Just when walking the dog past multi-million dollar mansions inside a gated country club has started to feel quasi-normal, one is reminded once again how very surreal the winter equestrian capital of the world really is. And it’s not because of the pet zebra that my horse stares at every morning while hacking around Wellington.
Rumors about this have been swirling for months, but today the news broke publicly that On the Line’s newest “neighbor” is Bill Gates, who recently leased a farm with a price tag that’s outrageous for the other 99.9% of the world to consider (come on, before you click the link, just take a guess.) Bill Gates and co. and will be coming into town for the winter to support his extremely blessed daughter’s riding career. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer trains with Jack Towell and showed at WEF last season, too. So far she’s flown beneath the radar of public scrutiny, but it’s safe to say that will be a-changing this season! The Gates family’s new four-acre property in Mallet Hill sits on the same street as Anne Kursinski’s palatial winter base, and is one of the closest barns to the PBIEC showgrounds. Georgina Bloomberg’s Gotham Hill South is within the same enclave, also. I don’t remember there being a guard, or even a gate code, at the gatehouse to the entrance of Mallet Hill when I interviewed Anne Kursinski for Sidelines a few seasons ago, but it’s a safe bet that that will also be changing.
People can ooh and aah all they want, but let’s face it. $600,000 for a six-month rental is a drop in the bucket for the richest man in the
United States world universe??? and as someone who has donated the vast majority of his fortune to fight global poverty and the spread of infectious diseases, you can’t really knock Mr. Gates for dropping over half a mil on a place for his daughter to ride. But Jennifer had better milk it while she still can – Bill recently said that one day she’ll have to get a job, for there will be no dynasties in the Gates family!
However, there is still no logical explanation for the zebra. Once again, Wellington is simply over the top.