“The King of Sports and the Sport of Kings”

(originally posted on Tumblr with photos at http://margaretrowlandphoto.tumblr.com/)

“The King of Sports and the Sport of Kings”

What a delightful day at the Greenwich Polo Club for the final match of the season - Royal Salute vs Casablanca. For those less familiar, polo is an old sport originating in Britain, in which riders on horseback swing long mallets to hit a small, heavy ball through their respective goalposts at either end of the field. There are four players per team, and six periods of play, or “checkers,” of 7.5 minutes.

The game was quite exciting; with a final score of 10-8 Royal Salute, there was much racing back and forth on the field, and many near misses and smashing successes. Many a player bounced the ball on their mallets in a show of hand-eye coordination as they galloped down the field, and others sent the ball flying high into the air, to be received by a teammate nearly 100 meters away. The horses were dappled and beautiful, and clearly well cared for - each horse only ran one checker, thus each rider had six different horses for the match! The announcer, an Argentinian man with unlimited enthusiasm, was a pleasure to listen to, at one point remarking, “boy, I wish we had a slow motion camera to see that play again! That was the play of the day, ladies and gentlemen! ESPN, I hope you are watching!” Indeed they should have been watching - after a stunning sprint down the field at upwards of 38 mph, alternately bouncing the ball on the mallet and whacking it further down the field, a member of Royal Salute scored a stunning goal from nearly 60 meters away!

The Greenwich Polo Club itself, in addition to the entertainment, was truly a delightful place to spend the afternoon; with perfect end-of-summer sunshine and a cool breeze, families picnicked in the sun, and prominent members of New York society mingled over champagne and discussed their summers in the Hamptons, and their return to the hustle and bustle of the city during New York Fashion Week, no less.

The talk of the day was Peter Brant, player number four for Royal Salute, and the owner of Greenwich Polo Club. In addition to commending his excellent play throughout the match, Greenwich locals recalled with bygone worry the days in 2009 when the club threatened to close and be sold due to the probable divorce of Brant from his wife, noted model and actress Stephanie Seymour, and the resulting division of assets (at the time, this was quite the scandal, both in Greenwich and New York City). Never has a community been so happy to see a marriage succeed (at least on paper); alas, the club is alive and well, and Seymour could be seen today, mingling with the crowd and congratulating her husband on an excellent win.

Fashion trends abounded at the polo club - pastel pants and shorts were the go-to pieces for those men looking to channel their New England heritage, and beautiful broad rimmed hats bobbed above the crowd on the heads of fashionable women. The fedora trend for women has never struck yours truly as anything but unpleasantly gauche, but there were an unfortunate number of women who seemed not to share this opinion and thus wore them anyway, usually complete with glaringly bright colored ribbons and paisley dresses. Not your writer’s favorite, but one cannot love every trend, yes? There was one gentleman, however, wearing a navy suit with blue suede shoes (and white socks with navy polka dots!) who wore a straw colored fedora with a navy and red striped ribbon around it, and in that moment, this blogger may have seen the light. Fedoras for men, or at the very least, that incredibly well dressed fellow, will no longer be mocked.

My dear friend, talented designer Nina Roseman and founder of NiniPosh, a line of elegant outerwear for girls, looked effortlessly stunning as usual. In a pink blazer, a white button down shirt, jeans shorts, and the perfect pair of smoking loafers, Nina fit seamlessly into the New York society scene, while avoiding the common pitfall of looking like one has tried too hard. (The woman in the sparkly pewter dress missed the memo on this, as did all the women in heels - though it was a lovely dress, it belonged in a nightclub and not on a polo field, and stomping divets in heels during halftime generally serves to aerate the field more than compact it). She carries herself with a natural grace and poise, and her sharp wits have made her a brilliant and successful businesswoman.
All in all, a pleasant day was had at the Greenwich Polo Club for the closing match of the season. It was a privilege to spend such a lovely day at a beautiful locale with a good friend, and take a break from the hustle and bustle of NYC, and NYFW. Nina and I look forward to next season, and to reporting on the events, fashions, trends, and talk of the polo matches at Greenwich Polo Club. Until then, signing off from the polo club, and signing back into NYFW (check out the latest here)! Hope you all got the chance to attend a match this season - if not, go next year! (psshh - they’re free!)

xx Margaret

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