There’s nothing like a summer in the Hamptons to pique your equine interests. From the heart-pounding excitement (and boozy bliss) of the Bridgehampton Polo Club, to the glitz and glamour of the Hamptons Classic, there is no place like the East End to see some of the world’s finest horses in action. And, for Hamptonites looking to get a little closer to the ponies than these big competitions allow, there is an array of riding clubs and stables for everyone from the novice (maybe the last time you went near a horse was at a petting zoo when you were five) to the avid equestrian.
You saw it here first: Social Life’s town-based guide on where to pony up this summer.
Rosewood Farm at Southampton Riding Club is the premier hunter/jumper school and hosts the A-rated North Fork Horse Series, three weekend shows in August, in anticipation of the Hampton Classic. In the 1980s, Southampton Riding Club founder Bobby Ginsberg trained at Rosewood Farm with Olympic hunter/jumper medalists Conrad Homfeld and Joe Fargis, and he continues to share their legacy today.
Horse Haven is a classic English tack shop that offers equine finery in a beautiful boutique. Just for fun, the shop also carries fine antiques, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and housewares curated by Becky Gaynor and Carol and Brian Balodis, owners with impeccable taste.
Sea Horse Stables is a gorgeous, grassy equine retreat that offers year-round boarding services as well as a rigorous training and show schedule for the serious rider. Head trainer Cory West is an accomplished equestrian and brings years of experience in the finance sector back to the farm where she shares her passion for riding with riders of all levels.
Bridgehampton Polo Club is home to summer polo in the Hamptons — for sport aficionados and for the rest of us who simply like to gaze at Nacho Figueras astride a gleaming steed — and the place to enjoy the ponies from afar during the second half of the summer. This year’s season runs from July 21 through August 25. Watch as publishing bigwigs Peter Brant and Adam Lindemann duke it out on the field alongside South American polo pros, amid the high fashion and heated competition that naturally accompanies the Sport of Kings.
Hampton Classic is the summer’s capstone equestrian event that immediately follows the Bridgehampton polo season. In 2009, the show was named a “Heritage Competition” by the United States Equestrian Federation, an honor reserved for the most prestigious of shows. Come for the hunter/jumpers, for the Grand Prix dressage, or to see and be seen in one of the summer’s most esteemed affairs.
Wölffer Estates can be your horse’s summer home and is also a great place to take classes, or just ride through the vineyards on a foggy morning. For riders on a tight schedule, Wölffer offers a luxe tack-up service: call ahead, and they will have your horse groomed and ready to go, so you can simply breeze in, hop on, and enjoy the ride! Have friends join you after for a sunset glass of wine on the lovely patio.
Topping Riding Club is one of the East End’s oldest, most respected equestrian properties. In addition to boarding, lessons, and camps (for children and adults of all levels), the property boasts several riding rings (grass, indoor/outdoor) and an expansive hunt field. Bonus: the farm is so close to the water, beach rides happen on the daily.
Stony Hill Stables is the go-to place for classical dressage training in the Hamptons. Owner Wick Hotchkiss, an accomplished professional equestrian, personally watches over the program, which takes students of all ages.
Maidstone Stables is the perfect place to send your horse-crazed child to learn the ropes in an intimate setting. The Summer Program ensures that each participant gets the most out of his or her time at the farm by limiting class size to ten students and placing a focus on horsemanship and equine care.
Stony Hill Stables offers youth programs and summer riding camps, as well as boarding and lessons for all ages. On a charitable note, it is also home to the Stony Hill Stables Foundation, which gives low-income students scholarships to lease horses and attend camps.
The Tack Trunk is a great place to pick up riding gear, from riding pants, boots, and helmets, to heavier pieces like saddles, bridles, halters, and other horse gear.