The Millbrook Mystique: Inside Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials
Rural Intelligence’s preview of the Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials first ran in July 2010. We’ve updated Dan Shaw’s original story to reflect this year’s event.
Horse shows are a wonderful combination of sport and style, and nowhere are the equestrians more style-conscious than clubby Millbrook, which every year encourages outsiders to attend—for free!— the Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials Weekend on July 20 - 22. If you admire beautiful, well-groomed, well-trained horses, there will be more than 250 in competition from all over the Northeast participating in dressage, cross-country jumping through rolling fields, and stadium jumping in an arena. The best in show will receive not only ribbons but also silver trophies from Tiffany & Co.
If you like to people-watch and/or power shop, The Marketplace at Fitch’s Corner is like no other tent sale in the Rural Intelligence region. On Saturday and Sunday, beneath an enormous marquee, a distinctive array of vendors will be selling home goods, art and antiques, clothing, jewelry, and other accessories that range from the practical (Hunter Boot Wellies in jelly bean colors) to the whimsical (big straw hats by Madder Hatters.) In the “Equine Village” section of the tent, riders with deep pockets can order fine French-made saddles from Devoucoux and custom-designed courses of jumps from ETB Equine Construction. Clothes horses will find booths selling everything from Charlotte Brody’s luxe collection to Dubarry of Ireland’s rugged outdoor wear to Robert Redd’s men’s and boys polo shirts in every imaginable color. And you don’t have to spend a dime to enjoy the vintage and antique cars that will be on display beginning at noon on Sunday.
“It’s the best, old-fashioned summer destination event—beautiful horses in a beautiful setting and great shopping, too, ” says Fernanda Kellogg, who hosts the trials with her husband, Kirk Henckels, on their 150-acre farm. “You can go everywhere on the property except into my closet or under my bed!” It’s one of those events that always attracts The New York Times’ legendary street-fashion-and-party photographer Bill Cunningham. “It’s a community event, not a celebrity event,” says Kellogg, “but Bette Midler will be here because she is part of our community.” —Dan Shaw (Updated from original post, July 2010)
Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials
July 20 - 22
Intersection of Shunpike and N. Mabbettsville Road, Millbrook, NY