Saturday, June 23

a private barn in the Hamptons offering scholarships to the local equestrian community

kudos to family owned
Amagansett, Long Island 
for creating a Foundation
 offering scholarships to local equestrians young and old

Since my daughter has been an avid equestrian for thirteen years, I write this story with a personal opinion. I have seen all ranges of riding experiences with her peers from weekend pleasure riding to full-time junior competing all around the country. Gabby has loved horses from the moment she could walk and talk. It was a passion I could not contain.  At a mere four years old, we signed her up for pony lesson and day camp at Two Trees in Bridgehampton where she learned to groom and ride the little ponies.  Cut to thirteen years later and it's been a serendipitous journey.  She has done it all from weekend catch rides to full year-long leases with winter seasons of weekend competing in Wellington, Florida when we would fly back in time on Monday morning for her vigorous school schedule in New York City.  Anyone who has ever taken their child to riding lesson knows only too well the gleam in their eye rarely wanes, except occasionally when the gleam is in the parent's eye and not the child's, but that is a totally different story.
This story is about people who love to ride.
Riding horses is a passionate pursuit and many have spent a fortune and much time sustaining that passion for themselves or their children.  But, the sad part of the sport is that it is a crazy expensive endeavor.  It is comforting to know your child is truly passionate for something, but when it's an expensive sport like competing in the equestrian world it can be difficult to navigate.  Horses are living, breathing complicated animals that require lots of love and care and yes lots of money.  Some of the most talented riders have had to give it up.  For my daughter it's been a rewarding experience, and she has managed to delicately balance a riding career even in the face of our sometimes tight budget.  

 photographs by Gabby Stephenson
 Riding horses can become a life-changing experience that can stay with you a lifetime.  The bond between the rider and horse is intense.  These are character building lessons that are incredibly valuable to a young person as they grow.
 The East End of Long Island has a long history of equestrian training, but without the resources to sustain the increasing prices of lessons, boarding, the equipment and travel to horse shows many equestrians cannot compete.  It is exciting that Stony Hill Farms is committed to helping foster that love and give local residents the opportunity to participate in this sport and offer the community a group of  local equestrian riders for future generations. It is impressive that this family-owned barn in the historic section of Amagansett understands and values local riders in a way that, well quite frankly, all the other barns in the east end have ignored. 

The equestrian world is synonymous with the Hampton's lifestyle.  The annual horse show in Bridgehampton, The Hampton Classic, draws thousands of people from all corners of the world, and creates significant revenue to the area as well.  

 Stony Hill stables is set on one of the most beautiful, bucolic lanes in Amagansett.  The area has a long history of artists and farmers who congregate to the area because of the beautiful light, natural rolling countryside and rich resources. This equestrian facility was founded over five decades ago by family member Liz Hotchkiss.  Today, they continue to be one of the premiere dressage training programs in the area and also train in other disciplines from equitation to jumping. With this program, current owner, Wick Hotchkiss has taken her life-long dream to make the equestrian experience more accessible to the community.  The Stony Hill Stable Foundation was created to facilitate the growth of the sport in the East End.    
Stony Hill is hosting 
a fundraiser next weekend
to announce the launch of 
Stony Hill Foundation. 
Please attend the
Benefit Cocktail Party on Saturday, June 30th
from 6 – 8 PM
There will be special dressage exhibition 
even a pony drill team performance!
Stony Hill Stables is at 268 Town Lane in Amagansett. 
The newly formed Stony Hill Stable Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the express purpose of promoting equine sports through riding education and competitive opportunities for children and young adults in the local residential East End community. 
  Tickets for the Benefit are priced at $125 for a single ticket, $200 for a couple.  Contributions are gratefully welcome:  
Stony Hill Stables Foundation, P.O. Box 283, Amagansett, NY 11930.  
Stony Hill Stables is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  
All contributions are Tax Deductible.
The Foundation hopes to offer full scholarship programs awarded in Dressage and Hunter/Jumper Equitation skills.  There will be up to 8 scholarships awarded in the following training levels; two scholarships at each levels:
Children's Short Stirrup ages 6-10
Youth Horse Program ages 6-10
Adult Hunter/Jumper ages 18-26
Dressage Training ages 12 and up

Scholarship funding could include the lease of a pony/horse, 
boarding and training lessons over a seasonal semester.  
Local residents of Montauk, Amagansett, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Southampton and West Hampton are encouraged to apply.  
Scholarship applications are available at Stony Hill Stables

 For more information about 

the Stony Hill Stables Foundation, or call 631.267.3203

Stony Hill Stables Benefit Committee
Alec Baldwin
Maureen Bluedorn
Michael Braverman
Rebecca Chapman
Ed and Christy Burns
Alan and Jackie Mitchell
Melissa Errico and Patrick McEnroe
Lisa Bialkin
Ellen Rosengard
Pernilla Ammann

I hope to see you at this rewarding event --
let's support our horses and riders!