From the archives

Bloomberg rides on her own record

By Ryan Mink
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 7, 2010; 6:39 PM

This article ran in The Washington Post on Oct. 28, 2006.

A warning comes with talking to Georgina Bloomberg: Don't talk about her father, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Don't think you know who she is, what she's about or how she has become one of the best young riders in the country. And don't think you can trick her into believing you care about her when you're interested only in her famous last name.

"I can usually tell right off the bat when somebody wants to talk to me because of my dad," she said. "I've become a good judge of character."

In her younger days, Bloomberg, 23, resented that people viewed her as the mayor's spoiled daughter instead of a hardworking, talented rider. With age she has learned from her father not to listen to the criticism. But she still admits she is on a mission to prove she is more than what people think.

"It is a little frustrating when you work as hard as you possibly can and people only think you're successful because of your father, which just isn't true," Bloomberg said. "A lot of people who are that way are jealous."

While in high school, Bloomberg, who started riding when she was 4 years old and competing at 6, was accused of going to the winter season in Florida only because she wanted to get a tan. Actually she was busy raking in junior championships, all the while training and preparing her horses herself, something not often seen among top riders.

Bloomberg already has two second-place finishes this year, her first as a professional. She placed 28th out of 29 riders in yesterday's International Open Jumper class, which features some of the top talent in the world.

Bloomberg says she doesn't want her results to define her. She launched a charity called the Rider's Closet in September that accepts expensive show jumping clothes still in good condition and donates them to those who cannot afford necessary garments. She personally collects clothes wherever she goes and has them mailed to her in New York.

Bloomberg used to donate half of her prize earnings to various charities but stopped once she started supporting herself, she sheepishly said.

After competing abroad, Bloomberg set an ambitious goal to make equestrian as popular in the United States as it is in Europe, where it's touted as the second-most popular sport behind soccer.

"I love this sport, and I would love to see it grow and to have a bigger audience and get the attention it deserves."

But guess what Bloomberg said one of her favorite aspects of the sport is?

"It's somewhere to get away," she said. "Nobody here cares who your father is."

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