Dan's Hamptons - August 2008
So You Want to Live with the Horses... By T.J. Clemente
Stone Meadow Farm in East Hampton has a stable for five horses and a barn; #4 Horse Meadow Lane in Dune Alpin has sprawling equestrian reserve views It's mid-August in the Hamptons and that means horses. Along so many of the back roads north of the highway in Bridgehampton, Water Mill, Southampton and East Hampton, are the horse farms, with their white fences, green pastures, riding circles and steeple chase courses. All summer long, appropriately attired equestrian participants are practicing or just enjoying the day with their mounts. Who doesn't enjoy driving the back roads along a pasture filled with beautiful horses? It's as American as apple pie. So, amid the doom and gloom of some sectors of the real estate market, a peek at what's available around the Hamptons in terms of horse properties presents the opportunity for those who are having problems with $4 plus gas and the bills on that desk at home to fantasize. Paying a visit to some of the many friendly, local real estate offices, finding help wasn't really that easy. With business not great, no one had the luxury of time for something that wasn't sales related. But at Brown Harris Stevens, agent Dawn Brophy took some time to point me in the right directions of what is available in terms of horse properties in the Hamptons. As expected, there were some listed for over $30 million, which, of course, I might need a small loan to purchase. Of course, if it's stables you're interested in, Rita's Stables in Montauk is maybe headed for the market, but if she couldn't make it work, who can? Perhaps it's going to be Paddock Estates right there on Route 27 and West Lake Drive in Montauk soon. Looking at some listings, there were a few eye-openers.
If you have a mere $19.9 million to spend, what can you get? In East Hampton there's Stone Meadow Farm, represented by Gary DePersia of Corcoran: 18,000 square feet of living space on 8 acres, and "a stable for up to five horses in an attractive barn framed by ample riding fields." It makes you feel like picking up the phone and calling a mortgage broker. Of course, should you feel the need to spend a bit more cash, you could go for a $30.5 million gem, represented by Prudential's Yvonne Velasquez, Robert Kohr and Lori Macgarva - a 24 acre property. "Property includes a 8,650 sf state of the art barn with professional kitchen ... Ideal location for a spa facility, corporate retreat, or equestrian property. " Now, honestly, if you had the dough and love horses, it is tempting. In horse country, Sagaponack, there's a respectable $10.8 million property represented by Melissa Osborne of Prudential, with an "1850s classic Victorian farmhouse... a beautiful old barn that has been lovingly maintained, with stalls, wash rack and a heated tack room with laundry and half-bath." I almost feel like saying Rochester, where is my riding crop? Now, what if you want to be close to horses but aren't into cleaning up the manure or brushing down the horses? Here's one for you in Bridgehampton for a mere $4.3 million, listed with Cathy Tweedy of Corcoran. "On a builders acre with big open views of a 29-acre horse farm this is the perfect spot to retreat ...... laze around the heated pool while you watch the horses graze in front of you." There's another spot for ponies in East Hampton: the Dune Alpin Farm. According to the association web site, "Dune Alpin Farm is a distinctive, private and comfortable place to live and play in East Hampton, NY." When 135 acres were purchased for $1.6 million in the 1970s by Stanley Harte, by 1981 it had, among other things, fifty acres that include the buildings, that once housed horses, being rehabilitated into what will be a ''deluxe riding and boarding facility. And 50 acres have been dedicated to the town or village as scenic easements," according to a New York Times article from 1981. Many of houses on the development overlook an equestrian reserve, and owners may be able to board their own horses if space at the barn permits. Right now there are three properties available on Dune Alpin's Horse Meadow Lane with views of the reserve: a 3,000 square foot traditional built in 2005 for just under $2.9 million (listed by Corcoran's Cathy Tweedy); a brand new construction, 3,000 square foot barn type house on close to an acre for $2.5 million (Beth Troy, Town & Country); and a six year old 3,000 sf traditional for just under $2.4 million (Bryan Midlam, Prudential). Now, finally, if you want to be in charge of it all, The Two Trees farm and its 114 acres in Bridgehampton has been put on the market for $95 million, represented by Tim Davis and his team at Corcoran. Now we're talking serious coin. Even horse enthusiast Bruce Springsteen would have to go back to work full-time to buy this baby. Of course, many equestrians bring their horses out to the Hamptons for the summer and board them. During the 1930s, a young pre-teen Jacqueline Bouvier kept her favorite horse, Danceuse, at Martin Aylward's stable in the winter (now ABC building) in Manhattan and in his stable on Henry Street in Southampton in the summer to prepare for big events. Hundreds of people still do it today, paying anywhere from $2,000 a month and up. So, next time you turn down that back road and see those horses grazing, think of those listed prices and remember that at one time they hung horse thieves but never anyone who stole a car.