The Sporting Life

An American fashion editor swaps New York high-rise for British pastoral.

It wasn’t a good ride, Brooks admits when we meet that afternoon. She had been up all night with food poisoning, and the horse she’d borrowed from a friend and was hoping to buy had turned out to be impossibly strong. “The first field we went into, he took off. He just flew into the jump,” she tells me, as we drive up the lane from Kingham railway station to her home at Fairgreen Farm in north Oxfordshire.

Brooks, 43, looks exceptionally composed for a woman who spent the night being sick and the morning shouting “Out of the way!” as she bowled through the Cotswolds countryside on horseback. But presumably she’s a woman for whom lack of sleep barely registers. Five years ago, she was managing one of the most hectic schedules in retail as fashion director of Barneys New Yor...

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