The Sport of Kings has endlessly been a examine in contrasts. The spirited sport options champion horses, their thundering hoofs vibrating flutes of Veuve Clicquot loved by spectators within the field-side cabanas.
Some trendsetters neglect to decrease their Bulgari shades to note the match―until, after all, the gamers embrace Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, Argentina’s star competitor and the urbane face of Ralph Lauren Black Label.
The rarified sport of polo has develop into a vital summer time diversion for its rich patrons, the charities that profit and the hatted crowds that flock to the fields decked in gaucho-inspired trend.
Two standout places are price a better look: London and Santa Barbara, Calif. They’re areas that fall underneath the Federation of Worldwide Polo’s 86 nationwide members, which embrace Egypt, Malaysia, Jordan, Mongolia, Nigeria, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and, after all, Argentina, famend for turning out the perfect polo gamers on this planet.
The venerable Cowdray property and its in depth grounds have been acknowledged as the “house of British polo” for greater than a century. Set inside Viscount Cowdray’s 16,000-acre property in West Sussex, the Cowdray Park Polo Club hosts 35 tournaments, together with the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup attracts about 15,000 fans, however various skip the match and head straight to the after-parties. Favorites embrace Cowdray’s Ibiza Evening, which vibrates with trance and electro classics. Cowdray Park Polo Membership sponsors embrace Boeing Enterprise Jets and Aspinal of London, amongst others.
The poshest polo occasion on the British calendar is the Cartier Queen’s Cup, named for the late Queen Elizabeth II (Prince Charles’ workforce received the trophy in 1986). Held at Windsor Nice Park and hosted by the Guards Polo Membership, the occasion attracts a stream of trend, leisure and music luminaries. Finest-dressed notables embrace Isabel Getty and, among the many royals, Woman Amelia Spencer and Woman Eliza Spencer
The London polo season’s crowd-pleaser is Chestertons Polo in the Park, described because the world’s largest three-day polo bash. It’s held every June in Hurlingham Park on the north financial institution of the River Thames.
“The occasion is completely huge, about 30,000 attend,” says Rebecca Hill, a senior digital advertising and marketing govt at London-based actual property company Chestertons. “It’s vibrant and it’s buzzing. Everybody’s in a improbable temper. With the elegant trend, the DJs, the highest market meals and beverage, it has an Ascot really feel to it.”
Chestertons has been the occasion’s title sponsor since 2012. This yr marked a primary –– the world’s finest feminine participant, Nina Clarkin, captained the lads’s England Polo workforce to compete in opposition to Eire for the Olympic trophy.
Just like the three-century-old Royal Ascot, hats are en vogue. Actually Panama hats for males and, for ladies, fascinators worn by ordinary scene-stealers, together with some gaucho hats and an outsized Jacquemus or two.
The occasion’s after-parties are legendary (we suggest the White Horse, which insiders name Sloaney Pony, in Parson’s Inexperienced), as is the Mahiki Tent, which pulsates with dwell music and dancing (metal drums get the social gathering going). The occasion’s Fulham Meals Pageant attracts from London’s alternative eating places. The revered model, Champagne Lanson, which dates to 1760, is a sponsor.
Between matches, the SheerLuxe Purchasing Village caters to deep pockets, providing unique manufacturers reminiscent of Mu Du London and Augustine Jewels.
The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the preeminent polo membership within the western United States. It held its first exhibition match in 1894 and was admitted to the USA Polo Assn.
Flanked by the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the membership has hosted such luminaries as Prince William and Princess Catherine, the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, performs regularly at the club. He lives in close by Montecito together with his spouse, Meghan, Markle, and their two youngsters.
Within the Twenties, American royalty performed on the fields: Douglas Fairbanks, Will Rogers and Charlie Chaplin, amongst others. Immediately, commoners favor Friday joyful hour matches, and on Sundays, the hats seem, some rivaling the perfect of British millinery.
Ruled by trustees (some are grandsons of outstanding households who owned the membership in earlier eras), the membership and its 87-acre grounds are nicely positioned within the Santa Barbara space, which has been deemed the “American Riviera.” The historic clubhouse is joined by tennis, swimming and spa amenities.
“In July and August, we’re the mecca of polo,” says membership basic supervisor David Sigman. “Each eye within the nation is on us as a result of we play on the highest degree. Households from Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil and Uruguay have been coming right here for many years. It’s an entire polo tradition.”
Every October, after polo season ends, the membership hosts the Montecito Motor Classic, which showcases scores of uncommon and classic autos. Visitors arrive in a blue-chip collection of autos: Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Maserati and McLaren, amongst others.
Sigman says Santa Barbara represents the last word polo life-style as a result of you possibly can virtually dwell on the membership grounds. The Spanish-style Polo Condos, with 139 models, edge the stately fields. Why drive in from Hollister Ranch when you possibly can view the motion out of your balcony or stroll out of your patio to a reserved cabana?
A rare ground-level unit has come to market with “outrageous sundown views,” says Realtor Jackie Walters who holds the Village Properties itemizing. There are ocean vistas from the lounge, main bed room and from a 1,000-square-foot wrap-around patio. The $2.4-million three-bedroom house has a gourmand kitchen, fire and heated rest room flooring.
“It looks like your personal cottage,” says Walters of the 1,365-square-foot house, including that about 80% of apartment house owners are members of the polo membership.
The transformed finish unit doubles as a main funding car, leasing for $15,000 a month throughout polo season, Walter provides, and a mean of $9,000 a month throughout low season.