Bridgehampton supermodel Christie Brinkley, who hosts the annual Polo Hamptons Match & Cocktail Party on Saturday, says ex-husband Billy Joel once gave her a horse as a Christmas present.
"When I was married to Billy," Brinkley tells Social Life magazine of the Hicksville-raised music icon, "one Christmas morning I awoke to find a white horse with a red ribbon waiting for me on the lawn. And it was the first horse of my very own. Belle Star was her name" — an apparent variation on that of the famous Old West outlaw Belle Starr — "and I absolutely loved having a horse that I got to know on a deep level. I knew everything about her: what she was afraid of, what she liked. I would groom her myself, and I just loved that."
Brinkley, 65, who appears on the cover of the issue being published Friday, adds that, "Many years after our divorce, Billy would still come to my house for the Christmas singalong and play the piano, and all our friends would come over and sing Christmas carols. Singalongs are one of my favorite things to do. And you know that's what makes everybody happy." The couple share a daughter, singer Alexa Ray Joel, and Brinkley has two children from other relationships.
She enjoys watching polo, she says, because, "I think it's amazing to see the horses and the riders galloping around. They are so passionate, and I love activities that bring people together, especially when it brings people outside. Polo is a beautiful combination of these two things. Being outside, watching horses, enjoying the summer day and being part of a tradition are things I enjoy."