Work it, Fitch

by Michael Gross Photographed by Michael Gross and Mary Hilliard
Monday, July 24, 2017

Kirk Henckels and Fernanda Munn Kellogg spent eight months preparing for the 24th annual Fitch’s Corner Horse Trial and Market, America’s premier lower level three-day eventing tournament, held at their sprawling equestrian property outside Millbrook, New York.

This past weekend’s events included two days of dressage, stadium jumping, and cross-country competitions featuring Olympic-level riders; a Saturday Night Social; the Fitch’s Market, selling fashion, jewelry, hats, art, and home and horse-related products; and, during the latest edition of the annual Spectator Luncheon benefiting the Millbrook Rescue Squad, a country fashion parade, informal the-way-you-wear-your-hat contest, bottomless glasses of Champagne Prestige des Sacres, a lavish surf-and-turf buffet, parades of Collector’s Cars and the Millbrook Hunt Hounds, and the presentation of trophies to the riders who flock to the event from up and down the East Coast.

Kellogg, a former head of the Tiffany Foundation, and Henckels, Vice Chairman of Stribling and the founding Director of Stribling Private Brokerage, are both avid equestrians themselves, riding in Millbrook and at their third home and winter headquarters, Fox Frolic Farm in Aiken, South Carolina. But for one weekend in July, they serve as empresarios, instead, buzzing in and out of the tents raised on their farm, and making the local gentry and the eventing elite alike feel relaxed and at home.

Thus year’s Fitch’s Corner award went to Nancy and Bill Stahl, two leading members of the Millbrook Hunt. Chairing the social activities were Nancy Henze and Bill Hamilton, former design director for Carolina Herrera. The latter styled the two social events. Hamilton’s partner Peter Kross was among the competitors.

Alice Roosevelt, of those Roosevelts, won first and second place in her division with her parents Simon and Loli cheering her on. Among the attendees were Marion and Willem de Vogel, Lorna and Larry Graev, Cornelia Guest, Polly Onet, Jacqueline and Oakley Thorne, CeCe Cord, Libby Mavrolian, Hillary and John Block, Karen and John Klopp, Claire Glover, Jack Lynch representing sponsor J. McLaughlin, Mario and Naz Rinaldi, Linda Buckley, Roger and Irina Erickson, Donald and Barbara Tober, Wendy Carduner, Claire Glover, and Kathy Landsman.

“I crawled into bed as soon as I had my dinner,” reports Kellogg, who neglected to mention that she and her husband enthusiastically hosted dozens more for a cookout after the event. They know how to work it.


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