By Jacqueline Kuron
Though equestrian athletes who participate in high-level competitions are often on the road, there are a few key locations around the country that cater specifically to the equestrian lifestyle. These areas boast features including hosting key competitions, offering top training facilities, having riding trails for leisure, or providing property zoning laws that accommodate horses. We spoke to Douglas Elliman agents who specialize in equestrian properties to get the inside scoop on the best equestrian-friendly communities around the country. Here are the top locations they recommend.
Lic. Assoc. R.E. Broker, Westchester County, NY & Connecticut
Sally Slater recommends the horse communities in Bedford, North Salem, South Salem, and Armonk, NY, and Fairfield County, CT because they are located close to major horse show venues and New York City.
There’s access to top trainers in every riding discipline and specialty builders and architects for barn needs. Local zoning regulations result in larger parcels of land required for horses. And, Bedford, North Salem, and Pawling, NY, as well as Greenwich, CT offer extensive trail systems.
Sales Associate, Wellington, FL
Wellington is an epicenter of equestrian sport as the host of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), one of the largest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world attracting top riders, trainers, and horses from around the globe at all levels. In addition to WEF, South Florida is home to many other shows in every season, making it a year-round equestrian location. The biggest draw of Equestrian Club Estates is its proximity to WEF, easily accessible by walking or golf cart.
Sales Associate, Palm Beach, FL
Wellington is a special place, but there are other neighborhoods close by including Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens that equestrians may also want to consider. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Palm Beach Gardens is a new development that Julie Nelson, Sales Associate and rider represents.
Many riders are also boaters. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Palm Beach Gardens has a marina with 29 slips, so it’s another option for those wanting to be close to Wellington.
Lic. Assoc. R.E. Broker, The Hamptons, NY
The Hamptons is known worldwide not only for its beautiful beaches and as a summer haven for celebrities, but also for its horse farms and the Hampton Classic Horse Show.
The summer season culminates with the Hampton Classic, which attracts some of the top riders in the world. “When not horse showing, there is plenty of opportunity for down time for both horses and riders with trail rides on the farm or early morning rides on the beach,” Holl added. The Hamptons also offers access to fabulous restaurants, shopping, and cultural events, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
In addition to equestrian-friendly neighborhoods, the properties them- selves must enhance the lives of horses and riders, owners and trainers. If you are searching for an equestrian property, aligning yourself with an experienced and knowledgeable agent in this specialized market ensures that you and your horses will find a home you love.