The Sport of Kings has without end been a research 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 overlook to decrease their Bulgari shades to note the match―until, after all, the gamers embody 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 vogue.
Two standout areas are value a more in-depth look: London and Santa Barbara, Calif. They’re areas that fall underneath the Federation of Worldwide Polo’s 86 nationwide members, which embody Egypt, Malaysia, Jordan, Mongolia, Nigeria, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and, after all, Argentina, famend for turning out one of the best polo gamers on the earth.
The venerable Cowdray property and its in depth grounds have been acknowledged as the “dwelling of British polo” for greater than a century. Set inside Viscount Cowdray’s 16,000-acre property in West Sussex, the Cowdray Park Polo Membership hosts 35 tournaments, together with the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup attracts about 15,000 lovers, however quite a lot of skip the match and head straight to the after-parties. Favorites embody Cowdray’s Ibiza Evening, which vibrates with trance and electro classics. Cowdray Park Polo Membership sponsors embody 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 vogue, leisure and music luminaries. Greatest-dressed notables embody Isabel Getty and, among the many royals, Woman Amelia Spencer and Woman Eliza Spencer
The London polo season’s crowd-pleaser is Chestertons Polo within 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 totally huge, about 30,000 attend,” says Rebecca Hill, a senior digital advertising govt at London-based actual property company Chestertons. “It’s vibrant and it’s buzzing. Everybody’s in a incredible temper. With the elegant vogue, 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 greatest 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. Definitely Panama hats for males and, for ladies, fascinators worn by routine scene-stealers, together with some gaucho hats and an outsized Jacquemus or two.
The occasion’s after-parties are legendary (we advocate the White Horse, which insiders name Sloaney Pony, in Parson’s Inexperienced), as is the Mahiki Tent, which pulsates with stay music and dancing (metal drums get the occasion going). The occasion’s Fulham Meals Pageant attracts from London’s selection 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 equivalent to Mu Du London and Augustine Jewels.
The Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Membership is the preeminent polo membership within the western United States. It held its first exhibition match in 1894 and was admitted to america 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 usually on the membership. He lives in close by Montecito along with his spouse, Meghan, Markle, and their two kids.
Within the Twenties, American royalty performed on the fields: Douglas Fairbanks, Will Rogers and Charlie Chaplin, amongst others. At present, commoners favor Friday comfortable hour matches, and on Sundays, the hats seem, some rivaling one of the best 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 services.
“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 a complete polo tradition.”
Every October, after polo season ends, the membership hosts the Montecito Motor Basic, which showcases scores of uncommon and classic automobiles. Company arrive in a blue-chip choice 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 stay on the membership grounds. The Spanish-style Polo Condos, with 139 items, 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 uncommon 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 dwelling has a connoisseur kitchen, hearth and heated toilet flooring.
“It looks like your individual cottage,” says Walters of the 1,365-square-foot dwelling, including that about 80% of apartment homeowners are members of the polo membership.
The transformed finish unit doubles as a first-rate funding car, leasing for $15,000 a month throughout polo season, Walter provides, and a mean of $9,000 a month throughout low season.