News, Culture & Society

Battle of the barns in Westchester between Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg

Bill Gates and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are competing to build the most lavish horse farms for their showjumping star daughters – and North Salem, in Westchester County, New York, has become their battleground.

But the cost of keeping up with the Joneses – or in this case the Bloombergs – is a heavy one.

Not only have both billionaires, who rank in the Forbes top 11 richest people in the world list, each shelled out multiple millions on their daughters’ horse farms, but locals complain that their small town has seen so much construction and heavy trucks that ‘it looks like they are building another World Trade Center.’ 

Both Georgina Bloomberg and Jennifer Gates are keen horse riders and compete in the expensive, exclusive and hyper-competitive world of equestrian sport.

Bill Gates (pictured with his daughter Jennifer in June) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are competing to build the most lavish horse farms for their showjumping star daughters 

Both billionaires, who rank in the Forbes top 11 richest people in the world list, each shelled out multiple millions on their daughters' horse farms (pictured is Michael Bloomberg with daughter Georgina) 

Both billionaires, who rank in the Forbes top 11 richest people in the world list, each shelled out multiple millions on their daughters’ horse farms (pictured is Michael Bloomberg with daughter Georgina) 

So when Georgina, 36, moved to the town in 2012, her father, the former Mayor of New York City, spared no expense in building her a first-class equestrian facility.

Michael, 76, paid $4.55 million for a 33-acre farm adjacent to 20 acres he already owned for the facility.

Then in spring 2018, Jennifer decided she wanted to move to the same town and so tech giant Bill, and wife Melinda, shelled out $15.8 million for a 124-acre farm as a graduation gift after she finished her studies at Stanford.

The Gates’ farm is still under construction but it looks set to be even more impressive than Bloombergs’ with barns, paddocks and dorms for stable hands. 

But the cost of keeping up with the Joneses - or in this case the Bloombergs - is a heavy one. Both billionaires have shelled out multiple millions on their daughters' horse farms. Pictured is a property on the Gates farm in North Salem

But the cost of keeping up with the Joneses – or in this case the Bloombergs – is a heavy one. Both billionaires have shelled out multiple millions on their daughters’ horse farms. Pictured is a property on the Gates farm in North Salem

In spring 2018, Jennifer decided she wanted to move to the same town and so tech giant Bill, and wife Melinda, shelled out $15.8 million for a 124-acre farm as a graduation gift after she finished her studies at Stanford

In spring 2018, Jennifer decided she wanted to move to the same town and so tech giant Bill, and wife Melinda, shelled out $15.8 million for a 124-acre farm as a graduation gift after she finished her studies at Stanford

The Gates' farm is still under construction but it looks set to be even more impressive than Bloombergs' with barns, paddocks and dorms for stable hands

The Gates’ farm is still under construction but it looks set to be even more impressive than Bloombergs’ with barns, paddocks and dorms for stable hands

One of Jennifer's multiple horses is stabled at the horse farm in North Salem in New York

One of Jennifer’s multiple horses is stabled at the horse farm in North Salem in New York

The land also boasts an impressive property at its center for the 22-year-old

The land also boasts an impressive property at its center for the 22-year-old

Michael, 76, paid $4.55 million for a 33-acre farm adjacent to 20 acres he already owned for the facility (pictured) 

Michael, 76, paid $4.55 million for a 33-acre farm adjacent to 20 acres he already owned for the facility (pictured) 

Meanwhile, Georgina reportedly shares her horse farm with at least six horses and many other animals including rescue dogs, a got and two mules. The professional equestrian also  has a three-year-old son named Jasper with Argentine horseman Ramiro Quintana and is dating hunting enthusiast Carlos Arruza Jr.

The media and tech heiress has been showjumping for more than a decade, while Jennifer is relatively new to the sport.

Speaking to Glamour magazine in 2013, Bloomberg said: ‘After graduation it would have been easy for me to get a typical boring desk job or work with my dad.

‘But I would’ve hated it. Like any career, riding’s about taking risks, hard work, and sacrifice, and with show jumping, you take risks – I’ve fallen and fractured my spine twice – it develops character.’ 

In April this year, Jennifer, 22, who bears a striking resemblance to her mother Melinda Gates, competed against Georgina, and a number of other heiresses, as a nationally ranked professional show-jumper at the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour stop in Miami Beach.

Jennifer Gates competed in the CSI5 Global Champions League of Cascais Final against the clock team and individual jumping competition at the final day of Longines Global Champions Tour on July 8, 2017 in Cascais, Portugal 

Georgina

Jennifer Gates, left and Georgina Bloomberg, right, are both keen equestrians 

Media and tech heiress Georgina has been showjumping for more than a decade, while Jennifer is relatively new to the sport

Media and tech heiress Georgina has been showjumping for more than a decade, while Jennifer is relatively new to the sport

‘There are heavy trucks going in and out all day,’ one local told Page Six. 

She finished 46th in one of the competition phases, while Georgina was ranked 21st. 

Jennifer Gates began riding at the age of six. In 2016, her Microsoft founder dad bought an entire street for $35million in Florida’s equestrian capital of Wellington, where the family had moved in 2013 to help Jennifer pursue her show-jumping dreams.

However, even with her parents’ generosity towards her passion, the Gates are not in danger of violating their pledge to donate almost all their fortune to charity.

In 2010, Bill and Melinda started the Giving Pledge, which is a commitment by wealthy individuals and families to give away more than half of their fortune to charitable causes. 

Jennifer, who is ranked 19th in show jumping by The United States Equestrian Federation, has competed all over the world in equestrian sports. She is dating Nayel Nassar, a native of Egypt who was raised in Kuwait, and is also a well-known show-jumper. 

During the elite, show jumping events, they mingle with the offspring of other fabulously rich or famous parents, such as Eve Jobs, daughter to late Apple founder Steve, and and Destry Allyn Spring, daughter to Hollywood supremo Steven.

MISS GATES AND A VERY EXPENSIVE ANSWER TO DAD’S PLEDGE 

Bill Gates famously declared that he would not leave his billions to his children after they died, so they could achieve something for themselves.

Delivering a TED talk he said: ‘We want to strike a balance so they have the freedom to do anything but not sort of a lot of money showered on them so that they can go out and do nothing’.

He added that Jennifer and siblings Phoebe and Rory ‘won’t have anything like’ a billion dollars spent on each of them.

However, Jennifer’s choice of horse-riding as her ‘anything’ does require a certain amount of investment from her parents – including horses worth in excess of $100,000 each, pricey riding gear and extensive travel.

He has also rented properties to enable her dream, and in 2012 the total bill stood at more than $1million  for just that year. 

According to experts, the exclusivity of the event and the fact that it is far removed from any of their father’s pursuits means that horse-riding is the perfect escape for the young women.

Olivia Mellan, a psychologist who focuses on the super-rich, told the New York Times last year: ‘Kids of famous parents who develop a passion for riding can build self-esteem and pride in their own autonomous accomplishment in a domain separate from their parents’ fame.

‘Girls especially benefit from this opportunity to shine’.

Susan B. Schoellkopf, a horse trainer, noted that the cultured crowd in which they move also mean the women’s fathers won’t be gawked at should they choose to watch their offspring from the sidelines.

However – it has also been pointed out that the rarefied atmosphere can mean that the heiresses end up even further removed from real life.

A former rider who moved in the same circles as Gates, Jobs and Springsteen told Forbes: ‘It’s a crazy group of people… it’s well off people who grow up together. It’s a very unrealistic view of the world.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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