by r. couri hay | August 15, 2014 | People
Equestrienne, mother, author, and animal advocate Georgina Bloomberg makes a triumphant return to this year’s Hampton Classic.
Besides riding horses, Georgina Bloomberg also is a passionate advocate for equine rescue.
Eight months after the birth of her son, Jasper, Georgina Bloomberg is back in the saddle and returning to the Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic, taking place this year August 24–31. “All the clichés of motherhood are true,” says Bloomberg, who is the daughter of New York’s former mayor, Michael Bloomberg. “It really does change your world. I’m not going to say he’s the only thing that matters to me—my dogs still matter to me, my horses still matter to me—but he’s definitely at the top of the list. I have no problem making all sorts of sacrifices for him. It definitely refocuses everything in your life, but he really is my greatest joy.”
Bloomberg has been visiting the East End since she was 4 years old. “I first came to The Hampton Classic to watch my sister compete,” she recalls. “I don’t think I’ve missed a Hampton Classic. Even if I’m not competing, I still come out and watch.”
In recent years, she’s now the competitor, having earned awards at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships and Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. “I was a little bit scared in the beginning, but as soon as I started being able to compete, I fell in love with riding,” says Bloomberg, who competes in tournaments around the globe and will be riding in Manhattan’s Central Park Grand Prix on September 18. “I love the competition side of it.”
Bloomberg competing in last year’s Hampton Classic.
Her years of competing also led Bloomberg to author several young adult books with Catherine Hapka, including Rein It In: An A Circuit Novel and The A Circuit, and found The Rider’s Closet, an organization that collects new or gently used riding gear and donates it to therapeutic riding programs, pony clubs, intercollegiate riding programs, and individual riders in need. “I became friends with a girl who loved riding and wanted to join the equestrian team at NYU, but couldn’t afford to because she couldn’t afford the riding clothing,” Bloomberg recalls. “To compete, you have to have the proper equipment and the proper clothing, not just for safety but also because it’s a traditional sport. Founding The Rider’s Closet is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”
Georgina and Michael Bloomberg at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s Fifth Annual Unconditional Love Dinner Dance in July.
After years of caring for her own horses, Bloomberg is now a passionate advocate for equine rescue through her role as a Welfare Equine Ambassador for the ASPCA. “Horses have given so much to me so that’s why I became involved in this cause,” says Bloomberg, who will be leading an animal adoption day during The Hampton Classic. “All the horses in our little world are so cared for and pampered but a lot of people don’t realize that horse slaughter still exists. It’s our duty to protect these horses; it’s my way of giving back to horses for the joy they’ve given to me.”
Today, her dedication to animal advocacy is extending to other breeds; Bloomberg herself adopted five dogs—Hugo, Mabel, Mona, Chopper, and Stella—and a rescue pig named Wilbur. Sadly, Stella passed away in June. “The first time I went to a kill pound I wanted to adopt the oldest, ugliest dog they had, the dog that nobody else wanted,” says Bloomberg, who was honored by the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation at the organization’s Unconditional Love Dinner Dance this past July. “A no-kill America is the biggest dream. There are just so many other things to do like decreasing puppy mills and increasing spay and neuter practices. Every year the awareness rate goes up, [and] the euthanasia rate goes down. I definitely think we’re moving in the right direction.”
photography by Shawn McMillen Photography (class ic 2013); nicholas hunt/patrickmcmullan.com (bloomberg); Geoffrey Tischman (stables)