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Jeff Zucker Comfortable Around Horses, NBC Jokes

NBC-Universal boss Jeff Zucker came back from L.A., where he attended Sunday's Emmys, in time for last night’s advanced screening of Disney’s Secretariat at producer Bryan Bantry’s East Hampton estate, Goose Creek. Greeting guests in the mansion’s front yard was a large and pretty brown horse, Rare Prince, actual great-grandson of the famous Secretariat, the thoroughbred racehorse on whose life the movie is based. Guests were told to take pictures in front of it and some guests, like polo-playing Nacho Figueras, were naturally more okay with this: “You look at its bloodline and the way the the horse looks and then, when it comes to polo, it’s about riding it and feeling it, too,” he explained, when we asked how he knew Rare Prince was a good horse. “Anyone who loves horses knows his great-grandfather is one of the most famous horses in the history of horses.”

Zucker, however, was less excited about the animal. Still, he gamely posed in front of it with his son: “That's a big horse,” he said. (Rare Prince seemed to get more disgruntled as the night wore on.) “I definitely don't ride horses,” he admitted to us, laughing. But he clarified: “That wasn't my first experience with a horse.” Anyway, what did he think of the Emmys? “I thought it was a great show,” he said. Did he think some of the jokes at NBC’s expense went too far? “No, I did not.” Then he escaped down the mansion’s staircase, away from horses and reporters both.

Photo: Patrick McMullan