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My Other Life: Kriss Kiss, equestrian

by Judy Lessin | July 1, 2010

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Kriss Kiss has been riding on horseback longer than she’s been getting her nails polished. And she’s been getting her nails polished since she was 5. “I ride English and from a young age up until about eight years ago I competed in the Equitation and Hunter divisions,” says Kiss, a CND education ambassador who co-owns Our Place Nail Salon in Stony Brook, N.Y., with her mother Charlotte.

“I rode and owned many special ponies and horses, but my most successful partner was a horse that my sister found called Déjà Vu, aka Petey. He was what I call my ‘once in a lifetime’ horse. From the first time I rode him we just clicked.” Their very first show together, Kiss and Petey were champions in their division. “We were ranked in the top 10 nationally in the prime of our competing days. At the last class we were in together at the Hampton Classic Horse Show we placed first. Petey was then retired and sadly died too young at the age of 15,” says Kiss.

After she left the competition circuit, she continued working with horses. For a few years she managed a world-class show barn in South Salem, N.Y., called JT Farms, and nowadays helps a riding coach and friend while on the “A” horse show circuit. “I am a very hands-on horsewoman. I do all aspects of their care: grooming, bathing, feeding, braiding their manes for shows, and sometimes even cleaning their stalls while at horse shows,” she says. “I love helping coach and prepare the horses for their owners and watching them win. It’s almost as good as if it were me out in the ring.

“Riding is in my blood; it will always be part of my life.”

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