Name: Georgina Bloomberg
Favorite horse show: the Old Salem Spring Horse shows. I grew up riding at Old Salem Farm and our farm and house are just down the street from it. All my childhood memories are from my time spent there riding with friends and it’s a place that is a big part of who I am today and will always be close to my heart. When I go there I feel at home and get to have friends and family who don’t get to watch me ride very often come to support me, and a win there means more to me than at any other show through the year.
Major Goal for 2017: To have our team for the Global Champions League, the Miami Glory win the series. We have a really strong solid team this year and we are focused on being at the top of the podium at the final in November.
Minor Goal for 2017: This is a rebuilding year for me as I have a few nice younger horses stepping up into bigger divisions, and no real experience Grand Prix horses. My goal this year is to have all my horses develop in a positive way and end the year jumping at a higher level than when they started.
Any Good luck/superstition tradition you do before a big class: I wear a gold coin that my mother gave me in 2003 before I won the individual gold medal at the North American Young Rider Championships pinned in my pocket of my pants for every big important class. She gave it me before I left for the show and said to me that no matter what happens, I had already won the gold medal in her eyes. I wore it for those championships and have worn it in every Grand Prix or nations cup since.
How do you manage nerves before a class: I try to take my mind off of things and calm any nerves, but still stay concentrated. I actually welcome some nerves and find that I ride better if I am a little nervous. Sometimes I am too relaxed and find that if I am a little nervous it makes me ride better and stay concentrated on the job ahead. I have come out of the ring a few times and said to myself, I should have been more nervous and tried harder, if I get too relaxed I feel that I don’t ride with the fire I need to sometimes. I have never had nerves be debilitating because I actually enjoy being in a spotlight and the center of attention. The more people watching, the more I enjoy competing. Plus, I always tell myself, there is no reason to be nervous unless you are unprepared or shouldn’t be in the class. And in that case, go home and prepare better or don’t jump at that level. You should be confident and prepared every time you go in the ring, and if there are some nerves, they should only ever be the kind that are because you really want to do well and are just nervous you won’t perform your best. Every rider, has bad rounds and makes mistakes. That’s important to remember. Not every jump is going to go as planned, and with the amount we compete, having things you would prefer didn’t happen is gong to happen to everyone quite often. As long as you are properly prepared and not jumping at an inappropriate level for you or your horse, the only nerves you should have are the ones that are going to give you just a little extra desire to win.
What’s one tip you could offer to young riders climbing to the top: To never give up, get discouraged or think you can’t make it no matter where you come from or how much natural talent you have. I have zero natural talent but as a child I was so determined to figure out how to win that I refused to give up, no matter how many mistakes I made or how many classes I lost. I worked hard at the sport and learned from anyone I could and refused to let things deter me from what I wanted to accomplish. Anyone who watched me ride as a kid would have never thought I would go on to accomplish any of the things that I have, but I knew that since I didn’t have the natural talent I would have to figure out a different way to be successful and that I would have to work harder than some of the other kids who did have natural talent. I am grateful that things were like this for me because it taught me a work ethic that you need for the sport and also it taught me to let loses and mistakes not effect me so much. Losing is a big part of this sport and you have to learn from them, and then not let them get you down or discourage you. You will make mistakes, you will lose lose lots of classes, and you will have all sorts of bad times in your career no matter what you come from and how you ride. But that’s part of this sport and you can’t let them sway you from the path you are taking and what you want to accomplish. If you can’t accept disappointment and loss, you are not going to make it in this sport. We all want to win, but learning from your mistakes and accepting there will be dips in your career, times when you can’t win, don’t have a horse, or have an injury, is an important part of sticking with it and learning how to win.
Something no nobody knows about you: When I stop riding I want to study jewelry design and have my own collection.
Your greatest strength: Determination and being too stubborn to give up. I love when people say negative things about me or say I can’t do something. It provides me with some fuel to prove them wrong and makes it so much sweeter if and when I can prove them wrong.
Your greatest weakness: Self doubt. You have to believe in yourself and your horses in this sport, and confidence is one of the most important tools for being a top rider. I find that sometimes I doubt myself and don’t aim as high in my career or some of my goals and am always trying to fix that.
What’s your favorite thing to do in your spare time: Just be at home with my animals, my son and spend time with friends. With the amount we travel for shows, the biggest luxury for me is having a free weekend at home to enjoy family time.
Favorite pre-competition meal: cereal. It’s my favorite food and I always travel with some to have on the road at shows.
Your most prized possession: My blankie. I still sleep with a blanket that my mother gave me when I was born. It’s 38 years old, (my sister had it as a baby before I was born) and I hate sleeping without it. I travel the world with it, (it’s even white water rafted down the grand canyon with me for a week) and sleep with it every night. It helps with traveling so much since it’s always something comfy and familiar smelling and I don’t plan on every giving it up. I used to be embarrassed that I was in my 30’s and had a blanket but now I own it and am proud of it!
Favorite aspect about riding in Samshield: I genuinely feel safer in a Samshield helmet than in others, which as a mother in her 30’s who has had two concussions in her life, is something that is very important to me. But, the bonus is that I also love the way they look. I don’t think there is a better looking helmet on the market these days and I love that we can personalize them to match our barn colors and be color coordinated to our show clothes.
If you could pick just one memory from your riding career to keep: winning the very first Central Park Horse Show Grand Prix. I can’t say it was a dream come true because it was too special to have ever been something I thought could have happened. My entire family and my son were there watching and to have a victory like that in the middle of the city I grew up in was mind blowing. I remember walking out of the ring and looking up at the city lights and that is a moment I never want to forget.
How has horse show life changed since becoming a mom: The traveling gets more exhausting and difficult because I either have to bring my son with me or be away from him, both of which have their challenges. I have to make the decision for each competition whether it is in his best interest or not to come with me, and if it will be somewhere that will be enjoyable and safe for him. When he is at a show I have two jobs, rider and mom and sometimes that is challenging with not as much sleep and not being able to concentrate fully on my competition or riding. But on the flip side having him around makes me happy and more relaxed so I find that sometimes I ride better because I am not constantly thinking about missing him or being anxious about getting back home to him. And of course if I go well, there is nothing better than being able to have him there cheering me on. I also have to pick shows that fit into his school schedule now that he is in preschool and also make a schedule that doesn’t make me travel as much so I don’t get to do a lot of the shows I would like to or have been able to do.
Best advice you have ever received: Don’t let other people’s opinions or doubts affect you and what you set out to accomplish. I have so much respect for what my father has accomplished in life and how he has handled people who doubted him. When he started his company, he did so with his severance after being fired and no one thought his idea was a good one. He stuck with it and believed in his own vision and didn’t give up. The same situation happened when he decided he was going to run for Mayor of New York City. Most people thought he was joking and had no chance of winning. Not one negative comment or person who doubted him had any effect on him or what he had set for himself as a goal. When he won it must have tasted so much sweeter having had so many people tell him he couldn’t do it. I always try to let negative comments fuel me instead of deter me from what I want to and know I can accomplish instead. Don’t let others make you doubt yourself or have any effect on what you want to do with your life and goals you set for yourself.
Best advice you have ever given: If you have the ability to and the chance to, go to college. Some riders don’t have the option and I understand that, but if you can, go to college or continue your education outside of just horses in any way you can. College is an experience I think every person should have and I disagree with kids who think that their riding is more important than what they will learn in college or the life experience they will have during those years. I studied a lot of sports media, management and business in my years at college and think it has helped my career immensely in my ability to understand the sport, how to market yourself and how to approach and represent sponsors which at the top level is almost just as important as your ability to ride if you want to be successful.
Favorite travel destination: Bermuda. I spent the summers there are a kid at my Godparents house and now we have a family home there that I escape to every chance I can. It’s my happy place and I think the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Favorite animal rescue organization: I work with so many incredible smaller organizations who all do so much, but my favorite dog rescue is Danny and Ron’s Rescue. I have two amazing dogs from them and I have so much respect for the work they do. Danny and Ron are both horse people who started taking in dogs after Hurricane Katrina. They have since rescued thousands of dogs, giving up every moment of their free time and every cent they earn to saving as many as they can. Not only do they save the lives of so many dogs, but they also work hard to make sure that every dog gets into the perfect home and is happy and safe which is hard work. They follow up and remember the dogs they have placed, and once you adopt a dog from them you feel a connection to them and what they do. I always say people should do as much to help a cause they care about as they possibly can. Danny and Ron are the ultimate example of this.
Do any of your horses have any funny quirks? Manodie who is my top horse right now has to pee in the schooling area every time we are competing. If she doesn’t pee, I know she won’t go well.