New year, new look, new people, new social rules, same great polo – that's what makes the annual ritual of summer polo in the Hamptons worth all the fuss. Now the first two weeks have not been the greatest weather-wise. A wet field limited play during week one to one fast chuckker, instead of the usual six, between Peter Brandt
's White Birch
team and Black Watch with international polo star, and Ralph Lauren
model, Nacho Figueras
. Week two was far from better after morning storms completely prevented the match but not the party which continued under the watchful gaze of consummate polo publicist and organizer Shamin Abas
Model and actress Veronica Webb and Chris Del Gatto. (Photo: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)
So what's new this year? Well, to start only 350 VIP guests are invited to attend each week as opposed to the thousand or so that crowded the tent and never watched the match. These guests are actually interested in the sport and spend more time watching and cheering than bellied up to the bar. Beyond that the atmosphere has changed – it's a more social affair instead of a riotous party soaked in gin (not that that's a bad thing). There's Pointy Snout Caviar and nibbles by Sag Harbor hot spot Tutto Il Giorno
to tempt your pallet and plenty of Grey Goose Cherry Noir
Hamptons Punch and Grey Goose Citron Boston Tea Punch to wash it down.
Ladies and gents including Broadway producers Stewart Lane
and Bonnie Comley
, designers Nicole Miller
and Maggie Norris
, Gabby Karan de Felice of Urban Zen
and Tutto Il Giorno, Beth Ostrosky Stern
, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
with Jacques Azoulay
, Veronica Webb
, Chris Del Gatto, Neil Hirsh, Josh Guberman, Michael Wudyka
of East Hampton Studios, Prince Rudolph Melikoff, Sal Strazzullo of Hampton Sun, Richie Notar
, Jack Brinkley Cook, Steven Carl, Gillian Miniter
, Kelly Bensimon
, Francesca Beale, Dottie Herman
, Baroness Sherri de Borchgrave, Dina Lohan
, Andrew Saffier and Daniel Benedict
, Sue Devitt, Aliina Cho, Campion and Tatiana Platt
with their children, Cassandra Seidenfeld
Lyster, and Wendy Diamond
are a few who came fashionably dressed these past two weeks.
Haynes Ko, Brian DeSesa, and Will Whiffin enjoying a cigar in the Davidoff Smoking Garden. (Photo: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)
You could find quite a few of the fellas, and a daring lady or two, in the Davidoff
Cigar Garden enjoying a smoke during the match. There was even a cigar girl strolling about passing out complementary sticks to guests who might choose to enjoy a good smoke later.
Nacho Figueras - truly the face of polo. (Photo: Rob Rich: SocietyAllure.com)
Montauk rocker Nancy Atlas
belted out the National Anthem beautifully to commence the 16th Anniversary Season of the Bridgehampton Polo Club
as a mob of press and photogs recorded every moment. Town & Country
publisher Valerie Salembier rolled out the ball to begin the match. Supermodel Christie Brinkley
was scheduled to toss the ball but after sadly losing her father a week prior was at her mothers' sickbed instead. Horses galloped across the grassy field mallets swung wildly and the 'voice of polo' Alex Roldan enthusiastically provided the color commentary during play.
Beyond the polo match and the party and all the fabulous people there are the sponsors – Piaget, Zen Air, Town and Country Magazine, Davidoff, GREY GOOSE® Vodka, SmartWater, Quintessentially
, Hamptons Magazine and the Financial Times - and the boutiques where ladies can pick up a fabulous hat or ballet slipper and gents can find the perfectly tailored shirt. Ferrari
North America and Rolls Royce
each hosted special events showcasing their luxurious cars and we hear both might be back later in the season.
Don't have an invite to the VIP tent? You can still enjoy the match in the tailgate stands at Two Trees Farm in Bridgehampton where all the die-hard polo fans party before and after the stomping of the divots.
Designer Nicole Miller alongside a gorgeous Rolly Royce. (Photo: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)
Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com