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Beyond luxury accommodations, great food, and first-rate service, these resorts are a Southern equestrian’s dream Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

“Make no little plans,” said the architect and city planner Daniel Burnham more than a century ago, and the owners of Casa de Campo, a sprawling seven-thousand-acre complex on the Dominican Republic’s southeastern shore, seem to have taken that creed to heart. The resort’s manicured grounds—so spread out that guests are issued golf carts at check-in—contain a yacht marina, three waterfront golf courses designed by Pete Dye, 1,800 private villas, many of them built in opulent Mediterranean or Balinese style, and 185 hotel rooms and suites. The long roster of famous names who have passed through ranges from Oscar de la Renta and Beyoncé to Clintons and Bushes. Little wonder, then, that Casa de Campo’s equestrian opportunities are also writ large. Guided rides along grassy trails provide postcard views of the Caribbean, and visitors can sign up for lessons in riding, show jumping, or even rodeo stunts. The showstopper attraction: They can also take part, as spectators or students, in polo. With three playing fields, fifty ponies, and frequent matches and tournaments, the resort has staked a claim as the sport’s Caribbean epicenter.—

The Fork Farm and Stables, Norwood, North Carolina

Tucked away in the gently undulating hills of North Carolina’s Stanly County, east of Charlotte, is a horse lover’s gem. The Fork—situated at the junction of the Pee Dee and Rocky Rivers—boasts plenty of serious equestrian cred: a fifteen-stall main barn, a lineup of riding camps and clinics, two all-weather arenas, and facilities worthy of hosting eventing trials. (One this April will attract medal-winning international competitors for a spectator-friendly, three-day triathlon of sorts, combining dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.) The stable staff also gives instruction, for novices and seasoned riders alike, and provides boarding for those who bring their own steeds. Even if you’re content to leave the riding to others, the nine-room Fork Lodge makes for a pleasantly restful getaway. Its welcoming interior, done up in lots of knotty pine, complements a spacious rocking-chair porch that overlooks idyllic fenced pastures. Additional draws for guests of the inn and day-trippers: thirty-five miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, duck and quail hunts, and a shooting center that includes five-stand and trap along with one seven- and two fourteen-station sporting clays courses.

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