The Gods indeed cooperated as the heavenly blue cloud-studded skies blessed the 22nd Mashomack International Polo Challenge with perfect weather for the event.
The Challenge benefits the Mashomack Barns Preservation and NY State Troopers Foundation. We were privileged to host their esteemed Honor Guard who led the Parade of Teams to welcome our guests and celebrate the games to begin.
“We’re back!” exclaimed Chair of the event Bruce Colley. “It was a marvelous day celebrating our friendships in the community and our love of equestrian pursuits.”
This year was significant for the number of father and son teams who participated.
We celebrated the announcement of the new NIHI Santo Tomas, Costa Rica. James McBride and Chris Burch have partnered with the Zuchers on their latest extraordinary project.
And for the first time ever, What2WearWhere was represented as a team — the most dashing, of course!
The event was planned well before Covid protocols were lifted in New York State. We thought we would start with a small crowd, uncertain if guests would be comfortable with gathering. HA! Our friends and fans turned out to support us, eager to reunite after a year of lockdowns. We seated almost 500 under the tent!
Naturally, everyone wanted to parade their finery that was hidden away for so many months. Florals and bright whites are such stylish choices for summer.
For my part I am having a love affair with Zimmerman this summer. The collection from Australian sisters Nicky & Simone Zimmerman are designed with modern femininity with extraordinary attention to detail. Since my go-to is white for summer, I assembled a selection of styles from the dramatic romance of lace to the linen shirtdress, so crisp and ready to wear anywhere. Of course, wedges are de rigueur for grassy fields, and a hat and stylish shades complete the picture perfect ensemble.
I was thrilled that Hilary could attend this year’s festivities as she adds such panache to any gathering. In Hilary’s words: “I had attended the event in the past, but this year was better than ever. There was a buzz in the air as people caught up with friends, some they had not seen in over a year! It felt free and festive to be outside on the beautiful warm summer day … without the dreaded mask. The tent was humming as the players raced by and the matches continued. I chose a floral dress for the occasion and noticed many did the same. It was such fun to finally get dressed up and see and be seen!”
Teresa Colley organized the most wonderful collection of boutiques that attracted lots and lots of shopping.
It was great to see that so many young people showed up under the tent — the tailgate side (referred to as the “dark side”) is usually their private domain.
This year, to be Covid compliant, we set up the tailgate tents in advance and fans went all out to perfect their shaded spots. It really was a celebration of our community and of our fans gathering together once again.
And when the match play began, all eyes were on the field — fans cheered for their team of choice. The players were valiant in their quest for the Championship Trophy.
At the conclusion of The Challenge, Team NIHI Santo Tomas, Costa Rica was triumphant in the hard fought battle. But the memories of camaraderie on and off the field is what will be cherished by all.
It is always a bittersweet moment when we present the Mathias Guerrand-Hermès Sportsmanship Award. Mathias played at Mashomack for years and he is greatly missed by the community of players and fans.
Photographs by Peter T Michaelis.