February’s Windsor Charity Polo Cup is a biennial event at Windsor, a private sporting-club community on a barrier island in Vero Beach, Florida.
Established in 1989, the community spans 425 acres between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean and was designed by renowned town planners Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk in the New Urbanism style of residential living. It offers public and community spaces framed by timeless architecture and landscape design that celebrates the tropical and unspoiled setting.
Hilary M. Weston, co-founder and creative director of Windsor and former lieutenant governor of Ontario, was joined by Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the esteemed Italian footwear designer and leader of his family’s expanding wine business, as the event’s honorary co-chairs.
Recognized as the signature high-goal charity polo match of the season, the event, attended by more than 2,000 people from around the world, provides support to individuals and their families who are struggling with an Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diagnosis and to help research to find a cure. Funds are distributed equally to the national Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and to the Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County.
A world-class roster of international players participated, directed by Windsor director of equestrian operations, Max Secunda. A new player this year was international polo player and model Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras. The two teams battled in one of the fastest and most exciting matches in the event’s history. Team Pezuñas Caliente was the winner, with a final score of 9-8. Team Pezuñas Caliente was captained by Nacho Figueras, and Team Falasiri was captained by Rodrigo Andrade.
In addition to the world-class polo match, the day included a tailgate competition judged by J. McLaughlin, with the winner receiving a $500 J. McLaughlin gift card. The festivities included a Windsor junior polo team demonstration, a Porsche concours, a specialty retail shopping village, and a performance by 15 members of Vero Beach Pipe and Drums.
In the VIP tent, more than 800 match attendees enjoyed an elegant field-side champagne luncheon designed by Windsor Executive Chef Robert Meitzer. Other eventgoers enjoyed picnicking in the festive tailgating area or viewed the match from grandstand seating.
The specialty retail village, returning by popular demand for its second year, featured a curated selection of pop-up boutiques with products available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds was donated to the event charities. Included in the village were luxury jewelry pieces from Maria Canale and Tamara Comolli; gifts, fragrances, and accessories designed by India Hicks; emerging-designer pieces from Michelle Farmer Collaborate; polo-inspired apparel by Stick & Ball; gifts and accessories from Belle Cose; and the new 2018 Winter Resort collection from J. McLaughlin; among others.
A lucky event-participant won the featured raffle prize, a Maria Canale starburst-medallion diamond-drop necklace and earrings set valued at $50,000. Other exciting raffle prizes included Valentino and Chloe handbags donated by Holt Renfrew; Elite Airways round-trip tickets; a Costa d’Este hotel package; golf, equestrian, and dining experiences; and fashion, jewelry, and accessories.
Equestrian Living magazine is the national media sponsor of the Windsor Charity Polo Cup. Other luxury brands and corporate business sponsors included CBRE Group, Inc., PNC Bank, Mercedes-Benz/Porsche/Audi of Melbourne, Château d’Esclans, Falasiri Oriental Rugs, Stick & Ball, J. McLaughlin, Casa Dragones, Laurent-Perrier, Maria Canale, Ingersoll-Rand, and Sysco.
Go behinds the scenes at George Kamper’s photoshoot of Nacho Figueras.