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Hollywood and Horses

Visit with Arabian horse breeder Mindy Peters at her home in Beverly Hills and her farm in California’s Santa Ynez Valley.

By Stephanie Peters
Photos George Kamper
Published Summer 2013

EQ first became familiar with Mindy Peters shortly after a dramatic Hollywood-esque rescue of a prized Arabian stallion named William, who was spooked during a beachfront photo shoot. He swam three miles out to sea and treaded water for three hours before a crew in a boat spotted him and safely towed him back to shore.

The event became the subject of national media coverage. Upon reading her heartfelt quotes after the rescue, we became infinitely curious about Arabians and Mindy’s history with the breed. “We were scared to death he was going to drown,” Mindy said. “He’s absolutely part of our family.”

Our visit with Mindy took place in two locations: her secluded Beverly Hills home, and her 120-acre Santa Ynez, Calif., home to her Arabian horses.

A Beverly Hills Treehouse

A Beverly Hills address conjures up images of imposing gates, threatening guard dogs, and sprawling mansions with too many rooms to recall.

Mindy Peters’ home, in the heart of this tony neighborhood, is a pleasant antithesis of the Hollywood stereotype.

Once past the requisite yet innovatively designed entrance gate, Mindy’s home is approached from a narrow, steep-pitched drive that plateaus next to an expansive stone terrace and a secluded tennis court. From there one climbs a series of shaded steps or boards the small incline lift to the welcoming courtyard of the main entrance.

Mindy and her assistant, Joanna Rose (who has also home schooled Mindy’s daughter Kendyl for six years), invited us into the warm, airy, and tastefully decorated home. Any preconceived notions of the Beverly Hills manse evaporated into the welcoming environment of family photos, fine art, and awards that ran the gamut from the Academy of Arts and Science movie award for Jon Peters’ Superman, to the equestrian ribbons accrued by Kendyl. Period- piece horse paintings share display space with intricate movie models and iconic props that peer out from their protective glass encasements.

The house, built in 1976, has had an impressive mix of owners. Actor Kate Jackson was the first, followed by musician Kenny G, and tennis pro Pete Sampras. Mindy actually learned to play tennis on Pete’s remodeled tennis court and became quite accomplished. “I was playing 15 hours a week but had to drop it after a while because of too many obligations,” she explained.

_M7C1864R1_940The inviting, airy living room is a rich blend of furnishings, artwork, awards, and family photographs. Clusters of orchids ornament rooms throughout the house. (Photo: George Kamper)

Mindy’s house, privately nestled into a steep hillside in Beverly Hills, feels relaxed and casual. “I think of it as my little tree house. It’s seven minutes from here to Rodeo Drive, but I feel like I am really away,” Mindy said. Atrium doors and wisteria-covered pergolas lead to an intimate garden and sparkling pool.

_M7C1877R1_940 Dense plantings surround the sparkling pool and provide complete privacy. (Photo: George Kamper)

Lemon groves cover acres of the hillside behind the home, and plans to add a vineyard on the steep slopes are in the works. Dogs abound, and Sampson, the family’s Sulcata tortoise, roams freely in the garden and occasionally into the house.

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