. to 100 rolls on each trip to Uruguay. “I like to bring a lot “They’re regal and elegant and graceful and they’ve of different weapons. I like the grain of the film, but I also taught me so much,” she says. She has learned to “really shoot in digital.”
Edelman also has a successful series of work called “Scapes,” which capture landscapes, seascapes and more as she travels the world, sometimes accompanying husband John, who heads up Design Within Reach, on business trips. Edelman, a mother of two, agrees that photography plays a big part in their home’s aesthetic as well. Works by Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks and Mark Seliger dot the living room. “We do collect photographs,” she says. “It’s one of the gifts we give each other for every major occasion.” But for every famous image, there are twice as many family photographs, including an entire wall filled with decades of memories. Photographs have a way of connecting with people, as Edelman’s work has clearly done. James Brown is the general manager of 121, a restaurant-bar in the heart of North Salem’s horse country. Edelman’s exhibition there last spring was so well-received, he says, that her “compelling” work is gracing its interior for the foreseeable future. “It’s a glove fit,” Brown says. “The magnitude… the force of her work fits us very well.” And it fits equally well into Edelman’s own life, with her trips to Uruguay bringing her rewards she could never have imagined. “Whenever I’m there I get overwhelmed by calm. I get this sense of tranquility. I think by taking so many pictures it’s me wanting to capture that, take it home with me.” And then share it with others. To find out more about Edelman’s work, visit bonnieedelman.com or contact Heather Gaudio Fine Art in New Canaan at heathergaudiofineart.com or (203) 801-9590. n
hoof ‘n’ woof
“Jumpers,” is a work in graphite from Redding artist Jocelyn Sandor Urban.
The pairing of horse and hound, a subject favored by centuries of artists, remains popular today in prints and paintings. The classic teaming also lends itself to all kinds of contemporary interpretations and, experts note, fits into any decor. An afternoon of gallery hopping or time on the antiques trail in this region will likely unearth at least a couple of examples of this traditional work. The windows of Handwright Gallery & Framing in New Canaan, for example, most always have some horse-andhound works on display. Owner Betsy Jesup says that people going to one of the town’s many restaurants often stop back at her gallery. “People come in and say, ‘I saw it in your window.’” There’s an appeal, she notes, “even if they don’t ride. I think it’s still very popular.” And, she quickly adds, people who understand the meaning behind the works have a greater appreciation for the spirit and camaraderie of the classic hunting scenes. 62
By Mary Shustack
“Rarely do they even catch a fox these days,” she says. “It’s not about killing a fox… It’s to be out there and to enjoy.” One of the artists featured at Handwright Gallery is Jocelyn Sandor Urban, a Redding horse lover who grew up in Stamford. Much of her work is devoted to horses, hounds and horses and hounds. Urban and her husband, equine veterinarian Richard B. Urban, have two retired Thoroughbreds and three rescue dogs. Together, the two have also created an extensive line of horse-themed greeting cards and related products. “I was a horse-crazy kid,” Urban says, noting she began riding in New Canaan as a young girl. “Horses have always been a part of my life and so has art. Naturally, since I loved horses I would draw them.” She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in fine art and a master’s in printmaking. In the early 1980s, she realized combining her two loves allowed her to create a niche. “After a while, I realized there weren’t that many people doing what I was doing,” Urban says. “It was a way for me to
keep doing artwork.” She created a body of work and took it out on the circuit, including the noted horse shows at Old Salem and Ox Ridge as well as the Hampton Classic. There, she connected with her dream client base. “By and large they have a special horse or a dog they just want a special portrait of.” And, she adds, these personalized gifts are perfect for “the person who has everything.” Urban usually works from photographs, ideally ones she has taken herself. “It always helps to see the animal in person first,” noting that it helps her capture an animal’s mannerisms and personality. And showcasing that personality or sense of place can add depth to a home’s decor as well. If you have a horse-andhound work in your home already, you’re in good company. When Sotheby’s conducted the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis estate sale in 1996, the massive event put a spotlight on more than a few horse-themed pieces in her collection, from John Wootton’s 1733-34 oil painting, “Lord Bateman’s
Arabian,” to “American Thoroughbreds,” an 1855 Currier & Ives lithograph. Sotheby’s continues to feature horseand-hound art and all kinds of related works through its sales, says Polly Sartori, who heads up the 19th-century European art department at the auction house in Manhattan. Gone are the days, she says, when top collectors like philanthropist-ownerbreeder Paul Mellon and the Whitneys were buying major works at themed sales. “They also had great stables,” Sartori says. “I think that kind of went hand in hand and you don’t see that as much these days.” Sotheby’s has now moved to include the finest examples of sporting art within its general painting sales, spotlighting works by artists such as Alfred Munnings and John Frederick Herring Sr. Sartori notes that an equestrian work by Herring Sr. last fall carried a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 to $600,000 and sold for slightly more than $2 million. It was, she says, a “kick-start to this market again.”
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Classic horse-and-hound works at Handwright Gallery & Framing in New Canaan.
She also points to hound works by John Emms, which will be up for sale this month. “(Art lovers) might not come in looking for one of these kinds of pictures, but when they see them, they find them irresistible… The artists, when they’re good like Emms, they get it perfectly.” It’s no surprise, says Charles Mayes of Equestrian Fine Art, a worldwide company based in London, who notes that the horse-and-hound imagery’s popularity has never waned. “Primarily because so many people loved their horses, hounds and hunting itself; and, nearly as importantly in some people’s cases, they also loved the status and elitism that belonging to this world gave them,” he observes. Mayes says his company (equestrianfineart.com) specializes in “figurative, representational equestrian art. We work with Darren Baker, who is one of the world’s leading Realist painters (and he has just painted Her Majesty the Queen). Darren painted a series of large commissioned paintings for a client in the Middle
East depicting the client’s wonderful Arab horses. Lesley Thiel’s limited editions are also quite exceptional, and Susan Crawford is perhaps the world’s most soughtafter painter of racehorse portraits.” These works do not need a classic or traditional backdrop to shine, Mayes says. “In no way. It’s a question of looks and style, not convention. We recently supplied a large (5-foot high) print on canvas of George Stubbs’ great painting ‘Whistlejacket.’ Working with a designer we framed it not in a big gold frame, but extremely simply using just narrow battens, strips of wood, at the edge of the canvas. It looked like a smaller study for the great work that had been left in the artist’s studio.” He offers another example. “Last year we sold three conventional, figurative racing paintings, which were reframed and hung in the ultra-modern dining room of a luxurious new oceangoing private yacht.” It would seem, then, that on land or sea, the horse-and-hound image continues to find a classic home. n
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She wears it well By Debbi O’Shea
Heidi Driscoll at the Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton.
here are certain women who just ooze chic. They are the head turners that make us sigh, with simultaneous envy and approval. No matter what the occasion, they appear cool, confident and crisp. To me, the epitome of chic is Heidi Driscoll, a tall, blonde whippet-thin mother and equestrian, who resides in Riverside. Heidi often comes into Richards in riding garb, attired in tall boots, light-colored jodhpurs and a crisp white shirt with a banded collar. Except for her rosy cheeks, you couldn’t tell if she had just dropped her son off at school or completed two hours of rigorous riding and jumping on her horse, Gridiron, in Bedford. Over the years, I’ve seen Heidi at various fashion shows, like the Breast Cancer Alliance or Old Bags luncheons. Invariably, she is smartly turned out in a Valentino white sheath dress with matching coat or a cafe-au-lait Brunello Cucinelli suede shift with piles of gossamer spun wool knotted perfectly around her long neck. I’ve danced next to her at the opulent Renaissance Ball, where she has lit up the tent, quietly dressed in a taffeta Ralph Lauren halter gown, with diamond studs. Intuitively, I knew Heidi was the self-effacing type. She was surprised that I am such a fan of her style. I asked her if she would let me interview her to shed some light into the world of equestrian dressing. Graciously, she agreed. 64
When did you first start riding and did you take to it immediately? “I first started riding when I was 11 years old in Virginia and I fell madly in love with it.”
Were you one of those obsessed teens who spent every spare hour at the stables riding and grooming horses? Did that inevitably lead to traveling to compete in shows? “I spent every waking moment that I was not in school at the barn. In those days, I traveled mostly to fox hunts all around Virginia and Maryland. Competing avidly on the show circuit came later in life.”
Do you still compete? What do you most enjoy about it? “I compete as much as I can, at least twice a month. I am very competitive by nature, and at any age, it’s nice to have an outlet for that.”
Are riding clothes strictly perfunctory or do you genuinely enjoy wearing them? “I love wearing them but only when I am riding or running errands before or after. It helps that they are both functional and attractive.”
Is everything you wear for riding purchased from stores dedicated to equestrian clothing? “Yes, I only shop at tack shops for my riding clothes.
I mainly shop at (Beval Saddlery) in New Canaan or with local vendors at horse shows. (The shopping can be great.) My boots are by a custom boot company called Der Dau. They have great style and I absolutely treasure them.”
Every few years, equestrian styles make their way back into the trends. Two years ago, everyone was walking around with slim pants tucked into riding boots. Did we just look silly? “It is a beautiful look, but few people who ride dress that way other than when they are riding.”
Well, that was tactful! We should all take heed. Are there pieces that you wear riding that cross over into your everyday wardrobe? And conversely, is there anything in your everyday wardrobe that could cross over into your riding wear? “Probably just my belts. When I am not showing, athletic tops from Lululemon work great.”
Obviously I adore your equestrian style. How would you describe your taste? “I believe less is more, and I prefer simple, beautifully cut clothing like Valentino and a terrific new up-andcoming young designer, Rubin Singer.” Tally ho. To read Debbi’s blog, visit DivaDebbi.com. n
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Yada, yada, Prada And Schiaparelli, too, at The Met By Zoë Zellers
Portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli (“The Great Schiap”),1932, by George HoynignenHuene. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hoyningen-Huené/ Vogue; © Condé Nast.
Portrait of Miuccia Prada, 1999, by Guido Harari. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guido 67 Harari/Contrasto/Redux.
f this summer plays out anything like last year’s, the biggest blockbuster might not be coming to a theater near you but instead to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Taking a hint from 2011’s wildly successful retrospective on the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, The Met’s Costume Institute will host “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” (May 10-Aug. 19), once again warmly inviting fashion into the art world. And what better designers to showcase in this art-meets-couture context than the late Elsa Schiaparelli and the contemporary Miuccia Prada? Instantly, similarities come to mind when comparing these two “Thoroughbreds” – both Italian-born women with well-to-do Catholic schoolgirl backgrounds that presumably later played into each of their politically rebellious spirits and Surrealistic fashion sensibilities. Prada, who was born in Milan in 1949, was at first reluctant to join the family fashion business. So she got a degree in political science and joined the Communist Party. (Did she carry her Communist card in a Prada leather wallet?) Schiaparelli, who was born in Rome in 1890, was involved in the Dada movement from its early (World War I) days and was a constant collaborator with Surrealist bad boy Salvador Dalí. Though separated by decades, both fought the convention that women belonged at home and kept an eclectic mix of comrades and inspirational figures. But ironically, neither discovered a passion for fashion early on, and both presented their first collections in their late 30s. Yet the time these designers took to become politically and artistically informed might have ultimately led them to a similar conclusion, which each translated differently.
Out of the past
Miuccia Prada, spring/ summer 2005. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by © Toby McFarlan Pond.
Fueling “Impossible Conversations” is futurist Schiaparelli and postmodern Prada’s impressive, shared delicate mastery of “hard chic” and “ugly chic,” the breakdown of beauty in the name of personality – and a bit of humor. Expect to see a challenge of convention and a sense that “new beauty” must be bolder and harder, while less obvious. For instance, Prada uses the color brown, because she hates it. She uses cheap cotton in the style of hospital scrubs, because it’s strange. She has used Teflon wool, broken glass and parachute nylon to make her point, and yet Prada can also design a killer pleated Empire-waist dress, pencil
skirt, peekaboo transparent vinyl raincoat and crocodile handbag. And from “the great Schiap,” you can expect to see extreme visual stimulation, from her tear dress with battle-wound graphics to hats shaped like shoes and vaginas, insect necklaces and lip-shaped belt buckles, in addition to garments that we accept today but were quite revolutionary between 1927 and 1940. (Think wraparound dresses, the jumpsuit, overalls, broad-shouldered suits, mix-and-match separates, camouflage prints and Plexiglass accessories). “It’s exciting because I think that a lot of people don’t remember Schiaparelli and know what Schiaparelli really brought to fashion,” said Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus. “It’s interesting to see also all the pink that’s on the runway for this spring season and a lot of the shocking pink has already begun to emerge,” he said of the signature Schiaparelli color. “And even as we went into the fall season at Lanvin, there was jewelry that was very Elsa Schiaparelli – the Victorian hands, the eyes, the lips, the belts.” “Fashion ideas have to come from somewhere. This spring there’s also a lot of artisan ideas from the ’20s. There was a lot of excitement around (Woody Allen’s) ‘Midnight in Paris’ and now the remake of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and there was a great exhibit of art in Paris (and currently at The Met) of all the collected work of Gertrude Stein and her brothers Leo and Michael,” he said, expecting the ’20s trend to continue. Downing also said the Surrealist influence comes through in ready-to-wear graphics: “When we were in New York for Diane Von Furstenberg’s show – and Diane always sort of uses hearts and lips as her logos – but she really kind of amplified the whole idea of that kind of Surrealism that Schiaparelli was really known for.” Costume Institute curator in charge Harold Koda has said that juxtaposing the designers’ collections opens up the dialogue on “how the past enlightens the present and how the present enlivens the past.” Downing was in Milan at the launch party for the exhibit, thrown by Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, who is serving as the May 7 exhibit gala’s co-chair along with Miuccia Prada and actress Carey Mulligan. “We were all there and Harold Koda spoke,” Downing said, “and it’s interesting that he makes that commentary, because I always say that we love a nod to the past as we redefine the future, because we are very
Miuccia Prada, spring/summer 2011. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by © David Sims.
obsessed with nostalgia in fashion at this time and place. We are always influenced by something from the past.”
Schiaparelli’ s partnership with Dalí and Jean Cocteau and Prada’s ongoing Fondazione Prada, which exhibits artists’ works, exemplify the symbiosis that can occur between art and fashion and that The Met hopes translates into mass appeal. Who knows if Schiaparelli and Prada, with their equally strong personalities, would have hit it off had they met, despite their similarities. But co-curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton clearly want to have fun with the setup of their presentation. The exhibit is modeled after “Impossible Interviews,” a 1930s Vanity Fair feature by artist Miguel Covarrubias, in which he staged fake conversations between famous figures of the day like Sigmund Freud and Jean Harlow. Interspersed with video installations, the Special Exhibition Galleries will display about 80 designs – Schiaparelli’s from the late ’20s to the early ’50s and Prada’s from the late ’80s to the present. “You know we saw so many Alexander McQueen references begin to bubble
up from other designers consciously and subconsciously from the exhibit that took place last year,” Downing pointed out in anticipation. “So as we go into the entire cycle of ‘Impossible Conversations,’ we’re going to see a lot of, not only Prada inspirations – and Miuccia is really what I feel, one of the three most inspirational designers in the world – and if people consciously pay attention or if it’s just out there, she’s always pushing the boundaries so we’ll see a lot of that influence. And we’re going to see a lot of Schiaparelli influences as well…. What I think makes designers really brilliant is when they can quietly reference the past and take something that’s really amazing from the moment but not recreate it like a costume…. “And it’s coming at a really good time. Be it movies, be it art, be it a fashion exhibit, people are always looking for ideas and it’s interesting putting the two of them together since they were both very influential in their time.” “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” runs from May 10 to Aug. 19 in the Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. For more information, visit metmuseum.org. n
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“HORSES: IF GOD MADE ANYTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL, HE KEPT IT FOR HIMSELF.” — Author Unknown
A subject unbridled Story and photograph by David S. Bravo
here are two fantastic things about being a photographer. The first is the opportunity to stretch my own personal universe by seeing things for the first time. Up close and personal. Like childbirth. Or getting closer to a beehive than any human ever should. The other occupational gift is that I often see things I’ve seen before – only differently. Both were at play in shooting this month’s issue, with its focus on everything equine. 72
From Mr. Ed and the Lone Ranger to Clint Eastwood – I’m dating myself here, I realize – I’ve not only loved looking at horses, but loved their ability to seem aloof while their gentle eyes speak of an almost human understanding. Simultaneously touchable and untouchable. A horse is a horse, yes, but also more than a horse. How much higher did John Wayne tower when perched upon his horse? To be sure, the horse has been a defining accessory to cowboys and soldiers, ranchers, jockeys and musketeers. But it
has also been an animal of tremendous industry and purpose. This comes to me often when I photograph historic homes and take note of the small cement post out front. At one time, 100 years before we considered whether we needed a car with a third row and backseat DVDs, we rode a horse down the Post Road to get a few items at the store. Fortunately for horses, at least those I shot in this issue, their purpose has been restored to that which nature intended – muscled majesty free to run or to roam.
Throughout Litchfield County and upstate New York, we captured horses moseying through meadows, cherished by their owners in five-star stables, fed well, ridden often, brushed gently and, above all, free. I have seen horses before – and even mounted a couple with no small amount of indignity. The gift here was to see horses again, through the eyes of the owners who love them, stripped of popular culture and history. A horse is, after all, a horse. Of course, of course. n
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1001 Arabian (horse) nights By Cappy Devlin
s a child, I loved horse shows. We went almost every year to the horse show at Madison Square Garden. In the ’80s, I traveled to Morocco – land of Arabian horses – venturing throughout the country, but especially the imperial cities of Casablanca, Rabat, Fez and Marrakech. The second oldest of the imperial cities, Marrakech is also called the “Pearl of the South.” Coming across the High Atlas mountains, you see this walled, rose-colored jewel. Among the fine monuments you’ll want to visit are the Koutoubia Mosque, the Saadian Tombs, the Bahia Palace, the Jewish Quarter and the Menara Gardens and Pavilion. Everyone from Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt to The Beatles has enjoyed the mystique of Marrakech, which is bound up in its teeming color and changeability. You can see that in one of the most famous squares in the world, the Djemaa-el-Fna market, which is noisy, smelly, crowded,
fabulous and fun. The Medina – the way to the Atlas Mountains. old, walled part of the city – was once On my last evening in Marrakech, a place where nothing had changed for my hosts introduced me to a colorful hundreds of years. Now, mopeds fight cultural show called “Fantasia.” Never donkeys for right of way in the narrow will I forget sitting on cushions in exalleyways filled with shops featuring an otic Berber tents under the desert sky, array of foods, spices, carpets, jewelry, eating a huge banquet of traditional shoes and just about everything else. Moroccan foods and being entertained In the evening, hundreds of stalls are set up to offer On horseback, you can cheap and delicious fresh food. After dinner, you travel for a half-day or a can see folk singers, danc- full day to discover the ers, fortune-tellers, snake charming Berber villages charmers and fire-swal- around Marrakech, or you lowers all performing until can pass through olive dawn. groves on your way to the The adventurous horse- Atlas Mountains. man or woman, can discover the country on the back of an “Arab Barb,” an outstanding race by a chorus of boys and girls in tradicharacterized by the fiery spirit of the tional dress, accompanied by Arabian Arab steed and the excellent training of music. After the dinner, the show bean English Thoroughbred. On horse- gan with belly dancers, jugglers and back, you can travel for a half-day or a even a sultan flying overhead on a carfull day to discover the charming Ber- pet. ber villages around Marrakech, or you I, however, was eagerly awaiting can pass through olive groves on your the thunderous hoofs of the Arabian
horses; their riders carrying red flags and shooting rifles into the sky. That performance is very difficult, because it depends on the synchronization of the horses in one long chorus line. When the horsemen fire their guns, it sounds as if it is a single shot. “Fantasia” was originally a war ceremony that consisted of the best riders of the various tribes. The performance is inspired from historical attacks by Berbers and desert knights. Now “Fantasia” is a cultural piece and a form of martial art that you can enjoy every evening, along with that Moroccan feast. The show is also part of one of the most famous festivals in Marrakech, the Popular Arts Festival in July when thousands of horsemen come together. “Fantasia” is a little touristy, but I’m sure you will never forget this experience. Where else can you dream of 1001 Arabian nights? Visit Cappy’s Travel at 195 N. Bedford Road, Mount Kisco, call (914) 241-0383 or email Cappy@travelby-net.com. n
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The vineyard at North Fork Baiting Hollow Farm
tails from the vineyard By Geoff Kalish, MD
inemaking and horse rescue, two seemingly divergent pursuits, merge rather seamlessly at Long Island’s North Fork Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard. Settled in 1961 by Sam and Rhoda Rubin, the 17-acre property did not begin yielding wine until 2002, with the horse-rescue endeavor following five years later. The facility produces about 5,000 cases of wine annually and provides shelter for 16 horses. With operations overseen by Sam and Rhoda’s son Richard, assisted by two of his sisters, Sharon Levine and Paula Geonie, the property offers visitors a range of activities, from wine-tasting to guided tours to pony rides for children and even weekend jazz concerts. “While he was born in Brooklyn, my dad has been a naturalist for most of his life with a commitment to growing produce organically. And now in his 80s, he continues to spend time in the fields, working the land,” Richard says. “For the grapes grown on our property, we use only natural fertilizer, most of which is produced by the horses. Importantly, we use no herbicides and a very minimal amount of sulfur dioxide. And while we don’t grow all the grapes that go into our wine, for our products we purchase the best fruit available, grown as organically as possible.” The vineyard produces a dozen wines – four whites, five reds and three rosés, with a wine in each category named after a horse rescued by the facility. A substantial portion of the profit from sales goes to maintain and further the horse-rescue endeavors. Based on a recent sampling 78
of three of these, the quality of the final product is well above average – and they pair particularly well with a wide range of fare. The horse-rescue mission began in 2007 when Sharon received a phone call from someone explaining that there was a
descendants of Man o’ War and Secretariat. Horses are given shelter in newly constructed paddocks, land to graze on and lots of love, with the goal to provide a home for them outside the farm, so that room can be made for more rescues. Although the facility is open during the
2010 Angel Chardonnay ($24) Dedicated to the Thoroughbred Angel, the first horse rescued by the Rubins, this wine shows a pale yellow color, a bouquet and taste of apples, pears and toasty oak and a smooth, long lasting finish. Pair it with sea fare, particularly shrimp and lobster, and baked or grilled chicken. 2010 Savannah Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon ($20) Named for the Thoroughbred Savannah – rescued in October 2009, along with her “soul-sister” Sienna from a New Jersey “kill pen” – this wine shows a deep salmon color, a bouquet and taste of ripe strawberries with undertones of vanilla and a pleasant, slightly sweet finish. Perfect as an aperitif and to match with a range of hors d’oeuvres from smoked salmon to duck pâté.
1-year-old filly, Angel, on a tractor-trailer heading for a slaughterhouse. While her owners just couldn’t maintain her anymore, she “didn’t deserve to die.” Since the Rubins had kept some horses on their property, Sharon made the decision to rescue this animal and two others on the truck – a move that has received the overwhelming support of the whole family. “We thought only old, debilitated horses went to the slaughterhouse. But young abandoned horses are not uncommonly slaughtered for food that is often shipped to Canada or Mexico,” Richard says. The 16 horses at the facility include
week for most of the year, the best time to visit is on Saturdays and Sundays when members of the Rubin family are generally available to guide tours and answer questions. The farm is at 2114 Sound Ave., Calverton, N.Y. – less than a twohour car ride from most Westchester and Fairfield County locales. And in addition to buying the facility’s wine, those wanting to assist the horse-rescue effort should contact their congressional representatives and implore them to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act – to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
2007 Mirage ($20) This deep purple blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is named for the rescued Arabian princess, Mirage. It exhibits a very fruity bouquet and taste of ripe plums and blackberries with hints of apricots for a smooth, lingering finish. Mate it with beef, lamb or blue-veined cheeses. Prices listed are typical retail. While the wines are not available in Westchester and Fairfield counties – except by special order – you can buy them online (baitinghollowfarmvineyard.com), at more than 90 restaurants and shops in Long Island and in Manhattan at 67 Wine & Spirits and Gotham Wine & Spirits. n
Lake Front Retreat, Pound Ridge, NY This 5 Br, 4.1 Bth sleek and sophisticated contemporary with lake views is a celebration of light, creating the ultimate country retreat. Designed by architects Ogawa/Depardon and renovated in 2005. The home’s 5,400 sq. ft. has soaring ceilings, lustrous woods, marble, stone and three fireplaces adding architectural richness to this unique property. Heated pool, all weather tennis court, 766 sq. ft. deck, dock & a private lake provides a special private playground. MLS#3211358 Price: $2,900,000
Little Tree Farm, North Salem, NY
Perfection Horse Farm with exquisitely restored C1840 Federal home. Cobblestone Courtyard. Metal Roof. Kitchen with custom Jade Range,Traulsen Fridge and poured concrete counters.Heated Sun Porch off master bedroom. Porches with River views. Waterworks bathrooms. State of the art Barn w/3 Stalls. Tack Room. Wash Stall. Large Loft/Powder Room. 2nd Barn has Equip. storage & Groom’s or Guest Apt.above. Generator. Large Grass Paddocks.70’x 200’ Sand Ring. On scenic dirt road with direct access to riding trails. MLS#3128500 Price:$2,300,000
Haines Park, Bedford Hills, NY
Fabulous home built w/integrity.Down a long, drive,set on 4 professional landscaped acres, is this impressive 9,800 sq.ft, 5 BR, 6.1Bath stone/shingle home. Exceptional detailing,custom millwork, 3 fireplaces, limestone floors, a mahogany bar, & stylish decoration, highlight the home’s sun filled interiors. The private grounds are a blend of lush lawns, specimen plantings, gardens, & mature trees. Entertaining venues include a wrap around deck, salt water pool, poolhouse w/kitchen & bath. MLS# 3121402 Price: $2,790,000
Honey Hollow, Cross River, NY
Sited on 34 bucolic acres of open fields, lush woodlands and within walking distance of the 4700 acre Pound Ridge reservation is this classic 6 bedroom, 6 1/2 baths colonial. This traditional home melds relaxed country living with generously proportioned rooms for elegant entertaining. The property includes a strategically situated pool, an artfully planted terrace, tennis court. This home offers a remarkable lifestyle in a picturesque setting! Additional land available! MLS# 3209185 Price: $3,495,000
Stone Hill, Katonah, NY
Gated 30 Acre French Normandy abuts Bedford Audobon open space.Less than 1 hour from NYC, this 6 bdrm,8.1 custom built home with huge Chef’s kitchen and Butler’s Pantry has every amenity included.Dramatic great rm. with 19 ft. stone frpl.Indoor gymnasium with radiant flrs -plumbing for indoor pool.Stunning 28X60 htd. pool w/spa,rock outcroppings and stone waterfall. 2,000 sf Pool/Guest House, 5 Car Garage & parking for 100 cars.Three golf holes with a 7 cup putting green. CAT5 wiring. MLS# 3201330 Price:$6,495,000
Swan’s Way, North Salem, NY
Beautifully appointed home that will make you smile.Surprise at every turn. Located on lovely winding country road amidst horse farms and Reservoir. Private and serene yet minutes to train & Highway.Dynamic Living Room with 3 seating areas.Kitchen/Dining Room opens to Flagstone Terrace. Master Suite with large office separate from main rooms.8.9 acres.Pond.2 Car Garage. Greenhouse with attached garden. Room for pool. Excellent condition! MLS#3209703 Price$: $1,675,000
Picking the right horse mate By Sarah Hodgson
A classic horse-and-hound work at Handwright Gallery & Framing in New Canaan.
Companion animals are well known for alleviating loneliness and lifting depression in people, but humans aren’t the only species that suffers from these common maladies. Like people, horses and dogs are social creatures that long for the emotional ties and daily interactions of a soul mate. Horses in particular pine when left alone. Despite their size, they are preyed-upon animals and feel much safer in groups. Throughout our country’s transformation, the horse has served a central role. Horses have been used in agriculture, transportation and war. Native Americans bred horses and referred to them as “sky dogs,” because they exhibited traits similar to canines, including patience and loyalty. It’s interesting that the cultural development of dog breeds has long shadowed that of the horse. Once primarily useful as hunting companions, dog breeds evolved to guard livestock from predators, gather herds and flocks and quell the rodent population attracted to stocks of grain. Fast forward to today. The workhorse has been sidelined, replaced by machinery and technology. Suburban horse people, while devoted and passionate about the needs of their animals, are restricted from owning herds by both space and expense. Suburban zoning laws also 80
restrict ownership, generally limiting horse lovers to one animal for every two acres. The result? Not so good if you’re a horse. Long hours of isolation, limited human contact and little or no companionship can lead to a host of anxiety-related behaviors, including chewing wood, cribbing (when a horse pulls on loose boards), kicking walls and circling. Is there a solution? Fortunately, yes. It seems that horses are adaptable and accepting. The need to socialize is so strong that a horse will, when paired with an equally sociable and interactive companion, be satisfied with a friend of another species. It is important to note that both the temperament of the horse and its companion need to be considered. Sociable animals seek company for many reasons, not the least of which is protection and leadership. A horse with a gentle disposition will seek camaraderie and direction, while a strong, assertive animal will demand an equally authoritative presence to guide him or a yielding disposition to its dominant one. When choosing a horse’s companion, select one that is freshly weaned and of a passive, yielding nature that will – in the absence of people and others of its type – seek the company of a horse. Here are three species to consider: Dogs – While dogs can make wonderful companions for horses, the dog’s breed and disposition must be care-
fully chosen. Herding breeds, bred for farm life, are often too intent on their purpose to relate. Terriers are more focused on what’s below ground than above. Guarding breeds are intent on surveying the territory. Sporting breeds, whether pure or mixed, are often best suited for companionship. Select a young, passive and emotionally reliant puppy that will seek out the horse in the absence of other dogs and people. Cats – Interestingly, the cats that make the best companions for horses are often not the best mousers. When choosing a mouser, look for a determined nature that even at seven weeks old focuses on a feather over human affection. In selecting a kitten as a social companion, seek more relaxed qualities – joy in human handling, purring when held. These highlight a follower’s disposition that relies on interaction to thrive. Goats – Nothing is quite so entertaining as the friendship that often develops between a horse and a goat. Given the choice, either species would prefer its own, though when raised together they often form a strong bond. Great escape artists and tremendous eaters, goats need to be sequestered during meal times and require a carefully constructed pen to keep them secure. Goats are also known to eat a horse’s tail down to the nub, so buyer beware! n
Safety first when it comes to implants By Michael Rosenberg, MD
ith the Federal Drug Administration’s recent approval of Sientra – a new silicone-gel breast implant marketed in the United States by the Silimed Corp. – I thought it would be a good time to review the current status of silicone implants and their safety profile. The modern breast implant was first introduced in the early 1960s, having been grandfathered in by the FDA. It wasn’t until the early ’90s that the safety of implants was even questioned. Following a widely publicized discussion of the relationship between silicone implants and autoimmune problems, the FDA imposed a moratorium on the use of silicone-gel implants for cosmetic augmentation until clinical trials could be done. It’s interesting that the FDA only stopped the use of implants for cosmetic augmentation. It continued to allow their use for breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
A WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE PRODUCTION
The clear impression was that the implants were in fact safe to use (since they were allowed for patients with cancer), but that more evidence to prove that claim needed to be gathered, and controlling the use of implants would provide added impetus to gather the evidence. Also, the use of gel implants was never halted outside the United States and they continued to be commonly used for augmentation in Europe throughout the ’90s and early 2000s. Breast implants consist of a soft silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel or saline, which is firmer and has a less natural feel than silicone gel. After extensive studies over 12 years, the FDA approved two silicone-gel implants for use in cosmetic augmentation in 2006. Since then, many women have chosen silicone-gel implants for their augmentation. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics, there were 296,203 breast augmentation
procedures and 93,083 breast reconstruction procedures with implants performed in the United States in 2010. Despite the widespread acceptance and use of these devices, the FDA continues to monitor their safety and plans to study more than 40,000 silicone-gel breast implant patients. Through the studies, most women reported high levels of satisfaction with their body image and the shape, feel and size of their implants. Answering the initial question that led to the moratorium a decade earlier, there is no apparent connection between connective tissue diseases and silicone-gel breast implants. Further, there is no evidence connecting implants with an increased risk of cancer, no effect on pregnancy or fertility and no problem with breastfeeding. Based on the totality of currently available evidence, the FDA believes that “silicone gel-filled breast implants have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness when use as labeled,” and that MRI
continues to be the most effective method of detecting silent (asymptomatic) rupture of silicone gel-filled breast implants. Nevertheless, you should be aware that there can be complications in the use of implants and that the longer the devices are implanted, the higher the chances of a complication, such as a tightening of the tissue around the implant. Rupture can occur, as can the need for the implant’s removal or replacement. Continued followup with both your surgeon and internist is mandatory after surgery and periodic MRIs to evaluate the integrity of the implant may also be recommended. Most important, when you go for your regular mammogram, be sure to let the technician know if you have implants, as there are special radiological techniques that can both protect the implant and enhance the quality of the study. Please send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. n
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horses and human hormones By Erika Schwartz, MD
Last month we took a bird’seye view of hormones. This month, let’s come in a bit closer and look at why human hormones are made from pregnant mares’ urine and what happens to the horses that are the “donors” of this urine. The story begins in the late 1880s when dried cow’s ovaries made their entrance on the stage of hormone replacement. Researchers have always used animal models to try out drugs in the hopes of figuring out treatments for human diseases – human experimentation being illegal and animal rights only now coming into its own. At the time, the biggest problem in making the drug was discovering which animal most closely resembled humans. Having first settled on cows, researchers turned the abundantly available dried ovaries into a fine powder and then gave the mixture to women in the hopes of eliminating the symptoms of menopause,
with no knowledge or long view toward preventing diseases of aging like hypertension and other heart-related problems, osteoporosis or cancer. Keep in mind that in the late 19th century no one even heard of most of these diseases. The average life expectancy for women fell short of 40, so most women barely made it to menopause if at all. The drug made from the cow’s ovaries, Ovariin, barely eliminated the symptoms and tasted awful to boot. Since science is never idle, the search for a better drug never ends. By 1930, Bert Collip, the scientist who discovered insulin, isolated estrogen from the urine of pregnant Canadian women with amazing results. Of course, it’s only common sense that we should be using humans to obtain the hormones women need. Still, this proved to be a costly, limited practice. So science turned its attention to the less than cooperative stallion, as we dis-
cussed last month, and then to the more docile pregnant mare. Here science found the perfect mix of hormones in the urine along with the ease in capturing the urine that only the gracefully obedient pregnant mare could offer and allow. Thus a billion-dollar industry was born from pregnant mares’ urine, which became the sole source of the most successful and widely prescribed drug in the history of women – Premarin. As the name says, Pre(gnant)mar(eur)in(e) was first manufactured in 1942, thanks to the efforts of Ayerst laboratories and scientist Adolph Butenandt, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery. Even though Premarin turned out to be a problem for many women, it is still alive and well on the market, being made by Pfizer and prescribed by gynecologists and internists across the country. The debate over the drug still continues, while the debate over hormones is
waning, since many of us now recognize that we all do a lot better when we replenish them. However, the part that no one discusses is what happens to the mares that are kept pregnant in pens for years to donate their urine for the manufacture of Premarin and the foals that are sacrificed. These mares are kept dehydrated to provide concentrated urine and are euthanized when no longer useful – all in the service of a questionable drug. It is my hope that education about the benefits and safety of bioidentical hormones, which are made from soy and yam oils, will lead to the demise of Premarin, which is proven to be dangerous to women, and eliminate the mistreatment of the Premarin mares. It certainly would be more human of us to do so. For more information, please email Dr. Erika at Erika@drerika.com. n
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hard core By Sam Kopf
yan Lochte – part of the stable of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls who’ll be sporting red, white and blue as well as the Polo logo as Ralph Lauren brand ambassadors for the London games – is like a racehorse. He’s lean, strong and fast, with a nose, eye and heart for the finish line. While Ryan’s muscular legs and ripped upper body are part of what make him stand out in the field, the muscles beneath his lower torso – those that make up the often buzzed-about core – are the true sources of his Olympian horsepower. The core is not just another word for abs. While this muscle group supports the abdomen, it also embraces the lower and mid-back, and by extension, the hips, shoulders and neck. The core is, Ryan says, the most important
thing in swimming. Beyond slimming your waist, working your core will prevent or alleviate back pain, allow you to work every other body part more efficiently and give you an edge in whatever activity you love to do. Just remember to begin all core exercises by drawing your navel in toward your spine. Stability Ball Passes: 1) Lie flat on your back, arms overhead and legs extended. Hold the ball between your hands. 2) Picking head and shoulder blades off the floor, raise arms toward the ceiling. At the same time, lift legs off of the floor, keeping them as straight as possible. 3) As feet and hands come together, pass the stability ball from hands to feet. Holding the ball between
feet, lower feet toward the floor and arms, shoulder blades and head back to the mat. 4) Repeat the motion, this time passing ball from feet to hands. Superman: 1) Lie on your stomach with arms extended overhead, biceps by ears. Keep legs stretched straight behind you, feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. 2) Looking down at the floor, in one motion, with thumbs facing the ceiling, raise arms and legs off of the ground. Chest and chin should come off of the ground, but eyes should remain looking down. 3) Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower to complete one rep.
worthy HORSE CAMPS AND RIDING LESSONS
LION HILL FARM 1020 Sport Hill Road Easton, Conn. 06612 (203) 268-0089 lionhillfarm.com
ARCADIA FARM INC. 1300 Baptist Church Road Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 10598 MEAD FARM 107 June Road (914) 455 2477 Stamford, Conn. 06903 arcadiafarminc.com (203) 322-4984 meadfarm.com BOULDER BROOK EQUESTRIAN CENTER NEW CANAAN 291 Mamaroneck Road MOUNTED TROOP Scarsdale, N.Y. 10583 22 Carter St. (914) 725-3912 boulderbrookequestrian.com New Canaan, Conn. 06840 (203) 966-0634 newcanaanmountedtroop.org BRUSHY HILL FARM INC. OLD SALEM FARM P. O. Box 235 190 June Road Southbury, Conn. 06488 North Salem, N.Y. 10560 (203) 262-6466 (914) 669-5610 brushyhillfarm.com oldsalemfarm.net CHICORY RIDGEFIELD MEADOW FARM EQUESTRIAN CENTER 76 Jack Road Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. 10567 258 North St. Ridgefield, Conn. 06877 (914) 737-7814 (203) 438-7433 chicorymeadowfarm.com ridgefieldequestriancenter.com COUNTRY LANE FARM SILVER LINING 39 John St. STABLES Greenwich, Conn. 06831 38 Carmen Lane (203) 629-4723 Monroe, Conn. 06468 countrylanefarm.com (203) 445-6318 silverliningstablesct.com FOX HILL FARMS 204 Old Sleepy Hollow Road SOUTH HORSE STAPleasantville, N.Y. 10570 BLES (914) 769-9813 45 Crest Drive Foxhillfarms.com Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 10598 (914) 556-6226 GETNER BARN southorsestables.com 22 Richard Ave. Norwalk, Conn. 06854 STARBUCK (203) 524-3284 EQUESTRIAN getnerbarn.com 20 Mopus Bridge Road Ridgefield, Conn. 06877 HERITAGE FARM (203) 438-7749 19 Lalli Drive starbuckequestrian.com Katonah, N.Y. 10536 (914) 232-2122 STONY heritagefarm.com MEADOWS FARM 468 Ridgebury Road LARKSPUR FARM Ridgefield, Conn. 06877 93 Silver Spring Road (203) 431-8586 Wilton, Conn. 06897 stonymeadowsct.com (203) 762-2995 larkspur-farm.com
STRATFORD STABLES 120 Cottage Ave. Purchase, N.Y. 10577 (914) 939-9294 stratfordstables.net SUMMIT FARM 24 Bloomer Road South Salem, N.Y. 10560 (914) 669-9622 summitfarmny.com SUNSET HILL FARM 160 Sunset Hill Farm Redding, Conn. 06896 (203) 938-8709 sunsethillfarmct.com TWIN LAKES FARM 960 California Road P.O. Box 99 Bronxville, N.Y. 10708 (914) 961-2192 twinlakesfarm.com VALLEY POND FARM 815 E. Branch Road Patterson, N.Y. 12563 (914) 806-0102 valleypondfarm.com WHIMSY BROOK FARM LTD. 29 Giles Hill Road Redding, Conn. 06875 (203) 938-3760 whimsybrookfarm.com
EQUESTRIAN VACATIONS THE ALISAL 1054 Alisal Road Solvang, Calif. 93463 (805) 688-6411 alisal.com BARNSLEY GARDENS RESORT 597 Barnsley Gardens Road Adairsville, Ga. 30103 (877) 773-2447 barnsleyresort.com BOYNE HIGHLANDS RESORT 600 Highland Drive Harbor Springs, Mich. 49740 (800) 462-6963 boyne.com
BOYNE MOUNTAIN RESORT 1 Boyne Mountain Road Boyne Falls, Mich. 49713 (231) 549-6000 boyne.com
THE RESORT AT GLADE SPRINGS 255 Resort Drive Daniels W.Va. 25832 (866) 562-8054 gladesprings.com
EAGLE ROCK RESORT 1 Country Club Drive Hazle Township, Pa. 18202 (888) 384-6660 eaglerockresort.com
SEA ISLAND 100 Cloister Drive Sea Island, Ga. 31561 (800) Sea Island (732475266) seaisland.com
EQUITOURS – WORLDWIDE HORSEBACK RIDING ADVENTURES P.O. Box 807 Dubois, Wyo. 82513 (800) 545-0019 Ridingtours.com GRAND GENEVA RESORT & SPA 7036 Grand Geneva Way Lake Geneva, Wis. 53147 (800) 558-3417 grandgeneva.com THE HOMESTEAD 7696 Sam Snead Highway Hot Springs, Va. 24445 (540) 839-1766 thehomestead.com/contact-us KAANAPALI BEACH HOTEL 2525 Kaanapali Parkway Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761 (800) 262-8450 kbhmaui.com MARTHA’S VINEYARD HOTELS: HARBOR VIEW HOTEL & RESORT 31 N. Water St. Edgartown, Mass. 02539 (800) 225-6005 harbor-view.com MOUNTAIN TOP INN & RESORT 195 Mountain Top Road Chittenden, Vt. 05737 (802) 483-2311 Mountaintopinn.com
SHERATON WILD HORSE PASS RESORT & SPA 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd. Chandler, Ariz. 85226 (800) 325-3535 wildhorsepassresort.com SUNRIVER RESORT 17600 Center Drive Sunriver, Ore. 97707 (800) 801-8765 sunriver-resort.com TANQUE VERDE RANCH 14301 E. Speedway Tucson, Ariz. 85748 (800) 234-3833 tanqueverderanch.com
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when&where THROUGH MAY 12 ‘TALLEY’S FOLLY’
The Pajama Program’s annual dinner benefit features an auction and raffle, jewelry, fashion, travel, arts and entertainment, 6 p.m., Capitale, 130 Bowery, Manhattan. $250. (212) 716-9757, pajamaprogram.org.
Hudson Stage Company presents the romantic comedy by Lanford Wilson, show times vary; Woodward Hall Theatre, Pace University, 235 Elm Road, Briarcliff Manor. $35; $30 students and seniors. (914) 271-2811, hudsonstage.com.
THURSDAY MAY 10 CAUSE-WORTHY RECEPTION
TUESDAY MAY 1 THROUGH SUNDAY JULY 29 ‘ANTICO: THE GOLDEN AGE OF RENAISSANCE BRONZES’
A fundraising reception to benefit cancer services at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, 6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. dinner, fashion show and silent auction, with guest speaker Jené Luciani, national fashion correspondent and author; Knollwood Country Club, 200 Knollwood Road, Elmsford. $200. (914) 9644444, riversidehealth.org.
An exhibit that showcases 39 works by artist Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, known as Antico, including medals, statuettes, life-size busts and reliefs, gallery hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays; The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70 St., Manhattan. $18; $15 seniors, $10 students, children under age 10 not admitted. (212) 288-0700, frick.org.
THURSDAY MAY 3 ‘A NOVEL AFFAIR’
A variety of wines, jazz by Cookie Thomas and his band, live and silent auctions and a giving tree to benefit The Ferguson Library, 6 to 9 p.m.; The Ferguson library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford. $125. (203) 351-8205, fergusonlibrary.org.
FRIDAY MAY 4 PARTY AT THE PIER
The Institute of Applied Human Dynamics Inc. hosts its 45th annual dinner dance at The Lighthouse – Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, Manhattan, 6 p.m. cocktails and silent auction, 7 p.m. dinner. Call for ticket price. (914) 220-4300, iahdny.org.
‘OASIS OF HOPE’
SATURDAY MAY 5 CABARET IN THE MUSIC ROOM
Broadway actress, singer and recording artist Liz Callaway headlines the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts’ spring benefit, with a dessert and champagne reception to follow the concert, 8:30 p.m.; Rosen House, Music Room, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah. $200, $125, $75. (914) 232-5035, caramoor.org.
SPRING BENEFIT GALA
‘PAINT IT BLACK’
FRIDAY MAY 11 ‘IN THE COMPANY OF WOMEN’
Silvermine Art Center’s 90th anniversary gala benefit includes cocktails, dinner, a live auction and reggae band. Call for ticket information. (203) 966-9700, ext. 22, silvermineart.org.
WEDNESDAY MAY 9 14TH ANNUAL ‘AN EVENING OF VICTORIAN ELEGANCE’
Visiting Nurse Services in Westchester & Putnam fundraiser features a cocktail reception on the terrace, dinner and dessert and a silent auction, 5 to 8 p.m.; Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center, 49 E. Sunnyside Lane, Tarrytown. $250. (914) 682-1480, ext. 649, vns.org.
YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester fourth annual benefit luncheon featuring Sonia Manzano, an award-winning writer, author, actress and activist, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Hilton Rye Town, 699 Westchester Ave., Rye Brook. $150. (914) 949-6227, ext. 147, email@example.com.
Cabrini of Westchester hosts its celebration dinner, 6 p.m. cocktail reception, 7:30 p.m. dinner, silent auction and entertainment; Tappan Hill Mansion, 81 Highland Ave., Tarrytown. $400. (914) 6936800, ext. 502.
‘MUZOGRAPHY: MUSIC IN MOTION’
‘A SPIRITED EXPERIENCE’
SATURDAY MAY 12 ‘NIGHT OF THE RISING DRAGON’
An interactive wine and spirit trending discussion with industry experts and a sampling of wines and spirits from the local area, 6 to 9 p.m.; Darien Community Association Meadowlands, 274 Middlesex Road, Darien. $75; $55 Meeting Professionals International members. Mpiwc.org.
Grace Church Community Center hosts a cocktail reception with a silent auction, entertainment and WCBS-TV meteorologist Elise Finch as emcee, 6 to 9 p.m.; Ritz-Carlton Westchester, 3 Renaissance Square, White Plains. $150. (914) 949-3098, gracecommunitycenter.org.
An art opening showcasing photographs by Philip Jensen-Carter as well as a chance to meet the artist, 7 to 9 p.m.; The Studio Around the Corner, Old Town Hall, 67 Main St., Brewster. (914) 755-2525.
A spring benefit for the Katonah Museum of Art features cocktails in the Sculpture Garden, dinner catered by Abigail Kirsch and dancing, 6:30 p.m.; Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. $350 to $1,000. (914) 232-9555, ext. 0, katonahmuseum.org.
MONDAY MAY 21 ‘19TH ANNUAL BY-PASS-OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT’
A benefit for the American Heart Association includes a round-robin doubles event with a complimentary breakfast and lunch, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Armonk Tennis Club, 546 Bedford Road, Route 22, Armonk. Minimum player sponsor donation $100. (914) 666-9288, bypassop@bestweb. net.
‘BOOKS & COOKS MYSTERY EDITION’
Meet local authors and purchase their books while sampling food prepared by chefs from local restaurants at a fundraiser for the Greenburgh Public Library Foundation, 6 to 9 p.m.; Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford. $135. (914) 747-0519, greenburghlibraryfoundation.org.
TUESDAY MAY 22 CELEBRATING JCC
The JCC of Mid-Westchester’s annual gala features entertainment by Susie Essman, cocktails, a buffet dinner, raffle, silent auction and dancing, 7 p.m.; Old Oaks Country Club, 3100 Purchase St., Purchase. Tickets start at $250. (914) 472-3300, ext. 302, jccmw.org.
FRIDAY MAY 25 THROUGH MONDAY MAY 28 ART ABOARD!
The International Fine Art Expositions host a five-day spree of fine art, music, food and festivities aboard the SeaFair, a 228-foot mega-yacht, fair hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday; Delamar Greenwich Harbor, 500 Steamboat Road, Greenwich. Expoships.com.
Branford Marsalis. Photograph by Palma Kolansky.
SATURDAY JUNE 2 ANNIVERSARY LUNCHEON
SATURDAY MAY 19 THROUGH SUNDAY MAY 20 A fundraiser for the Greyston Foundation, honorMARSALIS TAKES THE STAGE ing Carl Petrillo, 6:30 p.m.; X20 Xaviar’s on the Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford
The African American Men of Westchester’s 25th anniversary celebration features cocktails and entertainment by Shining Stars Steel Orchestra, followed by a lunch and program with entertainment by Descarga Latina and DJ Larry Jones, noon to 5 p.m.; Glen Island Harbour Club, 1 Glen Island Park, New Rochelle. $125. Aamw.com.
‘SING FOR SCHOLARSHIPS’
MONDAY JUNE 4 13TH ANNUAL ‘GRAYMOOR GOLF CLASSIC’
WEDNESDAY MAY 16 GREYSTON BENEFIT
Hudson, 71 Water Grant St., Yonkers. $350; $300 first-time supporter. (914) 376-3900, ext. 241, greyston.org.
Christine Andreas, a Tony-nominated Broadway star, performs her cabaret act at a fundraiser for Westchester Community College, 6:30 p.m. cocktail party; 7 p.m. dinner and performance; Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill, 81 Highland Ave., Tarrytown. $300. (914) 606-6558.
Marsalis brings the Westchester Philharmonic’s 2011-12 season to a close with a jazz concert, 8 p.m. May 19. 3 p.m. May 20; The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase. $30 to $97. (914) 682-3707, ext. 10, westchesterphil.org.
SUNDAY MAY 20 New Canaan Exchange Club Wine Tasting
The Exchange Club of New Canaan, in conjunction with the Silvermine Arts Center, holds its annual fundraiser to benefit children’s causes. $50, at the door $40. Contact@newcanaanexchangeclub.com.
A golf benefit for the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement; 9 a.m. registration/breakfast and putting contest, 11 a.m. shotgun start, 4 to 5 p.m. reception, 5 p.m. dinner, buffet, prizes and awards; Mount Kisco Country Club, 10 Taylor Road, Mount Kisco. (845) 424-2137, atonementfriars. org/golfclassic.
De La Torre
wit wonders: Do you identify with Secretariat or Seabiscuit? “With the Kentucky Derby upon us, I’m inspired by Seabiscuit, the champion racehorse who became a symbol of ‘hopes and dreams’ by overcoming obstacles….My secret passion was interior design, so at age 30, I left my booming (marketing) career behind me, moved to a different continent, went back to school and launched Olga Adler Interiors. Every day, my goal is to help my clients create home designs that reflect their own innermost hopes and dreams.” – Olga Adler President, Olga Adler Interiors, Ridgefield resident “When it comes to PR work for clients, I identify with both horses. Sometimes I’m a Secretariat, developing and launching new programs that succeed from the start. But I’m also a Seabiscuit, taking on difficult assignments requiring me to work my way through challenge after challenge until victory is ours.” – Jeff Bogart Principal, Bogart Communications, Hastings-on-Hudson resident “Definitely a (Secretariat). Having been in the insurance industry when woman were scant, I had to make my own way through lots of obstacles. Competing with the old boys’ club was really the big challenge. Having a wonderful family and other women business owners rooting for me helped keep me on track….Fifteen years into my career, I partnered with a wonderful woman, Candace Cohen, and formed MCM Agency Inc. She challenged me to learn about medical malpractice insurance. Our newest addition is…insurance counseling for seniors…. You have to be able to turn in all directions if you want to maintain your place in the forefront.” – Maxine Casalbore, LUTCF Maxx Agency in Carmel, Carmel resident “Definitely a Secretariat. I see myself as part of a whole through my association. We are always sought after for the latest trends in hair and beauty by students and the beauty professional.” – Jason De La Torre Events director for the New York Hair & Beauty Association based in Westchester, Scarsdale resident
“Ours is a family business and I’ve been in commercial real estate all my life. When your father makes you lunch growing up and takes the first bite out of your sandwich, he calls it ‘commission.’ So this makes me into a Seabiscuit, always trying to get my whole sandwich back.” – Kristin T. Geenty SIOR President, The Geenty Group, Branford, Hamden resident “As the proud owner of a rescued Thoroughbred mare who has given birth to two Secretariat grandsons, I would have to say Secretariat, who along with Man o’ War had the longest stride of any horse at 26 feet. A long stride is the result of good conformation and good mechanics, and the result is more efficient and effective movement for staying ahead. This is what I strive for – to stay one furlong in front of the news, what’s new in social media and what’s ahead in each client’s industry so that I can maximize (his or her) marketing efforts.” – Risa Hoag GMG Public Relations Inc., Nanuet resident “I have Seabiscuit written all over me. Whether we are talking business, athletics, bodybuilding or academics, I have never been the individual who was the most talented or smartest, nor was I blessed with superior genetics. In every area that I’ve excelled, it has been through sheer determination, a willingness to outwork those around me and learning to be resourceful. Today, I own a personal training studio, preside over a personal certification company, am a fitness author, a professional natural bodybuilder, and I just recently co-founded a natural bodybuilding organization. These achievements have not come easy but that only makes the victories that much sweeter.” – Michael Lipowski President, I.A.R.T./PURE PHYSIQUE in Yorktown, Yorktown resident “I guess I have always seen myself as an underdog like Seabiscuit. I enjoy being told that I could not achieve something and proving people wrong. It’s a satisfying feeling in my line of work when we can accomplish something for a client that seemed near impossible.” – Nick Magliato Senior catering manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Tarrytown, Croton-on-Hudson resident
“I identify myself with Seabiscuit. With a lot of hard work, determination and a dream to succeed, I can win any race.” – Renata Moraes Westchester beauty blogger, Simply Flawless Beauty, White Plains resident “The pace and complexity of business, society, markets and relationships can make many of us feel like a (Seabiscuit). Vision, passion and tenacity are traits that help me to front-run in my business life. But it is the feeling of being an underdog that drives me to continually grow, personally and professionally. Staying ahead of the curve is a daunting but exciting journey.” –Brian Panessa Owner, Hilltop Farms, Croton-on-Hudson resident “I’m much more like Secretariat. Twelve years ago, I took a chance opening one of the first yoga studios in Westchester. I wanted to educate and inspire our community to take a positive step toward being proactive with physical and emotional health. I brought in celebrity teachers and tapped into community events to bring yoga awareness to all people of all ages. I’m proud to say that we are still running ahead of the pack with an unbelievable staff of talented instructors who always offer their time and hearts to help others.” – Susan Rubin Director, Sage Yoga at The GYM, Armonk, Bedford resident “I identify more with Seabiscuit. The advantage of owning your own business is that you can respond quickly to changing conditions and move ahead of the competition when they might not expect it. I see openings, prepare appropriately and make my move.” – Melissa M. Thornton CEO, Limousine Service of Westchester L.L.C. in White Plains, Greenburgh resident
Compiled by Alissa Frey. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. 88
watch Liza with a Z
Superstar Liza Minnelli took the stage at The Stamford Center of the Artsâ€™ (SCA) annual gala, performing cabaret hits and new material to a well-heeled crowd of 1,200 guests. Following her show, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal presented Minnelli with the Arts Legacy Award. Connecticut residents Moira K. Lyons and Michael L. Widland were also honored with the Arts Ovation Award for their ongoing commitment to SCA. Photographs by Tim Coffey and ZoĂŤ Zellers All photographs are identified from left, unless otherwise stated.
Liza Minnelli received the Arts Legacy Award.
Tim Yergeau and Cathy Malloy
Pamela Lewanda; Sandy Goldstein, president of Stamford Downtown Special Services District; Lynn Dimenna; Tracie Wilson, executive vice president, NBC Universal; and Maureen Pavia, founder, Stamford Gives Back
Emmanuel (EJ) Couloucoundis, Emerging Young Artist Scholarship recipient
Gov. Dannel Malloy and Bruce Zellers
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Michael L. Widland and Moira K. Lyons.
Joan Popkin, Liza Minnelli and Gregory Popkin
View of the party.
watch Whatâ€™s up, docs?
Marlo Thomas, Phil Donohue and Drs. Max Gomez and Jay Adlersberg were among those on call for the seventh annual Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. National Physician of the Year Awards, held March 26 at The Pierre hotel in Manhattan. The awards recognized and honored five exemplary physicians, as well as the many thousands of other excellent physicians practicing in communities throughout the United States. Photographs by Patrick McMullan Dr. John and Diana Clarkson
Pingyi Lee Noto and Dr. Damon Noto
Dr. Jay Adlersberg, Dr. Sandra Gelbard and Dr. Stuart Orsher
Seymour Zager, Dr. Dianne Zager, Elaine and Dr. Andrew Bronin
Hans Wilhelm, Judy Henderson and Dr. Richard Edelson
John K. Castle, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas
Dr. Alec Patterson and Dr. Susan Mackinnon
Patrizia and Dr. Steve Salvatore
Dr. John J. and Ingrid Connolly
Dr. Albert Levy, Dorie Klissas and Dr. Theodore Diktaban
John S. Castle and Charles Rockefeller
Helping horses help people
Jeffrey and Diane Jennings
New York state Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli honoring Pegasus board President Sue McGraw. Photo by Office of Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli
Easy Kelsey, event chairperson Suzy Berg Bardwil and Betty Foulk
Alison Potter, Flavia Callari and Jim Kozera
Pegasus Therapeutic Riding in Brewster recently held its benefit dinner at Le Chateau in South Salem. The event featured cocktails, an auction, a five-course dinner and wine pairings. Proceeds benefited the organizationâ€™s Adopt-A-Horse program, which funds the care of its therapy horses. All photographs by Pegasus Therapeutic Riding unless otherwise indicated.
Chris Coyle, Patti Coyle, Carrie Gibbs and Pegasus Executive Director Todd Gibbs
Stan Prymas, Caroline Black, Bill Black and Barbara Prymas
Cynthia and Bernie Curry
Mario Biaggi Jr., Christopher Pope, Carol Biaggi, Gregory Brucato, Kerry Brucato, Shelly Pope, Frank Mara and Lynn Mara
Anita Keefe and Luke McCarthy
Anne and Bill Finnegan
Fabienne Le Roux and Erik Swain
watch Stacy knows fashion
Stacy Geisinger, the blogger behind stacyknows.com, and fashion designer David Meister recently teamed for a fashion presentation featuring Meister’s Spring 2012 collection and a brunch reception. Meister narrated the event, which was followed by a live Q&A led by Stacy herself. More than 65 women attended. Beth Sharkey, general manager of Neiman Marcus; David Meister and Stacy Geisinger
Gayle Morris and Lorena Livanos
Patti Friedland and Robin Feld
Alicia Valentine Backer, Camille Magliari-Branca, Carolyn Townsend and Christine Wetzel
Linda Lee, far right, and three other generations of the Lee family
Last month, more than 200 foodies of all ages came to chow down at The Silvermine Community Association’s Annual Spring Pancake Breakfast, which raises money to provide local high school seniors with scholarships. It’s been more than 25 years since board member David Borglum of Wilton held the first pancake breakfast. This year’s event raised more than $4,000. Photographs by Zoë Zellers
Nathan Brauning, 6, watches as Pete Richel, chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, gives his bear a checkup.
Children ages 3 and older were invited to bring their favorite stuffed animals to Northern Westchester Hospital’s annual Teddy Bear Clinic, where physicians and nurses gave them checkups and demonstrated casting, suturing, IV therapy, X-rays, and more. The clinic was part of Family Day at the Mary & David Boies Emergency Department. 92
David Borglum’s grandson, Michael
David Borglum and Mary Anne Case
Handbags of hope
Alassandra Loreto, Lisa Plona, Marissa Orlando, Kathleen French of Laura Mercier
Lauren Kieter and Wendy Logan
Kathleen French and Claudia Poccia, CEO of Laura Mercier
A displayed photo of Ben Murray and his late wife, Laura Lia Murray Lee
Eileen Sullivan, Tricia Galecke and Kristin Spellacy
More than 300 well-heeled and warm-hearted guests sipped cocktails and browsed through Prada, Tumi and Gucci handbags (and some fab fakes) at B.J. Ryan’s in Norwalk at the Hope Thru Handbags’ silent auction and fundraiser organized by Tracey Recker. Tracey is the stepdaughter of Claudia Poccia, CEO of major cosmetics line Laura Mercier. After losing her younger sister, Laura Lia, to ovarian cancer last year, Claudia and her family established the Laura Lia Murray Fund for Ovarian Cancer. Lia’s widower, Ben Murray, gave a touching speech thanking guests for shopping for a good cause. Photographs by Zoë Zellers
Mary Kelly, Kathy Siever, Erin Wachob
Richard Recker, Claudia Recker, Lia Nye and Tracey Recker
Claudia Poccia and Irene Corsaro
watch Easter hunt
Alice and Olivia hosted a recent soirée that was sweeter and brighter than a basket of Easter eggs. The party celebrated the fashion line’s launch of its newer and bigger boutique on Greenwich Avenue. The store was filled with a mix of shoppers from professionals digging white trousers and candy-colored breezy blouses to teens on the prowl for the perfect prom dress. In keeping with the season, guests enjoyed Chandon Champagne and jellybeans. Photos by Elaine Ubiña Hayley Levine and Whitney Ramaley
Mackenzie and Killeen Faughnan
Stefanie Davidoff and Katja Shuster
Libby McMillen and Regina Gabelli
Regina Gabelli, Libby McMillen and Tomoko Haber
Susan Larkin and Debra Mecky
Tina Roberts and Shell Roberts
Julie and Brenda Fareri
Stars shine for club
Actor Danny Glover pinch-hit for an ailing Denzel Washington, an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon, as the club celebrated its 100th anniversary with nearly 700 friends at the Hilton Rye Town recently. Bill Daughtry, 1050 ESPN Radio broadcaster, was the emcee. Event honorees included YES Network Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton; WCBS 2 meteorologist Elise Finch; New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith; the late John R. Branca, whose award was accepted by Bill Branca; the Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon with Rosemary Cornacchio accepting; and boxing promoter Butch Lewis, whose daughter, Sita Lewis, accepted his award. Photographs by USA Photos L.L.C.
JB Smoove, center, and friends
Want to be in Watch? Send event photos, captions (identifying subjects from left to right) and a paragraph describing the event to email@example.com. 95
By Martha Handler and Jennifer Pappas
I’ve been noticing lately that people seem to be so stressed out. I’ve never gotten the “stink eye” so often. What’s up with everyone? Are we all just overcommitted, overworked and out of time, all of the time? We live in a world of sound bites and stimulation overload. Perhaps the pressures of a life lived in the fast lane 24/7 are causing us to spin out of control. The other day in the city, for example, I cut this guy off by accident. (Sorry, it happens. I was distracted by the two cab drivers duking it out.) He pulled up in front of me, in his convertible, stopped his car abruptly, stood up on his seat, pulled down his pants and mooned me, showing me his seat. Seriously. If it had been a nice booty, I might have been amused. But sadly it was not. We’re an extremely stressed-out nation. Thanks to our increasing M global interconnectedness, I think we feel not only our own pain but that of those around the globe more acutely. As a kid, I found watching the Vietnam War on the nightly news horrifying. But that was nothing compared to what you see and read about today. I’m not sure that statistically things have gotten worse, but it sure feels that way. It’s no wonder that Americans are running, as the Rolling Stones so eloquently put it, “to the shelter of (their) mother’s little helper” in record numbers. Our brains just aren’t hardwired to handle angst and anxiety of this J magnitude. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a chapter straight out of the Book of Job. I need to dam the tidings of despair that are slowly eroding my sanity. But are antidepressants the answer? There are so many side effects associated with these drugs – weight gain, loss of libido, nausea, headaches, agitation and the list goes on. Are we suffering from anxiety or our attempts at anxiety relief? Anger management is a real issue that seems to be on the rise. Have you noticed the bad behavior exhibited at some of our children’s local sporting events by grown-ups? Exactly what kind of message are we sending to our children by screaming insanely at them for a missed shot or goal – or worse at each other? We need to start checking our egos and tempers at the door, along with our coats, before we enter the “arena.” and we need to find ways to de-stress so we don’t implode. When M Yes meditating, yoga and soaking in an aromatherapy bath don’t work, I try one of these: • I go to drugstores and read the humorous greeting cards. • When it’s raining, my daughter and I run around the yard until we’re feeling cleansed and crazy happy. • If I can find a secluded enough spot, I like to let out a loud, primordial scream. • I was a big fan of “Candid Camera” and now I love “Punk’d.” And if just watching the show doesn’t help, I’ll pull out a prank book and attempt one of my own. • I go to a comedy show. • I watch funny animal YouTube videos or go to the National Geographic website to see the latest photo winners. And you? now I’ve decided to take a break from the prime-time news and J For get my global updates from “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
Wag Up: • “Floating Kabarette,” at the Galapagos Art Space, in Brooklyn. galapagosartspace.com (J) • Gretchen Rubin’s book “The Happiness Project.” A great study of happiness and how better to achieve it. (M) Wag down: • People who double-park. If you’re not infirmed in anyway, then park appropriately and hoof it. (J) • People who write letters anonymously. If you have something to say, stand behind it or save the ink. (M) Email Class & Sass at marthaandjen@wagmag. com. You can also follow Martha and Jen on Facebook at Jennifer Pappas Wag Writer.
A Lifetime of Beautiful Smiles
For many families in Westchester, we’re the only dental office they’ve ever used. We’re proud of this fact. We believe the reason so many of our original patients bring their own children to us can be summed up in one word: trust. Advanced Dentistry of Westchester has been creating beautiful healthy smiles in Westchester County for more than 4 generations of patients. Throughout the years, our patients have received top quality preventive and restorative treatments — all while enjoying the personal touch of a family dental practice offering the latest in advanced technology. Westchester Magazine “Top Dentists” 2009, 2010, 2011 Consumer Research Council List of “Top Cosmetic Dentists” Listed in “Westchester’s Leading Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Dentists” Professor of Esthetics NYU College of Dentistry Dr. Sabrina Magid Chosen by Westchester Magazine as one of the top 22 People to Watch in Westchester County
If you want to learn about the advanced technologies we use or the comments from our patients visit our web page at www.ADofW.com and visit us on
163 Halstead Avenue • Harrison, NY 914.835.0542
Our new White Plains location presents the most advanced Plastic Surgery Center in Westchester County offering: Breast Augmentation • Breast Lift • Breast Reduction • Breast Reconstruction • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) • Liposuction • Eyelid Surgery • Facial Plastic Surgery •
Dr. Scott Newman was voted a Castle Connelly Top Doctor in New York for the past nine consecutive years. He is Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, is Academically Affiliated, and is the Medical Director for the Aesthetic Laser Group in White Plains. Scott Newman MD FACS
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Published on Apr 27, 2012