Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles brings out the stars
I used to imagine the game of polo was only for those with gilded wallets or those from a gilded era -- the players returning to their estates after a match, ancient family crests waving them home on flag posts; ladies sitting by the field, wicker baskets filled with nibbles, their carefree laughs as light as the hems of their silk tea-dresses dancing in the wind.
On Sunday, at the the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Los Angeles, this dreamy image was matched with one as beautiful and not as untouchable. Yes, there were still the gorgeous, the rich and the famous. Minnie Driver, Johnny Lee Miller, Brittany Snow, Mischa Barton (decked out in full flapper regalia with a black and white feather headpiece and fringed dress) and Rachel Zoe sipped Champagne and munched on delicacies — the strawberry scone cookies seeming very popular. But this was in the VIP lounge, which housed the minority of attendees. The majority of the spectators were the almost 2,000 members of the public who came to the free event, who seemed to equally enjoy the game and who boasted some very enviable picnic baskets of their own designs.
Held at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades (the park is home to the last of the 22 original polo fields in Los Angeles), where legends including Spencer Tracy, Walt Disney and Clark Gable used to swing their mallets, the event helped support the Will Rogers Ranch Foundation and Will Rogers Polo Club, both nonprofit organizations (please visit www.parks.ca.gov for more information). One dollar from each Champagne flute sold was donated specifically to the Ranch Foundation.
Nacho Figueras, the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo fragrances, is also captain of team Black Watch, which played against team Veuve Clicquot (the intense match hailed team Black Watch the winner 8-7 with Figueras scoring 3 of these goals). Figueras has been credited with bringing attention and excitement back to polo. He stated with effusion, “To spread the word about polo — well, it’s my mission in life.”
After three years of success in New York, Veuve Clicqout was keen to bring the tournament West. “The most rewarding aspect of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is making polo, as well as this fantastic social event, free and accessible to the people of Los Angeles for the first time,” Figueras said. Veuve Clicquot promises to return in 2011, so those who missed the festivities on Sunday can plan to stomp divots next year.
To learn more about the rules, history and game of polo visit: http://www.us-polo.org/
For updates regarding Nacho Figueras and team Black Watch visit: http://www.Facebook.com/NachoFigueras
Photos: Top, Nacho Figueras in action at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Will Rogers State Park on Sunday. Credit: Al Rodriguez/Wire Image. Middle, Mischa Barton is in the spirit of the day. Credit: Amanda Edwards. Bottom: Delfina Blaquier relaxes with her husband, Nacho Figueras. Credit: Amanda Edwards.