“Walk 10 blocks that way and it will be on the left side of the street,” says Georgina Bloomberg, who breaks from her portrait shoot (for this magazine) to direct a couple asking for directions to The Museum of Natural History. Georgina knows the museums like the back of her hand — she’s an archetypal New Yorker who grew up on the Upper East Side while also dashing off to North Salem, New York, on the weekends. As
with most New Yorkers she loves to solicit directions and she more than most knows the inner workings of the concrete jungle. She’s the younger daughter of the former three-term NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is credited with improving the quality of life in the city from 2002 to 2013.
Georgina is a self-assured, athletic woman who is confident in her own skin — a single mother of 20-month-old son Jasper, a passionate ambassador to the ASPCA, founder of The Rider’s Closet, a professional equestrian and Olympic hopeful. She’s the kind of beauty that seems unaware of her porcelain complexion, stunning facial symmetry and warm smile, because her life priorities run deeper than the surface. If you didn’t know that her father had a reported net worth of $38.3 billion (according to Forbes) you would never guess. But her privileged youth is one of the reasons she feels so profoundly about her responsibility to give back to the city that gave her so much. “I’m so lucky to be in a position where I can raise awareness for the mistreatment of animals. Every day I wake up and think there is nothing I would rather be doing. I believe I was put on this Earth to make a difference in animals’ lives. I’m very lucky that I have been afforded that luxury — to feel this passionate and not help seems very selfish,” she says.
For the past five years the 32 year old campaigned to combat horse slaughter (for food) and raise awareness about horse-welfare issues. One of her first public comments to tackle this issue is below:
“As an Equine Welfare Ambassador for the ASPCA and a lifelong equestrian, the idea of serving slaughtered horses to diners in New York City, my hometown, is unacceptable. Thousands of American horses are slaughtered in Canadian and Mexican slaughter-houses where this meat would have come from. They are former show horses, racehorses and companion horses that ran out of luck and suffered the ultimate betrayal. We do not slaughter and eat our horses here in this country and we never will.”
Although she is an avid equestrian and defender of horses (she also boards and keeps 11 competition horses in North Salem) she fights for all animals. “I’ve always been an animal lover, and 10 years ago I realized that loving them is not enough — one must protect them fervently. When I walked into a West Palm Beach [Fla.] shelter to adopt my dog, Hugo, I remember walking out in tears thinking, ‘There are so many other dogs that are not as lucky as Hugo.’ If you want to make a difference you must face the issue head-on even if it is upsetting,” she says. For me, being a part of the ASPCA is a great way to tie in my love for animals and my love for New York City. Whether it’s fighting puppy mills or working with the NYPD to prosecute people who abuse animals or breaking up fight rings, it’s an incredible part of my city life.”
Georgina credits her Yorkshire-born mother, Susan Brown, with her passion for animals. “My mother grew up around horses and exposed my sister and I to riding early on. It was very important to her,” she says. “I didn’t like [riding] in the beginning, but I fell in love with the competitive side. I love being good at something and rewarded for hard work among my peers — I’m incredibly competitive in every sport I have engaged in.”
She began in the Pony Hunter Division at age 6 then graduated to the junior ranks in 2001. In 2004 she won the USET Maxine Beard Award, which recognizes inherently talented show jumpers. With Lilli, one of her best horses, she won the Adequan Grand Prix during the 2015 season. Georgina’s next goal is the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero — keeping in good standing in the rankings is key to this cumulative selection process.
Although she is associated with both the ASPCA and the Humane Society, she founded her own charity, The Rider’s Closet, which takes gently used equestrian equipment and donates them directly to those who would not be able to participate without it. “This is a sport you can’t do without the basic equipment, and it’s life in equilibrium.
Keeping the scales in check does not include sitting quietly for this energetic woman. “For me, unplugging is getting things done. I’m a high-strung personality, and I love checking off my to-do list — it’s my way of relaxing. I also genuinely love working out. If I have an hour to kill, I love to go to the gym. It’s a stress-release for me,” says the competitive Bloomberg. “I work out almost every day with some form of cardio, a few times a week, laps in the pool, weight training and Pilates,” says this active New Yorker.
But truth be told, Georgina’s youth, as daughter to mayor of the concrete jungle, was not all peaches and cream. She recalls feeling devastated at reading and hearing criticisms about her father — the inevitable fallout from being in politics. “It helped me develop a thick skin and not take things personally,” she says and adds, “which is easier said than done. I did get to experience some amazing behind-the- scenes happenings like the dropping of the New Year’s ball and meeting Derek Jeter, whom my father introduced me to. I have a photo of us that I treasure even though I was mortified at the time that my dad took it. Every game I went to, he [Derek] always smiled at me — he was such a class act, and I feel so lucky to have that experience,” she reminisces.
For now, Bloomberg remains laser-focused on the task at hand — readying herself for the 2016 Olympics and taking on equestrian competitions one at a time. At the time of writing she was competing at the Spruce Meadows Masters as part of the U.S. team. Her next? The Central Park Horse Show in late September, which she happened to win in 2014. Georgina Bloomberg has what it takes to win in any arena.