Long Island may be a coastal community where surfing, fishing and beach days reign, but islanders also love their horses. Summer under saddle on the East End culminates with the esteemed Hampton Classic Horse Show before many are off to Wellington, Florida, the winter equestrian capital of the world. Western Suffolk County and Nassau County is home to thriving equestrian communities, as well. We asked some of the top agents, some equestrians in their own right, where are some of the best areas to not only live but to ride and what makes these communities stand out.
BRANCH REAL ESTATE GROUP
“Growing up on the Gold Coast of Long Island surrounded by relics of historical mansions and my love of horses, I was fortunate to ride horseback through the backyards and estates in Old Westbury, including some old fox hunt trails once only accessed by very affluent families with their well-bred horses. This private view of the beautiful homes and estates of Long Island’s Gold Coast was my inspiration to become a real estate agent. Today, some of the fox hunt trails have been covered with brush and the land has been developed, but Long Island still has many riding facilities for riding English, Western, polo, Hunter paces, and trail riding. There are also many volunteer opportunities for those who love horses and are interested in riding. English riding is prominent on the North Shore and the further you travel east on the island you can experience trail riding in a western saddle. In Brookville, there is Gold Coast Equestrian Center, Aureliano Equestrian, North Shore Equestrian Center at CW Post, Hunter’s Moon in East Norwich and beautiful trails in Muttontown Nassau County along with numerous smaller farms throughout Nassau and Suffolk County. HorseAbility in Old Westbury offers therapeutic riding to improve the lives of individuals with special needs, which I personally had an amazing experience as a volunteer. You can also bring your own horse to Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve and ride the beautiful grounds. Live where you ride, ride where you live.”
“Hands down, Bridgehampton is the heart of horse country in the Hamptons and home to the world-class equestrian event, The Hampton Classic. Home base for me is Firefly Farm at Two Trees Stables. I rode there as a girl and went back in 2013. What makes Firefly Farm a special place to ride for me is that we have over 60 acres to explore. Some days I practice in the ring and other days I take my horse to the field for hill work or a leisurely stroll or just gallop around the polo fields. I love the action at the farm with a variety of different trainers. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of riders at Firefly as well. Being there most mornings is just the best way to start my day with my boy, Balou, a now-16-year-old Oldenburg Warmblood, who was imported from Germany as a baby.”
“On the Gold Coast of Long Island, Mill Neck is one of my favorite villages, close to delightful shops, restaurants, parks and marinas. It’s also a top draw for riders and breeders alike, with its local arboretums, equestrian and hiking trails, sweeping estates and close location – just 25 minutes – to the Belmont Racetrack. Mill Neck properties consist of large parcels of land that are a minimum of four-plus acres, and many overlook the water, offer privacy, and are gated with mature trees and emerald lawns. Both the Hamptons and Manhattan are less than an hour away. I’m currently listing an amazing property in this picturesque village where the owner bred over 100 racehorses. They delivered all the babies there — how exciting! The gorgeous mansion overlooks paddocks, a 10-stall stable with apartment, tack room, and driveway, plus an amazing outdoor entertainment complex. With truly special properties like this, Mill Neck is an idyllic place to live out an equestrian dream.”
Dee Dee Brix
“Old Brookville is a wonderful place to live. It is a small incorporated village in Nassau County with lots of land (mostly 3- and 5-acre zoning), beautiful treed country lanes and offers several equestrian facilities. My favorite is Aureliano Equestrian, formerly The Red Barn, a 16-acre equestrian center with ongoing renovations including a new tack room, new interior barn space, plus two new all-weather riding rings as well as their indoor riding ring. Residents of Old Brookville also enjoy local farm stands like Young’s Farm and Rottkamp’s Farm, and the close proximity to fine restaurants, shopping and Manhattan also make it one of the best places to live.”
DANIEL GALE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY
“Something that has always kept me happy living on Long Island is the equestrian facilities and riding trails that are available to horse lovers, such as myself. I grew up in Huntington on the North Shore and always dreamed of riding like several of my friends. When I returned to Long Island after college I bought a horse and began my relationship with the equestrian community. The topography of Long Island lends itself to farm land and trails which are perfect for the stables and riding rings that dot the Town of Huntington including Lloyd Harbor and Lloyd Neck and West Hills with their large county parks and equestrian facilities. Polo fields are filled with matches on weekends and horse shows are easy to get to via the Long Island Expressway, without even leaving the Island. Huntington offers the small town feel that those escaping New York City want to experience, yet is close enough by train or car to commute to work or enjoy Broadway and museums. The abundance of golf courses and the beaches and harbors offer additional entertainment but the riding community is able to ride year round if they don’t head south for the winter circuit with the many indoor arenas the stables provide. Long Island’s history includes the love of horses for fox hunts, racing, show jumping and leisure trail rides and the equestrian community strives to continue that passion.”
NOFO REAL ESTATE
“As an equestrian who began riding on the North Fork of Long Island at a young age, I have always recognized the unique and incredible privilege of all who get to experience this exclusive community — it is truly exceptional. Being a licensed real estate salesperson on the North Fork, I can say with confidence that the opportunity to own a farm or live in this area is one that is incomparable to anywhere else. North Fork barn owners and equestrians relish in the authenticity and serenity of its private settings surrounded by vineyards and farms. Each night after a ride, my horse and I stroll down the quiet roads of Cutchogue and across farm fields to the Long Island Sound. The environment on the North Fork is the reality of a horse lover’s dream. Oftentimes in the equine industry, communities and the facilities within them can become commercialized. The North Fork embodies the traditional equine lifestyle and all that is the true horseman, providing equestrians a place of retreat after spending time at a horse show. Barn owners here take pride and passion in their hands-on, personal facilities. This privacy comes without any cost concerning accessibility to horse shows — the Hampton Classic, Sagaponack, Wölffer, Old Field Farm and Winner’s Circle are all just a short drive from the North Fork.”
This article appeared in the September 2023 issue of Behind The Hedges Powered By the Long Island Press. Read the full digital version of the magazine, click here. For more articles from our various magazines, click here.