Basquiat and balls

With all the talk about the Jean-Michel Basquiat that sold recently for $110.5 million, polo buffs will definitely want to tour the new exhibit at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center when they attend the 36th season opener at Greenwich Polo Club Sunday, June 4. “Animal Farm” (1-3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 15) includes provocative contemporary works by Basquiat, Keith Haring and others. We particularly relish Katherine Bernhardt’s “Untitled” tribute to the Pink Panther and Nina Chanel Abney’s let-it-all-hang-out male nudes in “Si, Mister.” Scorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre!

The rest of the action takes place, of course, on the field as two strong teams face off in the first match of the United States Polo Association’s National 20-goal Monty Waterbury Cup tournament. Polo teams Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Gundlach, Brandon Phillips, João Paulo Ganon and Kris Kampsen) and Work to Ride (Joseph Manheim, Mariano Gonzales, Mariano Aguerre and Nick Manifold) will take to the field at 3 p.m., with the gates opening at 1 p.m.

 “We are proud to start our 36th season of high-goal polo this summer at Greenwich Polo Club with three of the most prestigious USPA polo tournaments – the Monty Waterbury Cup, the Silver Cup and the East Coast Open,” said Peter Brant, founder of Greenwich Polo Club, publisher, philanthropist and art collector. “The East Coast Open was a huge draw last year with record crowds in attendance and we expect the excitement to continue to grow. We’ll also be hosting the oldest American polo tournament still being played, the Silver Cup, for the first time ever at Greenwich Polo Club.”

On opening day, LOOK Greenwich will present a VIP experience, while The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp will hold its 16th annual Polo for Children Benefit to support the Camp’s growing programs for kids with cancer. Tesla will arrive with an Airstream, along with the newest Tesla models. Barbados Tourism will be on-site in a cabana where fans can enter to win a trip, and the Hobbs pop-up shop will feature the latest British-inspired fashions so beloved by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

We’re especially excited that New York Empire Tennis will offer fans a chance to win tickets to see a World Team Tennis match in July, featuring top Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) players.

Whether fans choose to picnic on the sidelines or go the VIP route by purchasing grandstand boxes or private cabanas, there are plenty of options to delight even the most discerning palates. Fans can enjoy delicacies from food trucks such as Caffe Bon, Pappis, Dough Girls, Christie Caters, Long Ford’s Ice Cream, Box Car Cantina, Hapa, Lobster Craft and Bounty. Tastings NYC will offer the Pony Bar and a full menu of food and drinks for those with private cabanas and box seating. The Tastings NYC mixologists will serve polo-inspired cocktails such as “The Player,” a potion sure to pack a punch with vodka, lemon juice, sparkling water, a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.

Hublot is the official timekeeper of the 2017 season and will present a special gift to the Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the conclusion of the East Coast Open. Shreve, Crump & Low, the oldest jewelry store in the U.S., will continue its partnership with Greenwich Polo Club and serve as the official trophy presenter, while Maria Mendelsohn is the official real estate partner of Greenwich Polo Club and will award Best Playing Pony at the end of each match.

Pololine will produce a special program each week spotlighting interviews with polo players, game statistics and features on polo ponies and teams. Pololine, in coordination with Argentina, will also honor the best “Polo Argentino” horse of each of the three Sunday matches of the East Coast Open.

Don’t forget to join divot stomping at halftime to win a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, the official Champagne of the 2017 season. It’s particularly fun for the kids and the pooches, which are allowed on leashes.

Greenwich Polo Club is launching a new roundtrip shuttle service, Pony Express, between Manhattan and Greenwich Polo Club each polo Sunday. Polo fans can ride in the comfort of an air- conditioned VIP shuttle van with pickup at noon on the corner of Little West 12th Street and Washington Street, in front of The Standard Biergarten in the Meatpacking District. The roundtrip shuttle will depart from Greenwich Polo Club at approximately 6 p.m. after the award ceremony. Admission with shuttle starts at $60 per person and tickets can be bought online at greenwichpoloclub.com. The shuttle will drop-off passengers at The Standard Biergarten upon return to Manhattan, where polo fans are invited to continue the fun.

Polo matches are open to the public every Sunday, June 4th – July 16th (no match July 2nd) and Sundays August 27th – September 10th. Tickets may be purchased online and range from $40 per car for lawn seating, $60 per car for grandstand seating, $300 for a box (seats 4) and $500 to $600 for a VIP private cabana (seats 8). The field address is 1 Hurlingham Drive.

For more, visit greenwichpolo.com and for more on WAG’s coverage of Mariano Aguerre and other polo stars, visit wagmag.com.

– By Georgette Gouveia

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