What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Douglas Elliman Saddles Up With Give Back For Special Equestrians As Charity Partner During The Douglas Elliman $384,000 Winter Equestrian Festival Grand Prix

March 02, 2018 By: maryhaley Category: What's Happenin'

WELLINGTON, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2018)Douglas Elliman Real Estate has saddled up with Give Back for Special Equestrians, and honorary co-hosts Georgina Bloomberg and Jimmy Torano, for the second year in a row for a glamorous evening of world-class Grand Prix Show Jumping and philanthropy in support of special needs riders.

The exclusive benefit will take place on March 10th during Week 9 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida to celebrate the occasion of the $384,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix.

Georgina Bloomberg

Hosted by Scott Durkin, President and COO of Douglas Elliman, Gus Rubio, COO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida Brokerage, Co-Founders of Give Back for Special Equestrians Sissy DeMaria-Koehne and Dr. Heather Kuhl, the lavish ringside gala will take place in the gallery overlooking the Grand Prix Show ring and will feature a lively DJ, cocktails and dinner. The evening’s program also includes a special guest appearance from Natalia C. Cercone, an extra-ability rider who will share her inspiring journey of healing. Cercone’s personal story and life experiences translate into a message of inclusion and adaptability that is impactful and life-changing to all who listen. Proceeds raised from the gala will provide annual scholarships for therapeutic horseback riding lessons and a renewed path toward healing and hope for children and veterans with disabilities.

“This event touches on our brand ethos of supporting Douglas Elliman’s friends, agents and clients in the equestrian arena as well as important philanthropic efforts within the communities we serve. Our long-term partnership with the Wellington Equestrian Festival greatly exemplifies that dual philosophy,” said Scott Durkin.

“Douglas Elliman is pleased to partner for the second year in a row with Give Back for Special Equestrians. Therapeutic horseback riding has many physical benefits for people with disabilities like improving balance, posture and eye-hand coordination while also helping to build self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control,” said Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida Brokerage. “We are happy to help support children and veterans who can best benefit from this life changing therapy.”

Jimmy Torano

Give Back for Special Equestrians, formerly known as Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, is a Florida-based nonprofit 501C3, whose mission is to provide therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted scholarships for disabled children and veterans throughout Florida and New York. The all-volunteer charity founded in 2013 by Sissy DeMaria-Koehne, along with Dr. Heather Kuhl and Isabel Ernst, aims to share in the joy of horses and horsemanship with those suffering from physical, mental and emotional difficulties so they can experience the many benefits of therapeutic and equine-assisted horseback riding.

“Thanks to Douglas Elliman, Give Back has made significant strides giving back more than $100,000 in support of special equestrians. We are so grateful for their commitment which enables us to continue to give more individuals living with mental, cognitive or emotional disabilities direct access to ‘horsepower’ that heals. I also want to express my gratitude to our honorary co-chairs Georgina Bloomberg and Jimmy Torano as well as our board and media partner Sidelines Magazine,” said Sissy DeMaria-Koehne, Founder of Give a Buck for Special Equestrians.

About Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Established in 1911, Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and the fourth largest residential real estate company nationwide. With more than 7,000 agents, the company operates approximately 113 offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Long Island, the Hamptons & North Fork, Westchester, Greenwich, South Florida, Boston, Colorado and California. Moreover, Douglas Elliman has a strategic global alliance with London-based Knight Frank Residential for business in the worldwide luxury markets spanning 60 countries and six continents. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services including Douglas Elliman Development Marketing; Manhattan’s largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management with over 250 buildings; and DE Commercial. For more information on Douglas Elliman as well as expert commentary on emerging trends in the real estate industry, please visit elliman.com.

About Give Back for Special Equestrians

Give Back for Special Equestrians, formerly Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, is a Florida-based nonprofit 501©3. The all-volunteer organization founded by Sissy DeMaria-Koehne, Dr. Heather Kuhl and Isabel Ernst in Vero Beach, Florida in 2013, provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted scholarships for disabled children and veterans through its partner stables in New York and Florida. Give Back for Special Equestrians aims to share the joy of horses and horsemanship with those facing some of life’s most difficult physical, emotional and mental challenges and enable them to experience the life-changing benefits of horsepower that heals. Through its Young Ambassador program, youth between the of ages 7-17 are encouraged to pay forward their blessings through active volunteerism. Young Ambassadors meet monthly during the school year and assist with a variety of fund and “friend” raising activities. For more information please visit www.giveabuckeq.org


Plan for a Week of Fun and Great Competition at Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show

May 15, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

North Salem, NY – May 14, 2013 – The Old Salem Spring Horse Show continued today with the beginning of competition for a second week at Old Salem Farm. The week is full of fun events to watch and participate in for equestrians and spectators alike. You can see the “Who’s Who” of the show jumping world on the Grand Prix Field through May 19, like World Cup champion Beezie Madden, Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward and Rodrigo Pessoa, top local riders Leslie Howard, Georgina Bloomberg, Christine McCrea, and more! Come out to enjoy equestrian sport and entertain the whole family.


World Cup champion Beezie Madden will compete this week at Old Salem Farm

World Cup champion Beezie Madden will compete this week at Old Salem Farm


Join us at one of these great events!


Friday, May 17


Competition – Noon: $25,000 Grand Prix of North Salem


5 pm: $5,000 Groom’s Class sponsored by: Ilan Ferder Stables, JET Show Stables, CEO Stables, Mclain Ward, Inc., Equine Equipment


5-6:30 pm: Pasta Extravaganza! “Make Your Own Pasta” Exhibitor Party with Hilby the Skinny German Juggling Boy, called “Rivetingly Absurd” by The New York Times


See some of the best that the sport of show jumping has to offer!

See some of the best that the sport of show jumping has to offer!


Saturday, May 18


Competition – 1 pm: $20,000 Speed Derby of North Salem


3-4 pm: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Social sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance


Competition – 4 pm: $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate


5-6:30 pm ASPCA Equine Advocacy Reception, Join VIP bartenders Beezie & John Madden, Georgina Bloomberg and Prince Lorenzo Borghese of ABC’s The Bachelor, 100% of tips go to ASPCA Equine Advocacy efforts. (R.S.V.P. devia.brown@aspca.org or 212-8767700, x 4676)


Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Social

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Social


Sunday, May 19


Highlight Competition – 2:30 pm: $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group


11 am – 4 pm: ASPCA Adoption Day! Meet rescued dogs, cats, and miniature horses looking for forever homes!

Save your spot on the hill to watch Sunday's grand prix!

Save your spot on the hill to watch Sunday’s grand prix!


Great food is available every day at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show. be sure to stop by and visit the Little Kabab Station, one of the most popular food joints in Westchester, along with Little Crepe Street. They are serving their famous Bombay Frankie rolls and are rated as the best sandwiches in Westchester. They are also serving chicken tikka masala and saag paneer with basmati rice. Also try out David’s World Famous for special items every day, or get your coffee fix at Muddy Paw Coffee!


For those who can’t make it out this weekend, but still want to watch great hunter/jumper action, our two main events – The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate, on May 18, and the $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group, on May 19 – will be live streamed on USEF Network presented by Smartpak. The entire Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show is also live streamed at www.shownet.biz!


The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows celebrate its 31st year in 2013 and offer two weeks of exceptional equestrian sport on May 7-12 and May 14–19 at one of the nation’s premier and newly renovated equestrian facilities, Old Salem Farm, in North Salem, New York. Old Salem’s beautifully manicured grounds, list of elite horses and riders, and fantastic social gatherings draw spectators from Westchester County and beyond to watch horses and ponies of every size compete for almost $500,000 in prize money. The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows feature over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, bringing together top competitors, including Olympic show jumpers, from across the country. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net/mayhome.


Photo Credit:© The Book LLC. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and with proper credit.



Who Reins Supreme? Teams Selected. Top Equestrians from Hunters, Show Jumping, Polo, and Dressage to Compete Against One Another

January 26, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

WELLINGTON, Fla. (January. xx, 2013) – Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips, Louise Serio, Peter Pletcher, Chris Hickey,David Marcus, Kent Farrington, and Georgina Bloomberg have been selected to represent their disciplines, showing off their newfound skills in the reining ring at the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) fundraiser, Who Reins Supreme?. Held on Friday, February 1, 2013, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., the evening will raise funds for EAF programs that financially assist equestrians, horsemen and equine-related professionals who are suffering from catastrophic illnesses and injuries, throughout their time of need.


Unlike previous years with the Tetrathlon, Who Reins Supreme? will solely focus on reining. Two world-class riders from each discipline –  dressage, show jumping, hunters, and polo – will ride a custom-designed reining pattern created by Tom and Mandy McCutcheon and Sarah Willeman Richter.


Third generation polo player Nic Roldan is one the top professionals in the country competing around the world. Brandon Phillips carries a 5-goal handicap and has won some of the sports’ most coveted trophies.


“Polo is completely different from reining, and I hope to do the discipline justice in this year’s competition,” said Nic Roldan. “It is exhilarating to step out of my comfort zone and try something new to benefit a great cause.”


Louise Serio is one of the top hunter trainers and professionals. She has piloted some of the most talented mounts to receive champion honors at top “AA” horse shows nationally. As the current winner of the World Champion Hunter Rider Professional Challenge, Peter Pletcher, has spent the past 30 years garnering many of the sports’ top honors.


“The support that EAF provides is unparalleled,” said Louise Serio. “I am honored to have been asked to represent hunters in the reining competition at Who Reins Supreme? and look forward to seeing what the other riders bring to the ring.”


Winner of both Individual and Team Gold Medals representing the United States at the Pan American Games, Chris Hickey is an elite competitor in dressage. Along with competing, he is also the Director of Training at Hilltop Farm. Fellow dressage rider David Marcus has represented both the United States and Canada in International competitions. He is a rider, competitor, trainer and coach.


Georgina Bloomberg, Equestrian Aid Foundation board member, had her first riding lesson at the age of four and began competing professionally on the Grand Prix circuit in 2003. She has found vast success in the ring, recently served as captain of the women’s team that won the 2013 $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes. Her teammate Kent Farrington began riding when he was nine. Originally from Chicago, he now runs a successful teaching and training business in Wellington, Florida, and is one of the top United States show jumpers competing internationally.


“Each of our competitors is at the top of his or her sport and we’re looking forward to seeing them take their riding talents to reining,” explained R. Scot Evans, President of EAF. “We are so grateful to have the riders’ support for the Equestrian Aid Foundation and Who Reins Supreme?. In addition to the regular competition, guests can expect lots of fun and surprises throughout the night.”


Who Reins Supreme? provides an opportunity for people to donate through ticket and table sales and allows them a unique, fun experience. Tables, tickets and sponsorships for the evening may be purchased at www.EquestrianAidFoundation.org or by phone at 800.792.6068.


November 15, 2012 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

A Fast-Paced Ride through a World of Privilege and Glamour

Inspired by Real Life and Equestrian Experiences of Mayor’s Daughter

In Georgina Bloomberg’s debut novel, The A Circuit (May 2011), readers fell in love with three spunky teenage elite riders competing in the privileged equestrian world: Zara, the wild child of a famous rock star, Kate, a working student serious about riding, and Tommi, a billionaire heiress. The series continued with My Favorite Mistake (February 2012) where we saw the characters bring more drama and controversy to the A Circuit than ever before.



Now, in Off Course (Bloomsbury; November 13, 2012; original paperback; $9.99), the highly anticipated third novel in Bloomberg’s teen book series co-written with Catherine Hapka, we watch Zara, Kate and Tommi continue their struggle to strike a balance between grueling competition schedules and barn responsibilities at Pelham Lane Stables with their desire to lead social lives like normal teenagers.


In Off Course, equestrians Tommi, Kate, and Zara are expected to perform at every horse show, large or small. So with the biggest show of the season just weeks away, they should be in prep mode.  Should be.  Tommi’s friends convince her to take a road trip to drop off an older friend at school . . . where she can’t help but get distracted by college boys. Kate is dealing with the aftermath of her boyfriend Fitz’s latest grand gesture: buying a horse for the two of them to train together. And Zara? Well, trouble follows her everywhere! Then there’s the issue of a new blog on the circuit-is someone from Pelham Lane feeding gossip to the press? Forget prep mode for the big horse show, these girls are in crisis mode.


With sharp and witty humor, Bloomberg deftly conveys the girls’ emotional struggles as they try to get their priorities in line, while making some costly mistakes along the way. A social drama set within an elite world, Off Course will have teens flocking to this series.


Georgina Bloomberg is an accomplished professional equestrian and the youngest daughter of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She is on the board of the Equestrian AID Foundation, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the Bloomberg Sisters Foundation, the Bloomberg Family Foundation and the Trustees of the United States Equestrian Team. She is an Equine Welfare Ambassador for the ASPCA, Chair-woman of the Horse Council of the Humane Society of the United States, and a member of the Friends of Finn committee for the Humane Society of the United States, a group dedicated to fighting puppy mills. In 2006 she started The Rider’s Closet (now run by Pegasus Therapeutic Riding) which collects and redistributes clothing and equipment to riders who cannot afford them. A portion of her proceeds from this book will be donated to Friends of Finn.


Catherine Hapka has published many books for children and young adults. She keeps three horses at her small farm in Pennsylvania.


BLOOMSBURY: Bloomsbury USA, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing World Wide, was launched in 2002 as a general-interest publisher of children’s books for readers of all ages. The imprint publishes such award-winning and bestselling authors as Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale, Julianne Moore, Alexander McCall Smith, Carrie Jones, Simone Elkeles, and E. D. Baker. In the UK, Bloomsbury is the publisher of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Georgina Bloomberg’s new book, OFF COURSE, the highly anticipated third novel in her teen book series co-written with Catherine Hapka, will be available on November 13th