The long serpentine driveway with pastures on either side gave way to a field approximately the area of nine football fields that had been sliced up the sides with baseboards. In the center, horses with mounts galloped down the field towards spectators, mallets raised chasing the almost imperceptible ball. The White Birch team, clad most obviously in white with accents of green, were battling it out with the Lechuza Caracas polo team wearing navy. The bright sun was balanced by a gusty breeze that was keeping spectators cool for July. It was a perfect polo scene to kick off the 16th season for the Bridgehampton Polo Club on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
As a first time polo spectator, it is shocking to find the atmosphere so remarkably calm and relaxing. Even guest coin tosser Christie Brinkley looked fashionably relaxed in a calf skimming orange Ralph Lauren dress.
Guests who were tailgating on one side of the field were eating and drinking. The games played by spectators to keep busy in between chukkers (periods) could be seen on the sidelines. It was easy to see that this was a time to relax and enjoy watching the Sport of Kings with friends and family.
The atmosphere carried across the field to the VIP tent. Decorated with Ferrari sports cars, a sampling bar from sponsor Escada, and a larger than life horse sculpture, the VIP spectators were enjoying leisurely watching the game from the sidelines or from their cabana couches. Bertaud Belieu rosé and refreshing LaCroix Sparkling Water floated about to be enjoyed, as well as a Hamptons favorite Tutto Il Giorno who provided light hors d’oeuvres.
Also spotted relaxing and enjoying the match were Donna Karan, Amanda Hearst, Kelly Bensimon, Kelly Klein, Gabby Karan de Felice, Natasha Barnard, Andrew Saffir, Daniel Benedict, Campion and Tatiana Platt, and Jonathan Cheban. Universal Republic Recording Artist Dylan Jenet sang the National Anthem to kick off the match.
Despite White Birch missing owner Peter Brant due to illness, they came out victorious with a 11 to 9 win in the season opener. Del Walton was named Most Valuable Player. White Birch’s Denali, played by Joao Paulo Ganon, won Most Valuable Pony and was presented the award by Burgess Yacht’s Director of Americas Matt Emerson.
Polo season continues this Saturday, August 3, 2013 at Two Trees Farm in Bridgehampton.
For the full schedule of Bridgehampton Polo visit bridgehamptonpolollc.com.