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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Georgina Bloomberg, Equestrienne, Entrepreneur, Soon-to-be Author and Hopeful Olympian

Georgina was born in New York City on January 20th, 1983 to Michael R. Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York City, and Susan Bloomberg. She attended Episcopal Nursery School and graduated from the Spence School in 2001. While in high school she was a member of many sports teams as well as a Golden Key winner in the Scholastic Art Awards.  Georgina continued to pursue her equestrian pursuits and became a champion junior show jumper, winning every major award available for junior riders including the Best Child Rider Award at the National Horse Show in its last year of being held at Madison Square Garden.

After a gap year in which she was an intern in the graphic design department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she suffered a broken back in a fall off of a horse and was forced to take a year off her planned NYU start. After 6 months of healing, Georgina came back into the riding world with a new determination. She turned professional and was accepted as a US Equestrian Team member and spent many months traveling in Europe representing the USA and winning awards against the best riders in the world.

After graduating from Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University in January 2010, Georgina now continues to pursue her dreams of representing her country in the Olympic games. She operates her business of buying, training and selling horses out of her family’s farm Gotham North in North Salem, NY and Wellington, FL.
Georgina is represented by Wilhelmina’s sports division and has sponsorship deals with Audi, Ariat, Pennfield Feeds, Heritage Gloves and County Saddles.  Currently she is writing a series of young adult novels based on true stories from the equestrian circuit. The books are being published by Bloomsbury publishing.  

Charity work is a personal passion for Georgina, she is a board member of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, the Washington International Horse Show, the Bloomberg Family Foundation and the Bloomberg Sisters Foundation.  In 2006 she started a clothing and equipment donation program called The Rider’s Closet that collects and redistributes clothing and equipment to Intercollegiate Riding teams, therapeutic riding programs, and riders who cannot afford what they need. In the summer of 2010 The Rider’s Closet reached the 300th donation and joined with Pegasus Therapeutic Riding to grow to help many more riders in need.

An avid animal lover Georgina has 3 adopted dogs, and is active in animal welfare causes and rights.  We are so pleased to present Georgina Bloomberg as our latest Mover and Shaker!!!  Peachy met Georgina at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Governor's Island recently.

Peachy Deegan interviewed Georgina Bloomberg for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What are some of your best childhood memories involving horses?
Georgina Bloomberg: The long days spent running around the barn with friends with not a care in the world. We would take ponies out for trail rides and ride for hours talking and laughing.  

We support single-sex education and attending Miss Porter's for 4 years was completely formative for Peachy Deegan.  What was your experience like at the Spence School and how do you feel about single-sex education?
I only ever went to the one school so it's hard for me to compare it to co-ed. I liked not having boys in the classroom and I feel that I became a more confident and well rounded person by being surrounded by only girls.  

What sports do you enjoy the most outside of riding horses?
I played baseball, ice hockey, basketball and soccer in school. I love team sports and miss that when I am riding which is one of the best parts about getting to compete for the US is that we are often on teams. I play polo every once in a while which reminds me of how much I miss other sports. I had to give up other sports when I got into the riding full time but I think sports are such an important part of being a kid and learning to work hard at something, to learn sportsmanship and teamwork. 

In our coverage of the Veuve Clicquot Classic, we said you had the best ensemble and fashion sense there that day, and you had a lot of competition. Can you tell us about your hat and outfit you were wearing that day please?
Really?! Wow I read some nasty blogs about my outfit. It was so deathly hot that day and I don't think anyone felt like they looked good. I found my hat at a store in Calgary, Canada and purple is my favorite color so I needed something to match. I had a plain white dress from a small boutique in the south of france and tied a ribbon from Michael's arts and crafts around the waist because I didn't have any purple accessories to match! I love creating my own outfits and not just buying something expensive to think I look good. I have a thing for not looking like everyone else and sometimes it backfires but at least I feel unique.  
[We applaud unique at Whom You Know, and individual style!]

What should most people understand about the business of horses that most do not know?
That it is not an elitist sport, that's a stupid stereotype. 90% of the top riders came from nothing and have worked their way up the sport. People who say you need to be rich to ride are taking away from the years of hard work most riders have put in. Sure, it's an expensive sport and owning the horses is not cheap by any means, but the actual riders don't own the horses, and anyone who works hard can make it in this sport. I know so many people who came from nothing and started mucking out stalls for barns in exchange for a few lessons or a chance to ride and now they are riding top horses and winning big classes. You need determination and a few lucky breaks.  

We cover the Met quite often in Cultured Peachy.  What was it like to work there and what did you enjoy the most about your experience?
I loved learning about the behind the scenes, how an exhibit comes together and how we advertise it. I like the business side of art and it seemed to be a really cool way to see how to sell art to the people. And who can complain about getting to wander around the MET in your free time?! 

Can you tell us about your upcoming books please?
They are about a few girls who ride and are working and competing on the show circuit. They will be called the A Circuit. They are aimed at young adults and teenagers, not kids. Its a fun way to show some of the darker issues junior riders face and some of the issues I know that everyone goes through growing up in the horse show world. I never thought I would be writing a book but it's coming very naturally to me since its a subject I know so well. The first one should be out by the end of the year.  

What do you like most about having your father as Mayor and what do you wish could be improved upon in such a situation?
In the beginning I saw more negatives than positives but I was an 18 year old rebellious teenager who didn't like being thrust into the spotlight. I have learned to deal with any negatives that come about and am focused on the really great opportunities it has given me. I have my name out there more which has given me more sponsorship opportunities, and I get to talk to some really interesting and fabulous people. There are obvious perks, but not too much of my life has changed, I think that would be different if I was living at home with my father but for me, not so much has changed. I had a hard time with the public scrutiny at first, it was hard to read things about my father or me in the paper when they were hurtful or just flat out not true, but I have learned to let them not affect me. It doesn't always work but in a perfect world, my super power would be to not let anything anyone says ever make me feel bad.  

What should people know about your dad that most do not know and should know?
Becoming mayor was the best thing that ever happened to him as a person. He went from being an arrogant business man who nobody ever criticized and everyone kissed his ass, to someone who was reading exactly what everyone thinks of him every day . The people of NY aren't going to tell you are great if you aren't. It was humbling and he needed it. He has become a softer and more caring person, he actually listens to me and sees a different side to the people who are important to him.  

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
My father because he taught me to not let what people say you can or cannot do affect your goals. He was a joke when he first decided to run for mayor but he never let the critics get to him and he went for his dreams not matter what. 

What are you proudest of and why?
The Rider's Closet. It has helped so many people and I have gotten so many letters from people thanking me. People may not think riding clothing is a worthy cause but I have gotten letters from so many people saying that being able to be around horses and ride has changed their lives and given them confidence. I want to grow it in so many ways and do so much more to help others. My proudest moment was this past winter when an Intercollegiate team I had given riding clothing too presented me an award as a surprise and a thank you for making it possible for them to compete.  Any award or accomplishment after this seems pretty unimportant.  

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
I want to start an equestrian magazine and a riding clothing line.  

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
Best Child RIders Awards at every major horse show in my junior career. Winner of the USET talent derby. North American Young Rider Champion in 2002 (team) and 2003 (individual). Winner of the Maxine Beard Award, given to a young rider who shows promise of going on to represent the US internationally. Competed at the World Cup Finals. Member of the first winning US team in the Samsung Super League. Winner of 5 WEF challenge cups at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Winner of the Empire State Grand Prix. Winner of the Metropolitan Cup.  

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Central Park 

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
Dylan's Candy Bar 

What is your favorite drink?
Bacardi and Diet Coke, or champagne.  

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
It was the Kitchen Club which just closed down so now I would have to say Mexican Radio.  

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
Eloise or a guide book that is 1,000 things to do in NY. Even living here all my life I find things in there I never knew about or would have never thought about.  

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
Winning the best child rider award at the last National Horse Show held at Madison Square Garden in 2001.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Walk everywhere! I spend the winters in Florida showing and I hate that you can’t do anything without getting in a car.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Going to see a classical music concert in Central Park in high school. I remember sitting there and seeing so many very different people all in one place and getting along and realizing that that was what made NY so amazing.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated: The amount that New Yorkers care for and do good things for others. Most people think New Yorkers are mean and harsh but we do so much charity and volunteer group and have so many great programs that help so many people.  Overrated: Our nightclubs. I’m not a big club person and there are so many more interesting little bars and lounges than big noisy clubs. I like talking to people and more relaxing places that you don’t have to wait on line to be accepted in.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it? 
I like the fashion alerts, I am addicted to online shopping and learning about new fashion ideas online.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
Email is best.

Photo credit: Kathy Russell

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