1 At 9AM, a group gathered at John Jay Homestead, where they were given a list of the barns on tour and driving directions for getting to them.
2 First on the tour was Grace Farm with its 3-year-old 10-stall stable.
3 This farm is the former home of Reed Kessler and her family. Reed was the youngest rider to represent the US on the Olympic Show Jumping Team in London and trained 6 months of the year at this 42-acre estate of rolling meadows.
4 The stable has rubber cobblestone flooring and magnificent stalls.
5 Hanging in the stable is a wonderful sculpture by Lindsay Molyneux Rhatigan, who uses driftwood found near the White River in Vermont to create her masterpieces. http://www.lindseymolyneux.com
6 One of the "residents"
7 The tack room
8 The riding ring out back
9 The next barn on the tour was at Waterbury Farm.
10 This farm is set on rolling hills with lovely views.
11 The barn has a beautiful stone floor.
12 The round design of the floor was an inspiration after the owner traded the round millstone for some other artifact.
13 Charm and memorabilia
14 The main house is a Cotswold-style mansion built circa 1929.
15 There are wonderful views of the Kensico Reservoir.
16 The present owners mother was an Olympic medalist in endurance and the farm is know for its Arabian horses.
17 The third property on tour was my friend, Michael Steinhardt's estate. Michael has beautiful stone barns and silo.
18 Entering the barn, one might expect to see statuesque horses.
19 However, the 51-acre Steinhardt Estate boasts a collection of exotic mammals and waterfowl from all parts of the world.
20 There are many unusual cats.
21 And many species of monkeys
22 Llamas and alpacas
23 Giant rheas
24 Albino kangaroos and flamingos, too!
25 Another look at the stone silo
26 And the greenhouse filled with exotic tropical plants
27 The fourth stop on the tour was Rochambeau, set high atop a Bedford hilltop.
28 The estate of Rochambeau sits upon 67 acres of splendid grounds, the highest point in all of Bedford.
29 The stable at Rochambeau
30 The fifth barn on tour was Sutton Corners Farm, built by RH Macy, the founder of Macy's Department Stores.
31 RH Macy built this estate in the 1870s for his daughter, Florence.
32 It included everything a woman could desire - a stable for riding and exploring the estate's 12 manicured acres, attributed to Frederick Law Olmstead.
33 There was also a dovecoat and an art studio.
34 And a Victorian mansion, rich in details.
35 The last stop on the tour was Palamos Farm, where a lunch was served.
36 This meticulously maintained stable was custom-designed and built by Dave Zublin of Olde Towne Barns.
37 The barn has an impressive arched ceiling.
38 Jeffrey Terreson was displaying some of his equestrian paintings. www.jterreson.com
39 Adjacent to the barn is a magificent oversize ring designed by Lawton Adams.
40 There was an exciting dressage demonstration going on by equestrienne extraordinaire Mica Mabragana, of Argentina.