by Emily J. Weitz
Last Saturday marked the beginning of the 15th annual polo season at Bridgehampton Polo Club, and the high goal match proved as fast-paced as expected. The horses pounded the grass at Two Trees Stable despite the heat, and enthusiasts and socialites alike watched, captivated.
Peter Brant’s White Birch took on Simon Garber’s Yellow Cab in the first game of the Monty Waterbury Cup Tournament. White Birch was in last year’s championship at Bridgehampton Polo, and Yellow Cab captured awards over the winter at the prestigious International Polo Club in Palm Beach, so the teams were worthy opponents.
However, Yellow Cab was not able to deliver on Saturday, as White Birch took a commanding victory of 16 to 10. The score doesn’t demonstrate the advantage that White Birch held the entire game, after coming out with a whopping 12 to 1 lead in the first half.
In the second half of the game, polo darling Nacho Figueras contributed to the comeback for Yellow Cab. Figueras, whose own team Blackwatch will be playing in future games, seemed to be all over the field in the second half. He came up big both in scoring and on defense.
Teammates Luis Escobar and Michael Dorignac also added goals for Yellow Cab, but they were not able to topple White Birch’s strong lead. Mariano Aguerre, Argentinian-born polo star, has been playing with White Birch since the 1980s. On Saturday, he led all scoring and was awarded MVP of the game.
Celebrities like Betsey Johnson and Russell Simmons watched from the VIP lounge at the side of the field, and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen had its own lounge tent where people could check out jewelry and fashions made in Haiti to benefit the relief effort. Every week different celebrities will appear, and other sponsors will showcase their wares. But the best of the action can certainly be found on the field, as these world-class teams battle it out for the championship.
Next Saturday, Certified will take on Heathcote as the Monty Waterbury Cup at Bridgehampton Polo continues. The Monty Waterbury Cup is the first of two tournaments that will take place at Two Trees Farm this summer. The championship will be August 13, and following that The Hampton Cup will begin. All matches take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoons. Admission is $20 for general admission, and tickets to the VIP tent and tailgate tents are available for purchase by calling Bridgehampton Polo at 631-613-1377.