Nacho Figueras romances the bookworm

“High Season” – the first novel in Nacho Figueras’ “Polo Season” series.

Among our highlights at WAG was the magical June day in 2013 that we spent at Greenwich Polo Club watching a team led by Nacho Figueras square off against one helmed by his good friend Prince Harry – all in the name of the Sentebale charity that is so dear to their hearts. http://www.wagmag.com/road-warrior/

Figueras returns to Greenwich Polo this Sunday, but this time he’ll be picking up a pen instead of a mallet. The Argentine star and Ralph Lauren spokesmodel will be on hand before the start of the club’s 35th season to sign copies of “High Season,” the first in a series of romances by Hudson Valley novelist Jessica Whitman. (Figueras, who is presenting “The Polo Season” series, has been intimately involved with its development, as has his wife, Delfina Blaquier.)

“ ‘The Polo Season’ series blends my favorite sport with a little bit of romance,” Figueras said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be launching ‘High Season’ with friends at Greenwich Polo Club. Whether you’re already a polo fan or completely new to the game, I hope readers will enjoy these characters and their stories.”

We think those hopes will easily be realized. “High Season” (Forever/Grand Central Publishing, $13.99, 351 pages) is the perfect beach read – snappy and a little bit spicy. Just as skillfully as Figueras maneuvers on a polo field, Whitman navigates her way from the horse farms of the Hudson Valley down the I-95 corridor to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla. where the 1-percenters know “no portion control when it comes to their accessories” and all the scoring is not done in a match.

After the book-signing (1 to 3 p.m.), it’s on to the main event – the first match of the United States Polo Association-sanctioned Monty Waterbury Cup.

Teams competing in the Cup include White Birch (Santino Magrini, Hilario Ulloa, Mariano Aguerre and Greenwich Polo founder Peter Brant), Airstream (Peter Orthwein, Matias Magrini, Kris Kampsen and Guillermo Aguero) Postage Stamp Farm (Annabelle Garrett, Nick Manifold, Joao Paolo Ganon and Brandon Phillips) and Goose Creek (Maureen Brennan, Tomas Garcia del Rio, Mariano Gonzalez and Marcos Garcia del Rio). The USPA will conduct a draw before the tournament to determine which teams play opening day.

Said Brant: “We are excited to start our 35th season of high-goal polo this summer at Greenwich Polo Club with three of the most prestigious USPA polo tournaments returning to our field this year – the Monty Waterbury Cup, the Butler Handicap and the East Coast Open. Opening day is always special at Greenwich Polo Club and we’re delighted that Nacho will be launching his new book series amongst fellow polo players and fans.”

In addition to the book-signing, Stick & Ball luxury and lifestyle brand will have a pop-up retail shop featuring apparel and accessories inspired by playing polo in the countryside. Trunk Club will have celebrity fashion stylists onsite to meet with guests who are interested in updating their wardrobes and will be bestowing a custom-made suit on the Most Valuable Player of the polo match. Shreve, Crump & Low is the official trophy sponsor of the club and will be providing trophies and gifts to players during the award presentation at the end of each match. Luxury Seekers is the official travel partner of the club’s 35th season and will have a private cabana each Sunday.

Fans may choose to picnic on the sidelines or go the VIP route by purchasing grandstand boxes or private cabanas. During matches, they’ll be able to experience food from Caffe Bon, Dough Girls, Follow That Cupcake and more. Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National will have a pop-up bar on the polo grounds, serving polo-inspired cocktails made with fine liquors, including Beluga Noble Russian Vodka – the official vodka of the club. Beluga Noble Russian Vodka will also be hosting tastings for polo fans. Located minutes away on Greenwich Avenue, The National will be the official before or after polo destination for brunch and dinner.

Nestled in the verdant backcountry of Connecticut, the club is less than an hour away by train or car from New York City. Greenwich Polo is once again partnering with Uber to offer travel deals. Polo fans may take an Uber from New York City, the Greenwich Metro-North station or points in-between to the club and back to the location of their choice.

Polo matches are open to the public every Sunday from June 5 to July 17 (with no match July 3) and Aug. 28 to Sept. 11. Tickets may be purchased online and are $500 to $600 for VIP private cabanas (seating eight); $300 for box seats (seating four); $60 per car for grandstand seating and $40 per car for lawn seating. Dogs on leashes are allowed.

Gates open at 1 p.m. The field address is 1 Hurlingham Drive.

For more, visit greenwichpoloclub.com. For my take on Nacho Figueras’ series, visit thegamesmenplay.com.

And look for Nacho Figueras between the covers – of August WAG. – Georgette Gouveia

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