GUEST DIARY• BY: KAREN KLOPP AND HILARY DICK
Churchill’s words resonate this week as legions of indomitable, global competitors charge into Wellington, Florida to compete in the XII FIP World Polo Championship. The excitement mounts as the most dashing and skillful lineup of 8 teams — Uruguay, Argentina, Espana, Italie, México, EEUU, Australia and Pakistan — gather to vie for the prestigious international trophy in The Sport of Kings. Each has competed in qualifying rounds in their zones to advance to this sequence of rousing competition and camaraderie.
The FIP World Polo Championship Matches was last hosted by the US in 1998 in Santa Barbara, California. From coast to coast, this is the first time that it will take place in Florida. This gives The National Polo Center, recently purchased by the United States Polo Association, an opportunity to showcase the club’s many fine fields and updated facilities.
The purchase of NPC was applauded by those who value a permanent home for polo in the equestrian mecca of Wellington. The expectations are high to become the showplace for the sport not just in this country, but around the world. The FIP Tournament is the NPC’s debut and the first step in realizing the vision of USPA Board and President Stewart Armstrong of a strong physical presence to enrich the sport for both players and spectators.
Valiente Polo Club will be an additional venue for exciting bouts of action with the social whirl of the week centering around NPC. Tim Gannon, the Chair of NPC Hospitality operations, and his team have been active since spring with improvements to the club itself: “Our mission is to be the greatest club in the greatest equestrian community in the world.”
There is no doubt that the high-goal team in place will accomplish this charge. Chris Green, USPA’s Chief Operating Officer, describes the breadth: “NPC covers 161 acres and includes six fields, the grandstand, the Pavilion event space, the Mallet Grille, the Seventh Chukker Cafe, the USPA Clubhouse, the Outback facility, and the social club along with the club facilities, which include a swimming pool, gym and tennis courts.”
In short, it is a fabulous place to hang out with friends to experience the best polo players from around the world competing in fierce and physical competition.
From the Open Ceremonies at NPC on Saturday, October 29th at 3:30 p.m. — where US matches up with Australia — to the down-field dash to the final goal on Sunday, November 6th, this will be a week to remember in the equestrian community. Keep apprised of the action, at USPOLO.org.
With lots of opportunities for dressing up, Hilary and I set to finding our best What to Wear to Polo choices. Hilary scores a goal with her stylish selection of fieldside fashion: “What fun to break out those white jeans we put away after summer and hit the field to cheer on our home team. Since it is fall I thought long sleeves were more in keeping with the season. A pretty feminine blouse can easily carry you from day to night. Add a wedge heel and easy handbag plus the all important sunnies and you are ready to roll. And if the temperature rises a crochet dress like this will keep you covered while keeping you cool. Go team USA!”
She has covered all the chukkars with crisp white jeans paired with feminine tops or a charming spectator’s sun dress, choice of divot stomping wedges and a little bag to tote your essentials. To this we add, our pal Courtney Moss’ fab GlamourpussNYC Love Chain Sunhat.
The print of these CaraCara frocks, inspired from Meghal carpets, felt like an apt what-to-wear moment to this international celebration. Paired with boots, or wedges, they are an easy breezy way to spectate in style. Asha provided the perfect accessories to complement the exotic pattern. And, of course, a GlamourpussNYC sunhat completes the stylish look.
Wear International Flair!
To read more about the Tournament, profiles of the teams, rules of the games, and all of the insiders info, download the program.
It is not too late for tickets but they are going quickly so giddy up!