Back in the Saddle
Georgina Bloomberg returns to equestrian competition after the birth of her first child
“I started competing with pony hunters when I was six,” recalls equestrian Georgina Bloomberg, as she winds down from a morning in the ring at her 26-acre horse farm in North Salem. “My older sister, Emma, was taking lessons, and I wanted to do everything that she did, so I started when I was four.” In 2001, Bloomberg’s father, Michael, then mayor of New York City, bought Salem Sunshine Farm for Georgina and her mother, Susan Brown, and re-christened it Gotham North. After a major upgrade to the property, including the addition of stables and indoor- and outdoor-riding rings, Susan, a former rider of thoroughbreds, settled into the renovated 1820 farmhouse, and Georgina moved into an apartment overlooking the indoor ring.
Bloomberg, 31, is an award-winning competitor who trained at neighboring Old Salem Farm for 15 years before moving her horses to Gotham North. Named to the United States Equestrian Federation’s team for the Nations Cup in Gijon, Spain, earlier this year, the single mother of an infant son, Jasper, hasn’t given up on her Olympic dream. “I think making the 2016 Olympic team would be great,
but ultimately, if I go out and work my best and make the most of the horses that I have, I will feel successful,” explains the petite brunette. Looking toward the future, she notes that while many riders continue to compete at high levels into their 50s, that’s not on her agenda. “I’d like to ride for the next five to ten years and then retire. I know that when I hang up my stirrups one day, I’ll have other things to do, but right now, my main focus is my son and my horses. I want to have more kids in the future, and my family will always come number one.”
On the subject of motherhood, Bloomberg, who continued to ride into her sixth month of pregnancy, notes that she has a newfound respect for her body since Jasper’s arrival last December. “A lot of people ask me if I’m more cautious or afraid to ride now because I’m a mother, but I think it’s actually the opposite. I appreciate and am more focused during my time in the saddle because it’s more limited. I take better care of myself, and I think it pays off in terms of my body performing better.”
In mid September, Bloomberg’s reconditioning efforts will be tested when she competes in the American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm. “Obviously, I have a lot of love for Old Salem Farm. They’re doing some amazing things there, not just as a club but also as a business and as a barn. It’s nice to see all that hard work pay off and for them to be rewarded with something like the Gold Cup that’s going to bring a lot of top-level riders to the barn.”
Still dressed from this morning’s work with her horses—Juvina, Lilli, Washington Square, South Street, and Metropolitan (she owns ten but only competes with five of them)—Bloomberg grabs a quick lunch in the farmhouse that she and Jasper have recently moved into. She’s already squeezed in a visit to Pegasus, a therapeutic-riding center in Brewster, where she has transferred the operations for the Rider’s Closet, a charitable program she started in 2006 to provide gently used riding clothes to those in need. Later this afternoon, she’s looking forward to fun with Jasper, their five rescue dogs and pet pig, Wilbur. “Jasper is really coming into his own now—moving around, laughing, smiling, and becoming more of a little boy than just a baby,” says the proud mama who claims to see glimpses of herself as a baby in his face. But first, the seemingly tireless young competitor, whose motto is: “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground,” dives into the swimming pool for a quick workout.
Tonight, she may dress up and head out to dinner with friends to one of her two favorite local eateries, Vox or One Twenty One Restaurant. “Because I live in riding clothes six days a week, I like to dress up when I go out at night,” she says. “I am a big believer in putting money into accessories and things that are sort of timeless. I think you can dress up jeans with a beautiful bag and heels—it makes more sense than spending a ton of money on designer clothes.”