The champagne of polo

Each year, Greenwich Polo Club seems to get bigger — and better — and 2019 is shaping up to be no exception.

There’s a new tournament — the United States Polo Association International Cup, which is scheduled to begin July 7 with an event for 1,000 invitees, then continues July 14 and 21. It joins the second annual Shreve, Crump & Low Cup (June 9 and 16), sponsored by the Greenwich Avenue jeweler; the Monty Waterbury Cup (June 23 and 30); and the East Coast Open (Aug. 25 and Sept. 1 and 8), with eight teams galloping to be the best throughout the season. These include Team Audi, which scored a big win in the finals of the Open last year. (Audi will be hosting an event on the last day of competition, Sept. 8.) 

There is one thing that threads — or rather flows — through all these tournaments and that is Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Indeed, it is the nectar of the club and, perhaps the gods, with a cork from one of its bottles providing the sought-after centerpiece for a treasure hunt during the stomping of the divots at halftime. (Usually it’s found by some enterprising child with his/her dog also in the hunt. The mini Sherlock Holmes receives a junior-size polo ball and mallet; the parents, the Champagne.) 

This year the Champagne brand is upping its event presence at Greenwich Polo with a cabana for influencers on opening day, June 9, and later on, a white party (so named for the attire) and a ticketed event. The successful Veuve Clicquot After Polo returns with live music, DJs, the Pony Bar by The Cup Bearer and asados  (traditional Argentine barbecues) by master asador Pablo Calandroni. 

Veuve Clicquot was founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot, who hailed from a French family of bankers and merchants. In 1805, the company was taken over by the former Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, the 27-year-old widow of Philippe’s son, François, who would give it its distinctive name — “veuve” meaning “widow.” She would also become one of the first and most innovative businesswomen in modern times, creating the first recorded vintage Champagne as well as the riddling table, still in use, to clarify wine; breaking with tradition to sell her vintages to Russia; and foregoing elderberry wine for her Bouzy reds in making her Rosé Champagne. To honor her and the company’s 200th anniversary in 1972, the brand — which is now owned by Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton — created its vintage cuvée La Grande Dame and its Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.

As you sip your Veuve Clicquot at Greenwich Polo, you can enjoy pop-ups by Stick & Ball, the San Francisco-based, polo-inspired luxury apparel brand; Greenwich-based Suzani international designs; Maria Mendelsohn Equestrian Properties; the island of Barbados; and Michelle Farmer, a Greenwich boutique featuring Palm Beach-style resort wear that will be making its Greenwich Polo debut.

Luxe watchmaker Hublot will once again be on hand for the Shreve, Crump & Low Cup. Parisian bank Société Generale returns for the final of the East Coast Open with a VIP event. And Cottages & Gardens magazine is back to co-host the Players’ Lounge — featuring more Veuve Clicquot.

The gates at the Greenwich Polo Club field, 1 Hurlingham Drive, open at 1 p.m. with matches from 3 to 5 p.m. For tickets and other information, call 203-561-1639 or visit greenwichpoloclub.com.

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