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Meet showjumper Georgina Bloomberg: a single mother on a misson

Georgina Bloomberg was often in the limelight when her father, Michael, was the mayor of New York. But now she has created her own aura, as her grand prix jumping career moves into high gear and she has become an outspoken advocate for single motherhood and fitness.

Georgina made headlines last September when she won the first grand prix in Manhattan’s Central Park on Juvina, and she topped the $127,000 (£85,500) Adequan Grand Prix on Lilli in week three of WEF.

At 32, she’s the mother of a son, Jasper, born at the end of 2013. A key element in her ability to keep up with the demands of her life is making sure she stays in shape. During her pregnancy, she never stopped working out.

“I was on the elliptical machine [cross trainer] the morning I went to the hospital,” she said.

Although some eyebrows were raised by her decision to continue riding through the Hampton Classic in August 2013, at five months pregnant, Georgina was confident.

“I knew it was controversial, but I felt I was making the right decision for myself and my body,” she said. “I knew when it was the right time to stop, I would stop.”

She finished third in the Classic’s FTI grand prix on Juvina, and then hung up her stirrups for the duration of her pregnancy, but was able to resume riding on the Florida circuit in January 2014.

Since her pregnancy, she has enjoyed unprecedented success.

“You think having something else that is more important, such as a child, would make you less focused on the riding, but it was the opposite for me,” she said.“I appreciate my time being here and being able to concentrate on horses.

“I have an amazing team of people who work with me and I don’t need to worry about it when I go home,” she adds. “When I’m here, I’m a rider. When I’m home, I’m a mother. I don’t let myself drift in and out of worlds.”

She has worked with trainer Jimmy Doyle, from Ireland, for 13 years.

“He’s been my biggest supporter and my biggest fan, who pushes me and makes me believe I can do it,” she said.

Her personal relationship with Jasper’s father, grand prix rider Ramiro Quintana, has ended, though he sees their son regularly when he’s in Florida.

I’m a single mother and I’m incredibly proud of it,” she said, “There are times when you want to rely on a man. But once you give birth, you see how strong you are as a woman.”

In addition to Juvina, who is coming back into work after time off, she has Lilli and Caleno at the top of her grand prix string, and is bringing along young horses including eight-year-old Central Park and homebred South Street.

This year, Georgina, who holds dual British citizenship, is keen to do a European tour that includes Hickstead and Dublin. She also has her eye on London.

“I would love to go to Olympia,” she said. “It’s a show my mother always wanted me to do.”

Don’t miss this week’s special showjumping issue of Horse & Hound magazine (2 April 2015), guest edited by John Whitaker

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