Friday, June 9, 2017

What to Wear Where: Mashomack International Polo Challenge

The challenge match begins ...
by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick

Celebrating its 20th Year, the Mashomack International Polo Challenge,
taking place this Sunday, June 11th, is the kick off of the summer social season in the Millbrook countryside. This year's festivities brings players from around the world to valiantly battle for their team and country. Great Britain, France, Mexico, Indonesia Croatia, Ecuador and Brazil are all represented in the grand gesture of global friendship.
According to the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, located in Wellington, Florida, the sport of polo is older than recorded history. Beginning in Central Asia, it migrated with Nomadic Tribes to Persia. Then spread west to Constantinople, east to Tibet, China and Japan, and south to India. It was established as a game for royalty and the military. Folklore suggests it was a sport played by troops to celebrate victory in battle, with an opponent's severed head as the ball!
It is because of the bond of player to horse that makes the sport so compelling to witness. The sound of 32 hooves, thundering down the field, while man and beast work together as one, is a thrilling sight to behold. Polo ponies are as crucial to the games as the players, if not more so. The romance of the sport harkens back to brave kings, leading their loyal knights into fierce battles, earning its reputation of The Sport of Kings.

Founder and Chairman Bruce Colley always looks forward to the Challenge. "We will have players from 11 different countries on the field, all friends that have come to join us and play for the Cup. We come together with our shared love of the sport of polo, love of horses, thrill of speed, and hard fought competitiveness on the field. It is an adrenaline rush that creates strong bonds amongst players and a deep respect for each others efforts on the horse. But at the end of a game, we all go, sit and enjoy each other's company with a drink or meal." Bruce also noted that there will be five father and son teams, which "demonstrates the love we all have for the game and the family tradition that helps carries this sport on! There are few other sports like it."
Bruce and Davis Colley. Kell Klopp and Craig Callan.
While Winston Churchil's oft-quoted line, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man," rings true in the sport, there are many women equestriennes who courageously compete.
Winston Churchill during a game of polo at Roehampton in 1921.
Parker Gentry, team player, and one of the event's Chairmen notes, "The Mashomack Polo club has been fortunate to have hosted international polo teams for well over twenty years. As a result, many of our local players have been invited to play polo in locations all over the world; Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, England and Italy to name a few. The polo community is a very close knit group of like minded people who love their sport and appreciate the friendships that come with it even more."
Taylor Stubin, Cece Cord, Cindy Rinfret, and Parker Gentry.
I invited Hilary to the Challenge and she has pulled together a sensational summer look with a nod to the dashing white-jeaned players garb but with a decidedly feminine approach. "When Karen asked me to this event I immediately thought of Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman. She attended a polo match wearing a pretty brown polka dot sleeveless dress and white hat with matching ribbon. So perfect at the time. But I think a little updating is called for — after all that was released in 1990.
As Karen mentioned I thought white jeans would be a nice comfortable choice paired with a pretty floral blouse. To protect the skin, what better than this feathered pink fedora. And as always, chic sunnies are a must. For footwear, I think wedges are perfect to handle the bumpy terrain in and around the field. It eliminates the stuck stiletto problem. And these lace up gold sandals will certainly shine during the traditional divot stomping ... Now to find my Richard Gere!"
​Zimmermann Floral Ruffle Top  $630​  / Derek Lam Alana White Flare Pants  $350  /  Eugenia Kim Feathered Fedora  $375  / ​ ​Le Specs Luxe Sunglasses  $118​ ​/ Christophe Bags Fringe Tassels Clutch  $258​  /  ​Sergio Rossi Lace-Up Platform Wedge  $875​
A composite of hats at the Challenge.
I followed Hilary's lead for a soft romantic look. I adore wearing white and cream all summer long and been known to travel in an all-white color palette, which makes packing as easy as a tropical breeze. For more packing tips, I recommend Packing for Travel, from Jet Set to Trek Set, the Definitive Globe Trotting Guide. As a Chairman, I tend to "dress up" for the occasion and I need the comfort of a little sheath. I have learned from experience that a fascinator is much easier to wear than a big brimmed hat. Thick heeled shoes or wedges are a must for navigating the grass, and as I will have lists and paper work with me, I chose this Gucci tote for room as well as great style.
See By Chloé Ruffled Paisley Lace Dress  $545  /  Red Valentino Cape Layered Fluttered Dress  $550  /  Jeanne Marie Fancy-French Netted Sisol Hatinator  $188 / Betmar Antoinette Fascinator  $45  /  Ray-Ban Legends Round Metal Sunglasses  $175  /  Gucci GG Blooms Small Reversible Tote  $980  / Loeffler Randall Emi Scallop Leather Block Heel  $325  /  Jimmy Choo Portia 120 Pantnet Leather Platform Wedge  $525
Mashomack Polo Club welcomes back naming sponsor, Turkish Airlines and other generous sponsors, such as, Hillrock Estate Distillery, Dream Hotels, Heather Croner Sotheby's International Realty, NIHI Simba Island, Estancia Villa Maria, Quest Magazine, Beretta, Berluti, Whispering Angel and the Carlyle Hotel. What2WearWhere sponsors the Mathias Guerrand Hermès MVP Award which honors the memory of the club's dear friend and member.
Mathias Guerrand Hermès and Bruce Colley.
This elegant annual event begins at noon with a Champagne Reception, followed by a tented field-side luncheon while spectators enjoy the exciting International Polo Challenge. For tickets and information, go to Mashomack Polo Club.

We asked Bruce for a favorite moment at the Challenge: "One of the most meaningful experiences was playing in Iran in 2008 as a guest. On my team was the General of the Revolutionary Guard. Even though we spoke different languages, we spoke the language of Polo and our mutual enjoyment resulted in a friendship that still lasts today. When I visited, it was the first time they flew the American Flag since 1979 (when the Shah left the country). So as one of six American Ambassadors to the Federation of International Polo, I am proud to represent the USA whenever possible and help promote friendships through the world of polo."
Under the tent.