There are two people real estate developer Don Peebles has a hard time saying no to: wife Katrina and daughter Chloe. “And so,” he told the group that filled the lawns behind his Sag Harbor estate, “When Katrina mentioned to me that she thought it was a good idea for Chloe to ride horses, I said, ‘sure everyone loves horses.’ What I didn’t acknowledge and what these sports lovers here understand.” A nervous laugh went through the room. Everyone knows: riding horses costs money.
Georgina Bloomberg understands that and was on hand, as a special guest, to help the Peebles support Give Back for Special Equestrians. The charity helps disabled children and veterans with their challenges by putting them on horses. It was founded by Sissy DeMaria-Koehne, Dr. Heather Kuhl and Isabel Ernst, five years ago in Florida and New York and helps with autism, paralysis, spina bifida and post-traumatic stress disorder by improving balance, posture, hand-eye coordination, self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control. “The life-changing benefits of equine therapy are countless and date back to the time of the ancient Greeks,” Sissy DeMaria-Koehne told the group. It’s “horsepower that heals.”
Although he ponied up for Chloe’s horse-drawn expenses, Don said, he kept his son, (R. Donahue Peebles III) growing up, on a very strict budget. “So, I never told him what the investment was in the equestrian activities.” It was an eye opener when Don III got an equestrian girlfriend in college and found out what her horses cost. “Chloe doesn’t ride horses like that, does she?” he asked. “Oh, no son,” had to be the father’s reply. Levity aside, “There is a tremendous economic barrier to enjoy such an amazing sport,” Peebles said. And it was his 16-year-old beauty, Chloe, a competitive junior equestrian on the First Blue Show Circuit, who reined him in to help those less fortunate enjoy the benefits of riding.
The Peebles Corporation were primary supporters. Rolls-Royce, Goldman Sachs, Fisher Island Club, VistaJet, Hamptons Magazine, KAR Properties, 2000 Ocean, One River Point, First Blue Stables, Alexis, Blade and Black Stallion Winery were supporting sponsors.