For 20 years veteran horsewoman Jan Warner was beloved by the rich and poor alike in the Hamptons for running a caring, affordable stable in Amagansett.
Millionaire equestrians and blue-collar locals stabled their animals side by side at what was called “Jan’s Barn.” She did not charge the prohibitively expensive prices for boarding and riding horses common on the East End, but nor did she keep the barn pristine or Hamptons-chic, sources told the Post. She was, simply, a horse whisperer, and they trusted that their animals would get proper care and support at the stable on Town Lane.
Although some locals believe the 16-acre spread’s untidy and un-manicured condition would have annoyed her celebrity neighbors Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Warner says they initially got along well.
“He lived there with Kim Basinger when I started up at the barn,” Warner, 60, told the Post. “She gave an interview in the living room of their house when she won her Oscar. You could see horses grazing out the back window during the TV interview. Those were our horses.”
In 2017, Warner says, she had to leave the property she had rented since 1998 from landlord Job Potter after a rent increase. “Jan was devastated,” said one horse lover who boarded her horse at Warner’s stable. “She lost everything – her livelihood and her animals.”
Warner claims Potter — who had charged her about $2,000 a month in rent under a handshake deal — abruptly asked for a full year’s rent in advance.
“I couldn’t pay the whole year upfront and he knew that,” Warner said of Potter. She says the request felt like “his way of getting rid of me.”
Baldwin then signed a lease a few months later with Potter and turned Warner’s modest little business into the home of Amagansett Horse Rescue, a registered non-profit.
Warner says she believes the Baldwins may have pressured Potter to push her out. “I think Alec and Hilaria didn’t like the fact that I didn’t have this immaculate, perfect place.”
A lawyer for the Baldwins said the couple had nothing to do with Warner’s departure. He claimed Potter had issues with her ability to keep up with the rent and that “it was widely known throughout the neighborhood that the property was not maintained in a habitable condition, but rather was run-down and in a condition of squalor, and posed dangerous risks.” Multiple sources who boarded their horses at the barn with Warner deny this. Potter did not return numerous messages from The Post seeking comment.
Warner, who lives in an East Hampton trailer park, now works for Kelley Foster, a Manhattan banker, at a private stable. Foster, whose mother ran a stable in Montauk for 40 years, has known Warner since she began boarding her horses at Warner’s barn in 2004.
“There’s no one I’d trust more with my horses than Jan Warner,” Foster told the Post.
After Warner’s exit, Baldwin installed Pat Granfield, an attractive, well-dressed friend of Hilaria who had previously introduced the Baldwin kids to horse riding, as manager of the stable, according to Warner and multiple sources familiar with the situation. Granfield was already a familiar face at the barn, because Warner had allowed her to stable her horses and give riding lessons there.
“The two of them are real tight and they’re both real hoity toitys,” Warner said of Granfield and Hilaria.
Warner and the others call Granfield “Equine Barbie,” and claim her knowledge and caretaking of horses is inferior to Warner’s, a one-time competitive rider who won ribbons as a 14-year-old horse-jumper at Madison Square Garden.
Granfield was reportedly a frequent guest at the home of Alec and Hilaria Baldwin — the anger-management poster boy and yoga guru married in 2012 — and often bragged about having the “best rosé” with the couple.
“I’ll say we’re just doing simple and good work for animals and the community,” Granfield told the Post.
Locals said the stable is better known for renting stalls to paying customers at roughly $1,500 a month than for its rescuing of unwanted horses.
Baldwin’s accountant did not produce a mission statement for the rescue and it was not seen in public online filings. The rescue has no web site, no listed phone number, is not on the local horse community’s online list of rescue stables, and has no social-media accounts.
Not even a local veterinarian knew of its charitable mission.
“I didn’t know it was a rescue,” said Dr. Jim Meyer, an East Hampton vet who treats horses at the Baldwin facility who are boarded by paying owners. “I don’t know it by name as a rescue.”
Horse owners who pay to keep their animals at the barn make their checks out to “Alexander Baldwin III,” not to the incorporated, non-profit Amagansett Horse Rescue. The Post viewed cancelled checks made out to Baldwin provided by a source close to the stable.
Alec Baldwin’s attorney Marc Simon said there are six rescue horses boarded at the property and six horses whose owners pay to stable them there. Simon said that while the commercial stable and the rescue are separate entities, all funds from the boarding of horses goes directly back into the operational costs of the rescue. Experts told the Post that non-profits are allowed to charge for services to support their mission.
Baldwin’s attorney told the Post that Amagansett Horse Rescue “offers opportunities and events for children to interact with the animals free of charge,” including “specific free programs for children with autism to care for and interact with the horses.” He said it advertises its events “through publication in the local newspapers and an email distribution list.”
There is one post on Baldwin’s Instagram account — in 2018 — about an event for children at Amagansett Horse Rescue.
Beginning in 2017, tax returns from the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation added Amagansett Horse Rescue as a separate, not-for-profit recipient of the foundation’s money. However, Amagansett Horse Rescue was not incorporated as a not-for-profit until 2019, according to a state database.
Alec Baldwin’s accountant, who asked that his name not be published because of his “many high-profile clients,” said the rescue was being run through the foundation in the beginning.
Alec Baldwin is listed as president of the rescue. Hilaria is not named as an officer in either his foundation or Amagansett Horse Rescue.
The horse rescue’s most recent 990 form shows it took in $124,000 in 2019, and spent about $117,000 on “horse rescue and maintenance.”
The Baldwin Foundation gave $172,212 in foundation money to the Amagansett Horse Rescue according to its 2018 return.
Warner, who comes from a family of fishermen and grocers, struggles to make ends meet and the horse community in the Hamptons has suffered since her departure.
Friends say she was the only stable manager in the area to welcome local kids who weren’t from rich families, letting them work off the costs of boarding and riding horses by cleaning stalls and feeding horses. Warner was also known for taking local kids to Hamptons horse shows on her own dime.
And ironically, she ran the place as a de-facto horse rescue, even if she never registered it as a charity, observers said.
“What we all loved about Jan … was that she would take in horses that nobody would,” Foster said. “She doesn’t care about just having the pretty horses at her barn.”
Losing her stable meant Warner’s own menagerie — her old horse, Sam; mare Rosie; goats Butch and Sundance, and donkey Chino — was homeless. She has since placed them all — except for Sam, who died — in four different sanctuaries on Long Island and upstate. She said Granfield refused her request to keep Rosie for her.
Warner is hurt most by Granfield. When Granfield left a barn owned by billionaire Michael Novogratz four years ago, Warner let her use her facilities to stable her animals.
“Jan … wasn’t so much a people person as she was a horse person,” said a longtime client and friend. “That’s what mattered to her. She didn’t care about having a perfectly manicured pretty place. She cared about the horses. Pat … knows how to dress, to schmooze and hit every party. Horses are not at the top of her list.
“And now Jan has nothing.”
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