On Saturday evening, 600 of the Hamptons’ most philanthropic horse fans donned their finest black apparel and gathered for a somber twilight benefit at photographer Steven Klein‘s West Kill Farm in Bridgehampton. The "MANE" Event was co-chaired by Gwyneth Paltrow and Mr. Klein, and Madonna served as the evening’s honorary chairperson (even though she’s currently in London).
The candlelit affair began at dusk on the grassy field behind Mr. Klein’s house. A haunting string refrain played on repeat, to the point where the Daily Transom felt a bit like we were caught in Requiem for a Dream, a feeling that only increased as the sun set completely and we could no longer find anyone (maybe the black dress code wasn’t the best idea…) or see anything. We have the bruised shins from walking into dark benches to prove it!
A lone spotlight lit the horse corral where Olympic rider Robert Dover later rode Maksymilian, a horse the Kleins rescued from slaughter. Across the spongy field – thank god we wore flats – a silent auction offered pictures of horses for guests to bid on; our favorite was a Mr. Klein portrait of Madonna hugging a horse.
Devorah Rose, the editor-in-chief of Social Life Magazine (is there a Hamptons party this summer that Ms. Rose hasn’t attended?), was wearing a blue shift dress with a white sash. "You can’t see anything, but it’s very romantic and sexy," said Ms. Rose. "I would love to find my boy [Teddy John of MTV's 8th & Ocean fame] somewhere in this darkness. He went to get red wine…"
Then Ms. Paltrow, clad in a sleeveless black mini dress and her requisite-as-of-late sky-high heels, read an impassioned speech about the kindred spirits of horses and man. "It was 1956, the year of sadness, the year of mourning and one man took heart on one lone horse and in an instance, just as the glare of the sun had hit him previously, he was struck by the what he felt for this creature," said Ms. Paltrow.
"In the eyes of the horse, he saw the suffering of all mankind, and he had no choice but one choice-to reach out and save one lone creature from the fate of suffering and murder.
When we make the only choice possible, and that is to love, then all of us become what we were intended to be.
WE ARE THE POWER."
Robert Dover rode Maksymilian, who is for sale at a minimum bid of $1 million, a few times around the corral. DJ Honey Dijon spun some trance music for guests including Rory Tahari, Blanca Brillembourg, Arden Wohl, Delphine Figueras, and Kelly Klein, but after about 10 minutes, the fire marshal arrived to shut the party down. And the Daily Transom headed over to Pink Elephant in Southampton to ice our bruised shins.