LAND ROVER OWNER CHRISTINE WATKINS EXPLAINS WHY THE RANGE ROVER SPORT IS PERFECT FOR HER ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
When Christine Watkins, former media executive with ABC and ESPN, and founder of a successful New York-based media technology company, needed a vehicle to support her hiking, biking and equestrian lifestyle, there was only one vehicle that could handle her routine; the 2015 Range Rover Sport.
Which model did you end up buying?
I bought a Range Rover Sport HSE with the supercharged V6. It is a really stunning Santorini Black Metallic color with a gorgeous ebony and ivory leather interior. I think it's one of the most beautiful car interiors I've ever seen. The only problem is that I'm always hauling around our two adorable Labradors, Sam and Joey. I bought the Range Rover rear seat covers, which are fantastic and really protect the leather.
Why a Range Rover Sport?
I don't think there is any other vehicle out there that suits our lifestyle like the Range Rover Sport. I'm a keen equestrian with three horses - I know, one too many - but in the season, I take part in jumping competitions up and down the east coast. We have a home in Palm Beach, where we stay in the winter, and we are in Connecticut and Kentucky in the summer. I'm always driving across muddy fields and along rough dirt roads, throwing saddles, tack and muddy boots in the back. The Range Rover Sport takes it all in stride. However, I needed more than just utility, I also wanted a vehicle that I could drive to a horse show in the morning then, that night, maybe pull into the circle at The Breakers in Palm Beach for dinner and feel like I’m driving something very special.
Have you taken it off-road yet?
We have a place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. When we're there, we love to hike or mountain bike some of the high ridges, which means driving up some of the toughest, most challenging dirt trails with huge ruts and potholes. We just drove up to the Goodwin Lake Trailhead, which is an elevation of 8,000 feet. Just getting there is an experience in itself. Yet, the Range Rover Sport makes it all look so easy. We’ll be back this winter to ski, and having a vehicle that’s equally capable in the snow and ice is a must.
Have you owned Range Rover vehicles in the past?
I've owned a couple of Range Rover vehicles - the last one three or four years ago. I decided at the time that I wanted to switch to something a little smaller, so I bought an Audi Q5, which I liked. When the time came to sell it this summer, I did my research and test-drove everything from a Mercedes-Benz E-Class all-wheel-drive wagon, to a new Porsche Mecan - but nothing felt like quite the right fit for my needs. A new Range Rover Sport was always at the top of my list, so I ended up going back to Land Rover Darien, in Connecticut, where I'd bought my first two Range Rover vehicles. I test-drove the black Range Rover Sport and bought it on the spot. It really does check all the boxes.
This winter, you may be driving the only muddy Range Rover Sport in Palm Beach.
You're right. I have plenty of friends who own Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles in Palm Beach, who bought them solely for their luxury and looks. You never see a speck of dirt on them. Maybe I need to take them out in mine, find a little mud and show them what a Range Rover is capable of.