Bloomberg Brings It Home In Central Park

Sep 18, 2014 - 6:14 PM

New York, N.Y.—Sept. 18  

Georgina Bloomberg laughed when she remembered what she told Mark Bellissimo when he called her and said, “I want to put on a horse show in Central Park.”

“I said ‘It can’t be done,’” Bloomberg said. “I told him that every year someone calls me and I tell them ‘Good luck and I’d love to be there and I’ll be supportive, but I’m not really sure it’ll ever happen.’”

But it did happen, and in an ending fit for a Hollywood movie, Bloomberg actually ended up winning the class she thought would never exist. She rode Juvina to the top of the $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, in the Trump Rink in the heart of Central Park—the place where she ice-skated as a child.

Bloomberg is a New Yorker to the bone—not only has she lived in the city her whole life, but she’s also the daughter of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. “This is obviously my home town and the most special place on the planet to me,” she said. “I competed at the National Horse Show when it was at Madison Square Garden. I remember walking out of the arena for the last time there and knowing it was the most amazing feeling in the world to compete in this city. To have it come back here is amazing. I have to really take a minute to enjoy it. To win is just absolutely amazing for me.”

Bloomberg charmed the crowd in the awards ceremony when in her interview, she waved at her adorable 8-month-old son in the stands and said, “This one’s for you, Jasper!” It was a fitting end, since Bloomberg has put in serious effort to help promote the show to the public. In fact, the day before the show she brought one of her horses downtown to appear with her on the Fox 5 television morning show to talk about the Central Park Horse Show.

The Trump Rink was truly a unique and striking setting for a horse show. Footing was laid down over the rink’s surface, which hosts ice-skating in the winter. The ring is small, with a unique triangular shape, but it’s lovely. It’s set down into the hillside and framed with gardens, trees, and the iconic backdrop of Manhattan skyscrapers. Show organizers built bleacher seats and VIP table areas around the ring, but one whole side of the ring had a green backdrop of gardens. As the sun set over the New York skyline, cameras were clicking away to capture the spectacular scene.

Bloomberg was certainly the crowd favorite, as New York’s own daughter, but in the first round of competition, Charlie Jayne stole the show. When he cantered into the ring as the last to jump, 22 riders had jumped without putting a clean round on the board. Jayne brought the crowd to their feet with a clean round on Valeska.

In a normal grand prix format, that would have been good enough for the win, but this class was being broadcast live on NBC Sports network, so the organizers had to ensure a set number for the second round—they decided on six rounds in Round 2, so the top riders from Round 1 returned to jump again.

“We had to finish by 8:30 [p.m.], and if we’d had too many clean rounds, the TV audience would miss the end,” Bellissimo said. “We told [course designer Steve Stephens] to make it tough so that we didn’t have too many clean, and he maybe went a little overboard, but Charlie proved that it could be done.”

The riders carried their scores over to Round 2, and Bloomberg had 4 faults over that first course. Paige Johnson, Todd Minikus and Kirsten Coe all joined her in challenging Jayne in Round 2 despite having a rail in Round 1. Johnson and Bloomberg really put the pressure on Jayne with clean goes in Round 2.

For a minute, it looked like Jayne was going to pull off the only double-clear performance, but Valeska just caught the back rail of the last oxer in Round 2. Jayne’s time was a fraction of a second slower than Bloomberg’s so he ended up in second. Johnson rounded out the top three with the yellow ribbon aboard her Dakota. In an interesting fact, five of the six horses to return for Round 2–including the top three finishers—are mares.

After the grand prix, Lucy Deslauriers topped the $20,000 Under-25 Grand Prix.Deslauriers, 15 and the daughter of grand prix riders Lisa and Mario Deslauriers, walked to the show from her New York apartment after a full day of school.

 $210,000 Central Park Grand Prix, presented by Rolex

1. Juvina Georgina Bloomberg USA 4 0/4 38.28 $69,300

2. Valeska Charlie Jayne USA 0 4/4 38.81 $42,000

3. Dakota Paige Johnson USA 5 0/5 41.75 $31,509

4. Quality Girl Todd Minikus USA 4 4/8 38.52 $21,000

5. Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve Molly Ashe-Cawley USA 5 4/9 39.50 $12,600

6. Baronez Kirsten Coe USA 5 5/10 42.27 $9,450

7. D’Elia Van Het Molenhof Darragh Kerins IRL 5 72.23 $6,300

8. Bonanza Van Paemel Catherine Pasmore USA 6 73.26 $5,250

9. Andretti S Laura Kraut USA 8 67.84 $4,200

10. Prof De La Roque Darragh Kenny IRL 9 69.42 $4,200

11. Kismet 50 Candice King USA 9 69.55 $2,100

12. Onira Brianne Goutal USA 9 71.56 $2,100


 $20,000 Under-25 Grand Prix, presented by PwC

1. Hester          Lucy Deslauriers 0/0/32.474

2. All In          Katherine Strauss  0/4/32.719

3. Quidam 13       Sydney Shulman     0/4/33.361

4. G & C Flash     Taylor Alexander  4/70.625                    

5. Cayenne 140     Victoria Press   4/77.986                   

6. VDL Bellefleur  Nicole Bellissimo 8/71.256                   

7. Bottom Line     Karen Polle      8/71.296                   

8. Oreade Des Dames Adrienne Sternlicht 12/69.955                   

9. Wardetta S      Samantha Kasowitz   13/74.981                   

1o. Lincourt Gino   Monica Carrera      20/89.080                   

11. Zafira          Alexandra Crown     27/88.590                   

12. Caprilli HSF    Gabriela Mershad   48/101.213


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