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Long gown, $798, and studded belt bag, $498, both at Tory Burch, The Gardens Mall.

FEATURES

Saddled Up

By Jayne Chase

Photography by Stephan Wurth | Styled by Katherine Lande | Hair by Caile Noble using Oribe at Starworks Artists | Makeup by Katelin Gan using Laura Mercier at Starworks Artists

01.03.18

Award-winning equestrian, mother and animal activist Georgina Bloomberg fills us in on her life and the new projects keeping her happily “in the saddle” of Southern Florida.

FOR AWARD-WINNING equestrian and confirmed New-York-City girl Georgina Bloomberg, riding is a vocation. “I love being at the barn, but to me, it is very much my job,” she readily admits. “When I come into the stable, I want to work hard and get something accomplished. I know what my goal is and what I want to work on, so when I get there, I really focus.”

This razor-sharp determination has defined her since an early age. She began riding at 4 years old and then began competing as an amateur shortly after at the age of 6. “I think competing as a little kid was a good experience,” says the petite and poised equestrian. “The way we did it, we were able to spend the whole day at the barn, be around friends and be around the animals. We all had responsibilities, so for us, it wasn’t so much about the competition, but more about barn life. Taking care of animals and showing up for horse shows taught us how to win and lose. Learning how to lose gracefully is very important. I’m so glad I had this experience to support friends and work really hard for something. If you win, it pays off, and if you lose, you learn how to deal with it.”

Fringe jacket, $2,565, by Stella McCartney at Saks Fifth Avenue, Worth Avenue; black leather ankle boots with studs, $1,195, at Jimmy Choo, Worth Avenue.

After she racked up blue ribbons and trophies at every horse show along the East Coast, sponsors began taking notice of the tenacious competitor, and at the age of 18, Bloomberg decided to become a professional. However, making the decision to take on this new status was not an easy one, even though she had the full financial support of her family. “Once I was offered my first sponsorship with Heritage Gloves, I could no longer compete as an amateur, so it was a big decision, but one I really wanted. I wanted to pursue the sport as a professional and have a shot at supporting myself and making a living at a sport that I loved. It was a big decision, and in the end, I’m glad I made it.”

As a pro, Bloomberg has competed all over the world. Her competition schedule is demanding and grueling, but Bloomberg has a number of favorite locations for shows, including her memorable childhood barn, Old Salem Barn in North Salem, N.Y., a bucolic countryside suburb of New York City; as well as the Global Champions Tour, a premier five-star jumping event in Paris, France. “Being at my childhood barn where I grew up riding and began my career is so close to my heart. I really love it there, and it always feels like going home. I get to see lots of old friends and family who can come out, watch me ride and support me. It means so much to me to have them all there. Competing in the middle of Paris near the Eiffel Tower is a beautiful setting. I love going over to Europe to ride because the crowds are so much bigger; people are always asking for your autograph; and somehow it makes it all worth it—all your hard work—plus, it’s so exciting. This is where the sport is headed, with bigger purses, more money, bigger sponsors and lots of broadcasts. It makes a rider feel like all their hard work is paying off, and for me, I really appreciate people paying attention to the sport.” 

ALC chiffon and metallic dress, $495, at Gypsy, Worth Avenue; silk tassel earrings, $490, by Oscar de la Renta at Neiman Marcus, Worth Avenue.

Closer to home, the Wellington resident is very happy about all the changes being made at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and the attention the sport is getting from the South Florida population during the high season. “I always really believed in what Mark Bellissimo, [managing partner and largest shareholder of Wellington Equestrian Partners LLC and the owner of the Far Niente Stables in Wellington], is trying to do for the sport. I was happy when I had the chance a few years ago to become a partner in the venture. Wellington is now truly an equestrian community in every sense. There’s a trifecta here, which means on Friday nights there is dressage; Saturday nights, jumping; and, on Sundays, polo. If you want people to come out and support you and enjoy the sport and fairgrounds, you have to provide them with some basic amenities like bathrooms, good food and a place to sit to watch the events. They have improved the facilities so much and raised the stakes. Now, the best riders in the world want to come to Wellington to compete. At the end of the day, our sport is a serious one, but if you make it a social experience and people come to watch and get interested in the sport, that’s a bonus for all of us. I’m really happy about all the changes.”

A young mother to a 4-year-old son, Jasper, Bloomberg somehow finds plenty of time to enjoy her family life while becoming more ensconced in Southern Florida. From The Rider’s Closet, a charity organization Bloomberg started as a young rider that provides delicately used riding clothes to competitors on the circuit who can’t afford clothing and equipment, to the Humane Generation/Friends of Finn committee, an organization of young leaders dedicated to increasing awareness about savage practices at puppy mills and advocating for pet adoption, Bloomberg has found ways to give back to her riding community and educate the public regarding animal issues. Additionally, Bloomberg is hoping to develop her young-adult book series, The A Circuit, about a young rider growing up in New York City with a billionaire father, into a TV series. Then, as if all of that isn’t enough, there is South Beach Brewing Company, a new beer venture that she and her childhood friend, Lorenzo Borghese (of the noble Borghese family), are launching in January 2018. “I really always thought of beer as a hipster drink or a guy thing and not being that feminine,” Bloomberg says. “But hopefully South Beach Brewing Company will make beer sexy. It’s such a cool project, and I was looking for more ways to spend time in Southern Florida now that I also have an apartment in Palm Beach. This is a great way to help me stay at my Florida base.”

We’ll certainly drink to that!