Lure Of The Hamptons & Horses For Melissa Cohn
Business, Riding and Sponsorships Make a Good Match In the Hamptons
began with Melissa Cohn, owner and founder of The Manhattan Mortgage
Company, purchasing her home in the Hamptons. Shortly after that
she and her daughters started riding. Then in 1996 she opened her
first branch office in the Hamptons and three more followed. Before
she knew it she was buying her own horses and building her own barn.
Then five years ago Cohn decided matching up her company with the
Hampton Classic Horse Show was a good fit. It's been a Hamptons
whirlwind for Melissa. The Hamptons and Horses have figured out
the key to Melissa's heart in more ways than one.
THE LURE OF THE HAMPTONS
For many, Memorial Day marks the beginning of freedom. It's their
getaway. The lure of the Hamptons was something that Cohn felt as
well. Explains Melissa, "I went to the Hamptons because I got
tired of commuting to Marthas Vineyard every weekend, which is
where I summered as a child and my parents are there. The Hamptons
was closer and as I was living in New York City and had a lot of
friends in the Hamptons, I went there. I rented for two summers,
and then bought."
1993, she purchased a home in Watermill, ideally located across
from a stable. Adding time spent around horses to her Hamptons adventures
made Melissa feel right at home on the East End. She had spent a
lot of time with horses when she was younger but raising a family
and managing a growing business soon made that a distant memory.
Now, with the horses so close she decided she'd start her two daughters,
Sarah (now 17) and Samantha (now 11), riding. And it wasnt long
before she was also back in the saddle.
Aston ridden by Melissa Cohn
LURE OF THE HORSES
That was it. She was hooked again. In 1997 Melissa made the
decision to build a barn, which she calls Rose Hill Farm.
Here not only do she and her daughters ride, but the Farm
offers riding lessons and boards horses. In the meantime,
Melissa and her daughters have accumulated a total of nine
horses and ponies between them.
who trains with Scott Kemery and Patti Foster, rides Aston
in the Adult Amateur division, Bulgari in Local Amateurs,
and Parcival in Adult Amateur Hunters. Scott often refers
to Aston as half landshark, half Labrador, a delightful combo.
While Bulgari, nicknamed Gus, "thinks he is a person."
Sarah competes the only mare in the group, Grace, and one
of their newest acquisitions, Titleist in Small Junior Hunters
and Navigator in Large Junior Hunters. Professional rider
Scott Stewart has taken Grace and Titleist to many championships
and reserves in the First (Titleist) and Second (Grace) Year
Green divisions. Kemery refers to Grace as a "true princess!"
Sarah also shows in the Children's Jumpers with Rollerball.
Samantha rides Denmark and Just a Dream in the Pony Hunters.
DOWN TO BUSINESS
Horses are her getaway on the weekends but during the week Melissa's
focus is her company. She started her Manhattan Mortgage Company
in 1985 and it was going quite well. As a result, the Hamptons seemed
an ideal place to add new branches, not only because of her love
of horses but because of the potential of customers on the East
End. She first opened a branch office in Bridgehampton in 1997,
then moved that branch to Watermill in 1998, and shortly after that
opened branches in Westhampton, East Hampton and Amagansett. (There
are 10 offices in all, with additional offices located in other
parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Manhattan Mortgage
is also licensed in Florida.)
Established in 1985, its originations "over $5 billion in 2002"again
earned the company recognition as the #1 residential mortgage brokerage
in metropolitan New York in 2003. This year Cohn, who founded Manhattan
Mortgage 18 years ago, was named Top Mortgage Originator in the
country for the seventh year in a row by the editors of "Mortgage
As if that were not enough recently Cohn received the Metro New
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) Award in the Financial
Services category. The EOY award was created by Ernst & Young
to recognize outstanding individuals on a regional, national and
ultimately global level.
MANHATTAN MORTGAGE WITH EVENTS & CAUSES
It was the horses that gave Melissa the idea that aligning her company
with the Hampton Classic Horse Show was a perfect match, especially
for Opening Day when the show consists of mostly Long Islanders.
And so Manhattan Mortgage Opening Day at the Hampton Classic was
started in 1998.
the Hampton Classic is only one of many things that Melissa supports
on the East End. She also sponsors the annual Hamptons Film Festival
and the summer Polo Matches.
much as Melissa enjoys all of these sponsorships, over the years
she decided she wanted to do more than just sponsor wonderful events.
She wanted to also help those in need. And so she looked for causes
that have meaning to her and decided to support a number of Hamptons
focused support groups. These include the CDCH (Child Development
Center of the Hamptons), The Retreat Domestic Violence Services,
and the Habitat for Humanity.
match of horses, business and sponsorships has been good for Melissa.
Riding is an excellent teacher. What you learn as a rider is something
you can carry over to the corporate world.
explains, "Riding is a very humbling sport and it is a constant
reminder that you have to work hard to succeed. It is also a good
way to be reminded of the importance of partnership - all important
in the business world. I consider my riding to be my therapy and
use the sponsorships as a way to take my hobby and mix it with business
and to spend time with my children. Riding is a unique sport and
a good way to stay in people's minds."
the week, Melissa spends her days in New York City, the headquarters
of the Manhattan Mortgage Company, but every weekend she relishes
the time she spends out on the East End of Long Island. The Hamptons
has got her tight in its grip and truly has found the keys to her
more information about The Manhattan Mortgage Company call 888-593-4343
or visit their Web site at www.manhattanmortgage.com.