Wednesday, July 3

Equestrian Musings: I was happy to attend the second annual Stony Hill Stables Gala, which offers scholarships to local "Hampton" resident riders

Kudos to
Hampton's barn,
Stony Hill Stables,
for offering equestrian scholarships
to local riders: 
Here is my Dan's Papers story on the program and annual Gala
over here on Nest I've mused about the equestrian world often,
with lots of photos of my daughter Gabby Stephenson
*riding in Wellington, Florida this past winter
 Gabby competing at Devon Horse Show Junior Hunter division; and,
winning Reserve Champion at Zone 2 Finals Jr. Hunters last year
Maybe you've heard my musings about horses peppered in with my interior design, nesting and cooking & entertaining posts. 

What do horses have to do with "nesting" and a home you ask? 

Well, I've written this before, the equestrian world is a lifestyle that brings a sense of beauty, discipline and balance into our lives and sometimes it blends over into out interior design and makes it's way into our "nests".  See my story published in this month's 
Venu magazine
the perfect partnership:  equestrians and interior design. 
As Gabby prepares and packs up to head off to college (at Cornell University as an animal science major in the Agriculture school) I am pontificating over the last fourteen years I have spent as a horseshow mom.  It's been a wonderful ride, and our fascination with horses has only begun.  I hope she will ride on the equestrian team, become a large animal vet, and goodness gracious maybe someday own her very own horse farm.  I do not doubt these goals will be accomplished as I have seen my daughter move heaven and earth to make horses and the equestrian sport the main focal point in her life (and even in the midst of some tough obstacles, like some years when we had no horse budget at all, and trying to catch ride while living in New York City).  One constant has been our family's commitment to helping her follow her dream as much as possible.  We have traveled with her around the country with horse to compete at both local and national horse shows, chasing points, and working with trainers in the industry.  It is a  life-long passion that only those of us crazy enough to embark upon can truly understand, but either way, I can tell you first-hand how intense it is and well, strangely rewarding.  No matter that the polyester ribbons find a home at the bottom of a tack trunk, equestrians pursuit their passion for animals and the sport out of mostly love.  Having said that it is a very expensive sport that precludes many from partaking or advancing beyond those first pony lessons. 
gabby and friends at the Hampton Classic horseshow over the years

On this note, it is refreshing for me to see a local barn in the Hamptons take on this challenge and support their community.  Amagansett equestrian barn, Stony Hill Farm, is embarking upon their second season of offering local riders scholarships. The Farm opened over five decades ago by Liz Hotchkiss and is now owned by her daughter Wick.  The farm offers training in several equestrian disciplines.  Recipients of these scholarships are able to keep a horse or pony at the farm, with expenses of travel and competing paid for my Stony Hill.  

Gabby and I were invited to the annual Gala event on the pastoral property to see some fun dressage, hunter and western horse exhibits and catch up with friends.
during the beautiful summer afternoon, guests sat outside overlooking the outdoor ring while barn owner and riders gave us a fun-inspired show
of dressage, reigning and pony drills. 

 Wick Hotchkiss, Stony Hill's
owner, showed us a playful dressage performance
to a catchy hip hop tune
 barns girls performed an adorable pony drill
showing their humor, commitment and team work with painted faces!

there was even a western display
 a silent auction 

Wick with some of the kids participating in the gala event's activities
dubbed the "pony whisperer" by her grandmother, this eleven year old scholarship benefactor was beaming with excitement to receive this opportunity to compete with 
Stony Hill Stables.  

As a horsehow mom, I know that twinkle in her eye only too well, 
and wish all these equestrians a wonderful ride!  

Well, there you have it, 
and it will be exciting to watch these riders and see 
where this wonderful opportunity takes them.   
Happy Nesting XO