Whether you are a regular at the stables or just enjoy watching races, there are several events around the world catering to horse aficionados. Take a look at a few of our favorite equestrian events and get inspired to book your next trip.
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Horse racing’s only fan convention, Equestricon, welcomes horse lovers from around the world for special events, panels and more in the realm of Thoroughbred racing. In 2018, the convention spanned two days and included a meet and greet for trainers, a racehorse retraining seminar and an introduction to thoroughbred horse ownership for beginners. The 2019 dates for Equestricon have not been announced, but fans can follow the event on social media to learn more. equestricon.com
Located in the heart of horse country, Middleburg, Virginia, this 168-room property has equestrian facilities including an outdoor riding area and several secluded trails. The resort is ideal for new and advanced riders with classes available to guests from May through October. Adding to the spa and wellness elements of the resort, the facility also offers yoga classes and spa treatments for guests. salamanderresort.com
Each year, The Winter Equestrian Festival is held in Wellington, Florida and offers competitions for junior, adult amateur and professional riders in 70 divisions. It is the longest-running equestrian competition in the world. Participants from 2 to 70 years old compete in a 3-month long competition showcasing the best riders from around the world.pbiec.coth.com
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ever thought about your very own Vineyard? For wine connoisseurs, it’s essential to have a private winery at your disposal. Vino lovers from Spain to Switzerland and beyond can enjoy wine from their own backyards while taking in magnificent views and the finest flavors of their region. The following properties may inspire you to open your own vineyard and live a lavish life near the countryside.
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If you have ever dreamed of owning your own Spanish vineyard, look no further than this beautiful property. Built in the late 1990’s, this space has breathtaking scenery and spans 60 acres. Currently using a unique organic farming process, this vineyard produces grapes which have a distinct texture and flavor said to be unmatched by other producers. The expansive property also includes a barrel room, bottling plant and a wine storage cellar for aging and preserving bottles. Luxury Portfolio Web ID: VDMZ
Situated high on a hill in the beautiful Italian countryside, this breathtaking home exudes serenity and tranquility. Surrounded by olive trees, infinity pools and vineyards, this unique property offers incredible views of the Chianti hills and spreads over more than 12 acres of land. Amenities in this historic home include 18 fireplaces, a private garden and access to equestrian facilities. Luxury Portfolio Web ID: VQKW
This remarkable Mediterranean style estate has incredible views and a spacious interior for entertaining. Adorned with rich wood beams and hard wood flooring throughout, this space has an intimate and cozy interior. The expansive kitchen and nearby dining area host one of three fireplaces found in the home. A 4-acre vineyard, wine cave and horse trail can also be found on this expansive property. Luxury Portfolio Web ID: QWAZ
This modern home situated two kilometers from the center of Lugano provides contemporary living with beautiful views. The 3-bedroom space includes a terrace, a cozy living area and two bathrooms. Residents will enjoy views of the vineyard adjacent to the complex and natural light through the home’s large glass windows. Luxury Portfolio Web ID: FIBB
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ever thought about Austin?
A perfect time for a Road Trip to check this area out! Home to the Texas State Capitol, The University of Texas, iconic Sixth Street and keeping things weird, Austin has established a vibe all its own — think California-cool meets classic Texas charm. Every street, shop and local hotspot is buzzing with a vibrant elegance, yet offers a cool and eclectic flair.
Here are some of our favorite recommendations for the perfect weekend road trip to Texas’ most Instagram-able city.
A secluded property that embodies the elegance of old-world luxury and the irreverence of artistic spirits and revolutionary idols alike. Visit the lobby shop for exclusive finds, like fragrances crafted with flowers from the hotel’s own garden.
As warmer weather approaches, party planners start buzzing about outdoor entertaining. For many people, nothing can beat a springtime garden party, mid-summer poolside gathering, or early fall bonfire. With good planning and vision, your outdoor gathering can boast just as much luxury and style as any indoor soiree.
In general, the trend for outdoor entertaining in 2019 will be a blend of comfort and elegance, with well-designed outdoor spaces, thoughtful food and drink, and bursts of creative flair like unique flower arrangements or craft cocktails.
If you’re interested in incorporating some upcoming trends into your outdoor entertainment plans, here are some ideas to get you started:
JUST ADD FIRE
Attractive and functional fire pits are a popular choice for those who frequently entertain outdoors. Safer and more elegant than an open fire, the right fire pit can enhance your patio decor while providing a cozy spot for guests to gather. Outdoor dining tables with built-in fire pits combine functionality with comfort and fun, and fire pits can be found in many styles to match your taste. Toasting marshmallows can be a luxurious activity with specialty flavored marshmallows and whimsical skewers.
Sustainability is a trend across the board, and for outdoor entertaining that means sustainable decor and tableware. With more and more companies offering eco-friendly products, hosting a sustainable party can still be both elegant and tasteful. Melamine dishes come in a spectrum of colors and patterns and are perfect for outdoor dining. Try fun patterned paper straws instead of plastic ones. As a bonus, these alternatives feel much more luxurious than plastic.
Local food is a big part of the sustainability trend, and it fits right into the atmosphere of an eco-friendly outdoor gathering. Find a high-end catering company that sources local ingredients, and let your guests know where the food is coming from. From quality grass-fed steaks and locally caught fish on the grill to seasonal fruits blended into cocktails, sustainable food can elevate your festivities.
Adding color to outdoor spaces is an exciting trend for 2019 (no moregreige!), and what better way to embrace this concept than using Pantone’s Color of the Year? This year, the color is Living Coral, a mellow, uplifting shade. Try incorporating coral into your outdoor design with throw pillows, blankets, outdoor rugs, and tablecloths. You could even work it into your flower arrangements or cocktail recipes. Bold color choices are also trendy, so don’t be afraid to use colors that pop for your outdoor entertaining.
CREATIVE LIGHTING AND FLOWERS
Now that more extravagant lighting solutions are available and accessible, expect creative hosts to ramp up their lighting style when planning outdoor gatherings. Layered lighting, projections, and strong lighting statements are all ways to create an impressive atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.
Floral arrangements have moved beyond simple tabletop centerpieces and are often a striking piece of design in and of themselves. Monochromatic floral designs, flower ceilings, and unique plants like succulents will be gracing patios and gardens in 2019. If floral design is beyond your own comfort level as a host, hire a good local florist to help prepare for your outdoor parties.
Nothing enhances an outdoor gathering like the perfect cocktail. For outdoor entertaining in 2019, cocktails will have surprising ingredients – think turmeric or mushrooms. Locally-produced spirits (especially gin) will be a hot ingredient and educating guests with tastings and flights will be a highlight. Even mocktails will be elevated beyond the standard Shirley Temple as more sophisticated nonalcoholic mixers and recipes are available.
Whether you follow some of these trends or bring your own creative touches to your outdoor parties, this entertainment season is sure to be full of fun, comfort, and luxury.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Here’s an idea – Named the best city in the world by Travel + Leisure in both 2017 and 2018, the small town of San Miguel de Allende is revered around the world for its stunning architecture, incredible cuisine and peaceful lifestyle. Gaining attention from both retirees and expats, the city is becoming increasingly popular leaving many to wonder if home prices will increase over time. In this month’s Global Market Guide, we take an inside look at the current state and the predicted future of the luxury real estate market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Transactions in San Miguel are primarily done in cash, so many agents have found that it is easier to vet clients because they know that potential home owners are coming to the table prepared to buy.
Exclusive listings are prevalent among sellers in the market. Buyer representation is not dominant like it is in the United States although, there are agents in San Miguel de Allende that focus specifically on helping buyers throughout the transaction since the process is much different than in other parts of the world.
CURRENT HOUSING MARKET
Clients come to San Miguel for the high-end location, stunning views, pools and a relaxing quality of life. Recently, buyers in the area have been looking for homes with cleaner lines and contemporary design, which differ from the arches and Spanish colonial aesthetic that is dominant in the area.
There has been an influx of new construction just outside of the city within the past 5-7 years, and many luxury buyers have been attracted to these new developments. Traditionally buyers are interested in nearby attractions such as vineyard and equestrian offerings and several have been attracted to the mall and golf course near many of the new developments outside the city.
LUXURY BUYER PROFILE
Because San Miguel is a secondary market, where many buyers travel to purchase second and vacation homes, many buyers are often very clear on their preferences when purchasing a residence. These buyers are focused on harnessing the cultural experience with a level of sophistication.
CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Last year (2018) proved to be the best year on record for our member. Sales saw a significant decrease during the election, however following the election, when it was confirmed that the peso would not be affected, sales began to increase. Since the election prices in the area have remained steady and buyers are once again confident in the market.
GROWTH IN THE MARKET
Currently, San Miguel is seeing significant price improvement in the area, which our member predicts will stabilize the market for the next quarter. The demand for real estate is high in the area as more retirees and expats flock to the area.
Both culturally and artistically dynamic, the small city is protected by UNESCO preserving much of the original architecture and historically significant monuments that draw potential buyers to the area.
In mid-2018 local authorities temporarily blocked individuals from selling buying or remodeling properties until new regulations were set up to limit and preserve architecture in the area. Since then, new construction has remedied much of this and San Miguel de Allende continues to expand welcoming locals and foreign buyers alike.
Special thanks to our memberCDR Bienes San Miguel for providing their insights about the luxury market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? If you’re thinking about buying a luxury vacation home, now is the right time. According to real estate experts, 2019 is a great year to make the move, especially if you’re looking to purchase in a popular location like the Hampton’s or Hawaii. This year’s sales are already up in these luxury markets, which means if you’ve been on the fence, it may be time to start looking before prices go up. Despite an uncertain housing market, second home purchases remain strong. Here are the top 5 reasons to purchase a vacation home in 2019.
POTENTIAL FOR RENTAL INCOME
Vacation rental revenue for 2019 is already up to over 14 million dollars in the US, and it’s expected to show an annual growth rate of 6.4 percent, resulting in a market volume of more than 18.5 million by 2023. Although your primary reason for purchasing a vacation home is to enjoy your time off work in a relaxing location far from home, you’ll likely only be there during specific times of the year. So, why not turn your vacation home into a temporary rental property for periods when you are away? In addition to gaining a second income from the rental property, you may even be able to deduct expenses for the property at tax time. Be sure to contact your tax professional for detailed information regarding your specific property and financial situation.
ADDITIONAL TAX BREAKS
Speaking of potential tax benefits, any home you own provides a significant tax break. Especially if you use the property solely as a second home, your mortgage interest and property taxes may be tax-deductible. Again, be sure to seek advice from a tax professional before making any assumptions about your tax situation.
PROFIT OVER THE LONG TERM
Although all property fluctuates in value, vacation properties are more likely to appreciate due to their location in popular areas. Especially if your vacation home sits on land where it’s difficult to build, like on the side of a mountain or near a small piece of shoreline, it can increase in value as more people visit the area and want to move in.
IT’S CONVENIENT AND FAMILIAR
If you’ve ever planned a vacation to a place you’ve never been, you already know the challenges that come with the experience. Not only are you in the dark as far as how enjoyable the trip will be, but you have to trust online reviews and photos of hotels. Once you book your reservation, you can only hope that your vacation spot turns out to be the wonderful place you imagine. Alternatively, if you already have a vacation home, you never have to worry about the unknowns. You can have peace of mind in knowing exactly what to expect in advance. You hand-selected and purchased the property yourself, so you know you’ll love the area. Plus, after a few weekend getaways in your new place, you’ll grow to love the familiarity of coming home to your second home.
THE PERFECT PLACE FOR A CELEBRATION
Another fantastic benefit of purchasing a luxury vacation home is that you never have to search for the perfect venue for your cousin’s wedding reception or your grandmother’s birthday party. In your gorgeous vacation home, hosting memorable celebrations is easy and stress-free. Instead of wasting time searching for a venue and then worrying about whether it will work out to your specifications, you can spend your time focusing on celebrating the momentous occasion ahead.
Whether you’re looking to purchase your luxury vacation home in the US or abroad, the time to invest is now. Make your dream a reality in 2019 by beginning your search for the perfect luxury vacation home today.
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Think of it as a tasting menu, for movies.
Orchestrating a great film festival is an art form. It’s also a strategic and financial nightmare to pull off. From wrestling over film availability to reviewing (hopefully) hundreds of submissions; keeping a cohesive feel to it all while still showing timeliness and diversity. It’s a wonder how our area successfully supports even a half-dozen of these suckers.
It’s positively jaw-dropping that we’re home to 25 of them.
This weekend, film lovers across North Texas are invited to enjoy the riches of so much labor. Best of Fests serves as an experimental celebration of our area’s diverse film programming — think of it as a tasting menu, for movies. 22 of DFW’s 25 film festivals have submitted entries that best embody their programming vibe, so you can literally see what you’ve been missing.
“To have [so many festivals] come together in this way,” says Best of Fests co-publicist John Wildman, “I’m honestly not aware that this has ever been done before.”
The idea to create this cinematic sampler platter was born by Emily Hargrove and Michael Cain, who local film nerds know from their contributions to DIFF (Dallas International Film Festival), Dallas Film Society, and EarthxFilm fest, among others. The pair noticed overlapping programming schedules, little logistical things that split audiences and news media from focusing on one showcase at a time. So, they wrangled all of the area’s festival programmers into the same room.
First, an annual calendar was created so that each fest would have its own time to shine. Later, Hargrove and Cain proposed an even more radical idea: A chimerical showcase designed to raise all cinematic ships. And to make it interesting, each festival would share their distinct voice in one screening, be it a short or a feature. In addition to cross-pollinating the audiences of larger and smaller, religious and ethnic, or Dallas and Fort Worth festivals into all the available film festival offerings, it’s also the ultimate movie dare: What film sums up your programming’s personality?
Now that Best of Fests is a reality and set to run this Thursday through Sunday, we get to see what everyone chose to flex their form.
For example, DIFF, the area’s most robust film festival, has submitted Tejano, a film about a man who, in order to fund his grandfather’s care, breaks his own arm to smuggle a cocaine cast across the Mexico border. The film was shot largely in Texas border towns, world premiered at DIFF, showcased the work of a new voice (director David Blue Garcia), and won the festival’s audience award for narrative feature. It’s also a story relevant to this cultural moment in time, which is something DIFF’s programmers are diligent about tapping into. Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at Texas Theatre. Screens with the short film IMAGO by local filmmaker/producer Liz Cardenas, presented by Flicks by Chicks.
But each festival is different. From deep dives into forgotten historical moments (1950: The Nationalist Uprising, presented by Festival de Cine Latino Americano) to inspirational narrative works (Steps, by Denton Black Film Festival) to Larry McMurtry adaptations (“Lonesome Dove: Episode One”, presented by Crossroads of Texas Film and Music Festival) – there’s something here for you, your freaky best friend, your action-film-loving dad and your lion-hearted mom. Here are a few more that you might want to check out.
Over at Oak Cliff Film Fest, they’ve chosen Relaxer, the latest cerebrally layered piece by Michigander Joel Potrykus. The film tips a hat to Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel. But here, a gamer is trapped on a sofa, challenged to beat an unbeatable level of Pac-Man while Y2K looms. There’s milk chugging. Urine drinking. A sewage waterfall. And a truly sharp, surrealist take on shifting eras at the close of the century. It’s philosophical AF, and this is the only place you can see it until Oscilloscope’s March release. Sunday, 4:00 p.m. at Cinépolis, Victory Park. Screens with the short existential crisis/dying squirrel/teddy bear t-shirt/film, Bobby Miller’s End Times, also presented by the Oak Cliff Film Festival. *Might not be mom-friendly.
If Train to Busan left you feeling like you’d vaped Dexedrine and you want to feel that way again, see Asian Film Festival of Dallas’pick Rampant, which was born from the same studio. This Night Demon/Zombie/Kung Fu flick packs unrelenting action and some very cool hats into 129 minutes of running time. But more than that, it gives a universal entry point to AFFD’s style of programming and a chance to see this one the way it deserves: BIG. Friday, 10 p.m. at Alamo Cedars. Screens with Arianna Cadeddu’s short film, Only Child, presented by Pegasus Film Festival.
3 Stars Jewish Cinema will show a film that broke through to mainstream audiences in 2017 with The Last Laugh, the funniest film ever made at Nazis’ expense. It features interviews with dozens of Jewish comedians, each asked to find humor in comedy’s ultimate taboo, the Holocaust. Sunday, 6:00 p.m. at Cinépolis, Victory Park.
Dallas has relied on Bart Weiss’ Dallas VideoFest for exceptional documentaries that expose social injustice for 32 years — and he’s not about to disappoint here. Weiss’ Best of Fests pick brings local legislative corruption in to focus with The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress, a doc that examines the Texas Congressman’s criminal investigation and efforts to redraw congressional districts. Sunday, 7 p.m. at Cinépolis Victory Park.Screens with Lizette Barrera’s short film, Mosca, which is also presented by Dallas VideoFest.
Fort Worth’s Lone Star Film Festival brings The Last Whistle — “a big crowd pleaser,” according to BoF’s co-publicist John Wildman. Whistle centers around a high school football coach who’s drive to win isn’t softened when one of his players collapses on the field. “I don’t think you can watch that movie, unless you’re the toughest of cookies, without feeling something,” says Wildman. Friday, 5 p.m. at Alamo Cedars. Screens with Emily Miller’s short Louise, presented by Pegasus Film Festival.
Another interesting Fort Worth selection is Devil’s Path, by Q Cinema, our regional LGBTQ film festival. I’d like to point out that Q Cinema didn’t pick a squishy romantic film to express their style. They didn’t pick an important, but tedious, documentary to define them. Hell no. They picked a goddamn thriller about evil deeds on a cruising trail in the woods. Sweet. Save me a seat. [Saturday, 3 p.m. at Studio Movie Grill (35 & Northwest Highway). Screens with Ellery Marshall’s “bathroom bill” short, Transcending Politics, presented by Pegasus Film Festival.]
Women Texas Film Festival shows off its style with a true crime doc that reads more like fiction. Abducted In Plain Sight examines an Idaho family who’s 12-year-old daughter was taken by a close neighbor in 1974. Then, things get really crazy. There’s a plan for alien baby-making, cult-y deceits, and a whole lot of family secrets to unpack. Women Texas is the state’s only fully-fledged festival dedicated to showcasing work that is written, produced, edited or shot by women. Friday, 8 p.m. at Alamo Cedars. Screens with the short film Phonies, presented by Pegasus Film Festival.
EarthxFilm carves out its design with a screening of Matthew Testa’s The Human Element. This deep dive into mankind’s effects on this planet are shown through the lens of World Press Photo Award Winner James Balog. It’s a journey to show how our actions affect the world, and how unprecedented fires, poisonous air, struggling coal mines and rising water levels affect us in return. Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Alamo Cedars. Screens with Montana Brock’s short, The Last Spring, also from EarthxFilm.
If you’re a war movie lover, Sons of the Flag’s Stars & Stripes Film Festival has you covered with 2012’s Act of Valor. This festival is interesting in that they blend classic battlefield films with contemporary military films, all to help support military, veteran and first responder burn survivors and their families. So, see the film, and if you like what they’re about, get involved. Saturday, 12 p.m. at Studio Movie Grill(35 & Northwest Highway). Screens with short film No Name, by Pegasus Film Festival.
Additionally, you’ll find selections by Czech That Film, Denton Black Film Festival, South Asian Film Festival, Thin Line Film Festival, Dallas Jewish Film Festival, Deep in the Heart Film Festival, Festival de Cine Latino Americano, Flicks by Chicks, Fort Worth Independent Film Showcase, and Frame4Frame.
And, if you go all four days you’ll get to spend time in, and figure out your favorite snacks at, four different local theaters, beginning with the Oak Cliff arthouse staple Texas Theatre, then the Cedars branch of Alamo Drafthouse on Friday, up to Studio Movie Grill’s NW Highway/35 branch on Saturday and closing it out on Sunday at the still-new Cinépolis in Victory Plaza on Sunday.
Best of Fests runs from Thursday, January 10 to Sunday, January 13. See the schedule, make your movie plan and buy tickets at BestofFests.org. Individual tickets cost $10. Festival passes cost $50. And students with a valid ID get in free.