Polo Style AUGUST 2014 / 4.95
Natural Beauty Practicality meets stunning style
Country Life Turning a farmhouse into a stylish country home
POLO HOTSPOT — AND MORE
The right SUV, Champagne, great boots… Get in the know with our guide
Desert getaway has a lot to offer
EXCLUSIVE The Mannix Brothers
Fred (shown) and Julian take on the world — and win
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Whether you’re flying to play the Sport of Kings or rule victorious over a business meeting, Take Flight Group will ensure your team arrives in winning form. Our experienced team takes the hassle out of business aviation – providing superb service to ensure your trip is well planned and efficient while being accountable for every detail. We offer more than just private charters; we are your full service private aviation partner. Find out why going above & beyond has made Take Flight Group the first choice in North America today.
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Meet our dream team.
August Welcome P.10
Sponsors and Players P.24
Calgary Polo Club events P.26
Canada is, to put it mildly, not known for producing world-class polo players. But today’s generation of the Mannix family is changing that perception fast.
Polo is often considered a sport played only by royalty and the very wealthy. But the game was a natural for the cowboys and ranchers of Alberta’s past.
BITS, PIECES … AND ESSENTIALS There are things you need, and things you just want. Then there’s the ultimate — objects and experiences that embody both passion and practicality.
POLO 101 Polo is an ancient game, a sport of kings and cowboys that evokes powerful emotions. When you know the game, you’ll understand.
UNDER THE CALIFORNIA SUN As Calgary’s winter sets in, the polo season in Greater Palm Springs is in full swing — and so are shopping, dining, spas and golf. No wonder we love it!
HOME IN THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY Turning a decaying former farmhouse into a stylish country dream home was a labour of love for this Calgary-area family.
NATURAL BEAUTY When fashion and quality meet function and practicality, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We take you to the Calgary Polo Club for a look at timeless style.
For the grooms at the Calgary Polo Club, it’s a routine workday. Seen through the eyes of photographer Colin Way, though, it’s a story of warm sun, fertile land and the timeless bond between humans and horses.
The Mannix Men
A brilliant GAME EDITORIAL BY ANNE EVAMY, PRESIDENT, CALGARY POLO CLUB
WELCOME to the first issue of Calgary Polo Style! Making a good match is all about finding synergies. The Calgary Polo Club and RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions have found that synergy by teaming up to create this brand-new publication. This magazine will appeal to those adventurous sorts who are intrigued by the incredible sport of polo, as well as to others drawn to the lifestyle surrounding it. The game of polo might not be well known to many people in the Calgary area, nor might they realize that there are polo clubs across the country. In fact, the Calgary Polo Club is one of the oldest clubs in North America, and has a significant connection to the historic roots of Southern Alberta. Going back 125 years, many of the pioneer ranchers, military people and oil and gas personalities were drawn to the excitement, speed and strategy of the sport, as well as to the importance of the athletic and determined horses that make it all happen. These players founded the club in 1890, and over the years competed for many still-coveted trophies. The original polo fields were located in the middle of a racetrack in what is now known as east Elbow Park, and after a couple of relocations the club moved to its current location in 1959. On a beautiful property south of the city, the club boasts nine playing fields with incredible views of the Rocky Mountains.
Spectators might ask what draws a player to the game of polo. As a longtime player, I need to explain the incredible rush of adrenaline one gets from playing. Many retired polo players say they have never been able to replicate the feeling through any other pastime. The thrill of working in tune with a powerful animal to complete an athletic move at extreme speed is the ultimate accomplishment. Every cue you give the horse to get you to a place on the field, or to move against your opponent to perform a defensive or offensive play, is a feat. Having to be aware of the other players and horses around you moving at 35 miles an hour encourages you to think very quickly, spatially and smartly, as your safety and that of your horse are at risk. The respect for the personality and ability of one’s string of horses is also a testament to the bond a human has with an animal. You truly
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become a team, but you have to be the one in control. Your horses need you to take the lead. Teamwork and strategy going into every game are a challenge and require a lot of organization; decisions about which horses to use in which chukkers, positions of your teammates, bits and equipment for the horses and so on. But when it all comes together it is a brilliant experience, and it’s very difficult to wipe a smile from your face and ignore the exhilaration. So, come and watch why those of us who have found this incredible sport cannot shake the addiction. On warm summer days, spectators can enjoy a unique perspective on the sidelines, feeling the power and energy of the game and the beauty of the horses — and at halftime, expend some of their own energy stomping divots. So, we warmly welcome you to come and watch a polo match, or better yet, jump on a polo pony, take some lessons and truly experience “hockey on horseback.” Warm regards, Anne Evamy, Player and President, Calgary Polo Club
Polo Style AU G U ST 2 01 4 / 4 .9 5 Publisher: RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions, in partnership with the Calgary Polo Club President, Calgary Polo Club Anne Evamy President, RedPoint Media Group Inc.: Pete Graves
The Ranchmen’s Club We are Calgary’s oldest and one of its most prestigious private member clubs. Founded in 1891 by Alberta cattlemen, the Club has played an important role in the development of Calgary and of Alberta. For membership and other information, contact David Houghton, General Manager, by phone at 403.228.3885 or email email@example.com.
Proud to be a supporter of the Calgary Polo Club for over 100 years!
710 13th Avenue S.W. | Calgary, Alberta T2R 0K9 | Phone: 403.228.3885 | Toll Free: 1.866.228.3885 | Fax: 403.228.3885 Club Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ranchmensclub.com
Creative Director: Anders Knudsen Managing Editor: Miles Durrie Art Director: David Willicome Photographers: Erin Brooke Burns, Kaylee Scherbinski, Jared Sych, Colin Way Writers: Shelley Boettcher, Tiffany Burns, Andrea Cox, Anne Evamy, Marissa Willman Production Manager: Mike Matovich Statements, opinions and viewpoints expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Copyright © 2014 by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Canadian Publications Mail Product Agreement No. PM 40030911 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions 100, 1900 11th St. S.E. Calgary, AB T2G 3G2 Ph: 403-240-9055 redpointmedia.ca The Calgary Polo Club 306002 24 St. W., Okotoks, AB T1S 1A2 Ph: 403-938-0182 calgarypoloclub.com
Media & Marketing Solutions
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Fancy BITS & PIECES
BY SHELLEY BOETTCHER
When objects of
pure desire prove themselves also to be delicious, durable, practical and sophisticated — well, who could be blamed for craving them even more? This collection is evidence that, to paraphrase Keats, a thing of beauty is indeed a joy forever. Or at least for now.
Wrap it up Hermès and a love of horses are almost synonymous. Check out Hermès’ equestrian-inspired silk scarves at Hermès boutiques and hermes.com. About $420. 2 Watch for it A handsome, ruggedly 1
authentic timepiece, the Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry watch is about $750. swissarmy.com 3 Case in point Rimowa luggage won’t leave you dealing with smashed wine and dented gear. And with the Rimowa Classic
Flight series you’ll look like the pro you are. Starting at $850. rimowa.com. 4 Red, red wine From winemaker Paul Hobbs, the 2010 Cobos Volturno is a rich red Argentinian blend of malbec and cabernet sauvignon. About $200. C
The perfect bag With the practical style of the Longchamp Pliage Cuir personalized leather bag, you’ll choose your own colours and have your initials monogrammed on each bag. At longchamp.com and select Longchamp boutiques, 5
starting at about $600. 6 Pack your passport Estancia Los Potreros in Argentina’s Cordoba region offers accommodation for up to 12, and co-owner Louisa Begg is one of the region’s only female polo players. estancialospotreros.com.
She always dressed to win, even when she was watching. F I N D YO U R FAVO U R I T ES AT C A LGA RY ’ S O N LY D OW N TOW N SHOPPING CENTRE
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FOUR- wheel FASHION THE ESSENTIALS
From navigating ranch-country roads and highways
with a horse-trailer in tow to battling city traffic, we ask a lot of our cars. And if the vehicle looks great, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s icing on the cake. Enter the Range Rover Autobiography SUV from Land Rover. The iconic, distinctive British brand offers rugged luxury for the discerning motorist.
The Range Rover handles trailers up to 3,500 kilograms with aplomb, and the built-in camera system offers trailer reverse parking and hitch guidance. The 2015 Range Rover Autobiography models start at about $149,990. For more information, go to landrover.com or call 1-800-346-3493.
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BEST FOOT FORWARD MILLARVILLE POLO BOOTS
hen it comes to polo boots, you need something that works — and plays — as hard as you do. Footwear that will stand the test of time, speed, dust, the occasional impact and maybe even a little mud. That’s not easy to find — which is why Calgary polo superstar Fred Mannix Jr. decided to create Millarville, a line of polo gear for people who want to play hard and look
good. These bespoke cowhide leather boots are handmade to your specs in Argentina by people who know polo. Pick your choice of closures — Velcro, classic British or the uber-sexy zipper front. And then decide on a colour: black or chocolate brown. About $1,000; order from millarville.com. A line of women’s clothing and accessories for players and fans will launch soon.
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SIGNATURE sparkler THE ESSENTIALS
Yellow Label (“Brut Carte Jaune”) is a signature Champagne
from Veuve Clicquot, and it’s the sparkler of choice for polo events around the world. From Reims, the heart of the Champagne wine region, Yellow Label is timeless yet fresh, with citrus and classic toasty brioche notes. About $70 per 750-ml bottle, it is a perfect aperitif. Yellow Label is non-vintage, which means it can contain reserve wines made in different years. CPC
Dominique Demarville, the winery’s chef du caves (cellar master), has 17 different years to choose from, he says. He then blends a selection of those wines, so the Champagne will taste the same from year to year, and bottle to bottle. “We call the reserve wines the spices in our blends,” Demarville says. “It’s like when you cook … you cannot make good food if you do not have the right spices.”
Blending the best of 17 wine years
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KNOW THE GAME BY TIFFANY BURNS
POLO 101 Understanding the game
and its traditions is the first step toward developing your own passion for polo
Illustration by David Willicome
hen the ice melts at the end of each hockey season, another dynamic, high-intensity sport demanding athleticism and hand-eye coordination while wielding a wooden stick is just getting started. Often called “hockey on horseback,” polo is a lightning-quick, rough-and-tumble sport, played all summer in Alberta. Thirty minutes south of the Scotiabank Saddledome, there’s no jumbotron at the Calgary Polo Club to help newbies focus on the play. But a quick study of the rules will get you into the game — and feeling superior to the ref is all part of the fun. The polo lifestyle includes tailgate picnics, where BYOB is encouraged. You can never go wrong with Champagne,
POLO POINTERS: 1
The mallet may only be held in the right hand Left-handed players are said to hit less accurately but have better control of their ponies than right-handers. 2
There are four players per team. The game begins when an official rolls the ball out between the teams. When a goal is scored, the teams switch ends. 3
Two mounted umpires and a midfield referee keep the game under control.
but insiders will tell you that beer is Calgary’s field-side refreshment of choice. First time at a match? First things first: the teams change direction after every goal. Two teams, comprising four riders and their mounts, compete for four to six chukkers. Chukkers are polo’s periods — seven and a half minutes long, with a four-minute break in between. Halftime is a leisurely 10 minutes, allowing you to put your own spin on the Pretty Woman divot-stomping experience. Meanwhile, if you think the field is ginormous, you’re right. At 275 metres (300 yards) long and 146 metres (160 yards) wide, it’s big enough to fit about nine football fields.
KNOW THE GAME
LEARN TO PLAY POLO Whether you’re a seasoned rider or player, or simply a determined athlete looking for an exciting new sport, the Calgary Polo & Riding Academy can teach you the skills, rules, mechanics, and strategies of polo with individual and group lessons, customized to your experience and level of play. From introductory clinics to more advanced instruction, the academy offers something for everyone from beginners to advanced competitors. “The sport of polo is very addictive,” says veteran professional player Kyle Fargey, who heads up the academy in Calgary and at the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio, Calif. “After only one game, you can become hooked for life.” For prices and more information on trying polo yourself, visit calgarypoloclub.com/ poloacademy.
Good horsemanship is a huge advantage in polo. The horse is as much a player as the human and will play better for a sensitive, skilled and empathetic rider. 2
Bumping or riding off an opponent is allowed, but contact must be made at an angle of less than 45 degrees, and only between the horse’s hips and shoulders. 3
Hooking and blocking another player’s mallet with your own is allowed, but your mallet must not contact the player, horse or any equipment other than the opponent’s mallet.
WEAR YOUR POLO PRIDE Looking for polo gear? Want to wear your love of polo with pride? The Calgary Polo Club store has polo mallets and foot (practice) mallets as well as branded jackets, vests, polo jerseys, hoodies, ball caps, lawn chairs, water bottles and beer steins. The store is located at the club administration office, 306002 24th St. W., Okotoks; for hours, call the office at 403-938-0182. Coming soon, the store will also be available online at calgarypoloclub.com.
SOME KEY POINTERS FOR SPECTATORS: • Don’t cozy up to the sideboards for a better view. The ball has to stay on the field, but the players do not. If it means a better shot at sending that ball sailing toward goal, a player will jump his horse over the boards — an easy feat, since they’re only 15 centimetres (six inches) high. If the play is barrelling toward you, look out. • Another reason to keep your eye on the game is the ball. Made of extremely hard plastic, it can reach a speed of more than 175 km/h. Unlike mild-mannered croquet
aficionados who tap the ball with the ends of their mallet heads, polo players whack it with the side. For safety reasons, all players hold the mallet in their right hand. Even Prince William, who is left-handed, must abide by the rules. • Wondering what “man-line-ball” means yet? Hang out at a polo field long enough and you’ll realize the expression is more mantra than lingo. Hitting the ball creates an invisible line. Each time the ball changes direction, the line changes as well. Players must follow the ball as if they’re driving on a road. Just like we try to avoid being T-boned on the highway, players do not cross in front of speeding horses at right angles. Dangerous plays result in fouls being called.
The Calgary Polo Club and VEUVE CLICQUOT invite you to join us for a day of sport and glamour at the second annual
Veuve Clicquot Calgary Polo Classic
VEUVE CLICQUOT CALGARY POLO CLASSIC This one–day event offers two great experiences! VIP TICKET: Access to the VEUVE CLICQUOT LOUNGE to enjoy live music, a light lunch and fun summer games while sipping on Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
Sunday, August 10, 2014 11 AM - 5PM
GENERAL ADMISSION: Access to the polo grounds to enjoy an exciting match of polo and offerings from Calgary’s tastiest food trucks. Guests are encouraged to dress chic and glamorous!
YOU ARE INVITED!
VIP Ticket • $110 General Admission • No Charge TO PURCHASE VIP POLO TICKETS or for more information visit: www.veuveclicquotpoloyyc.com or call: 403.938.0182 Calgary Polo Club • 306002 24 Street West • Okotoks 403.938.0182 • www.calgarypoloclub.com
Calgary Polo & Riding Academy
Whether you are a seasoned rider or not, you can learn the skills, rules, mechanics, and strategies of the game. Individual and group lessons are customized according to your riding experience. Equipment and horses are provided.
FREE GENERAL ADMISSION
Call Kyle Fargey at 403-998-7260 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your lessons
Every Sunday at 2 pm throughout August. All polo games are General Admission and are free for spectators. You are welcome to bring your food and tailgate. We suggest that you bring chairs, umbrellas or shade,sunscreen and bug spray for you and your guests.
Visit our website www.calgarypoloclub.com
KNOW THE GAME
HANDICAPS AND RATINGS EXPLAINED
MITCH HORNE 0 Goals
olo players are rated on a scale of minus-2 goals (novice ) to 10 goals (polo perfection, attained only by the world’s greatest players). A 0-goal player is also called an A player, and a 2-goal rating or higher usually indicates a professional player. In handicapping games, the ratings of all players are added up, and if Team One has a total five-goal rating while Team Two has a four-goal rating, Team One would enter the match with a one-goal deficit.
CALGARY POLO CLUB
FRED H. MANNIX 6 Goals CATHY BUTLER 0 Goals
ROB FOSTER 0 Goals
2014 TEAM SPONSORS
Without sponsors, there would be no polo. These are the people who love the game enough to pay the financial cost of running a team — and the physical cost of playing this demanding sport. What drew you to the sport of polo? 1
What do you love best about the game? 2
What is your favourite memory from playing? 3
1 My parents wanted my brother and me to take up an equestrian sport, and we came across polo. In 2007, I began taking lessons with Kyle Fargey, and it stuck with me. 2 Polo is such a difficult sport, there are so many aspects of the game that you can work on, there is never really a dull moment. 3 Stepping up to a four-goal league and winning the Hull Cup with the Cam Clark Ford team.
1 There must have been an excess of cash in my bank account that drove me to polo. While this is no longer the case, I have stuck with to because I have enjoyed meeting the people involved, playing with ponies on beautiful green acres — and perhaps most interesting has been travelling to other countries to play. 2 How challenging the sport is and, of course, the interaction with the horses. 3 I think all polo players, regardless of level, look to remember one great game-saving goal. I am still waiting for that memory.
1 I’ve always liked team sports, and when you combine a team of fellow players with equine team members it makes polo the ultimate team sport. 2 I’ve been playing polo for seven years, and I love the speed, the adrenaline rush that you feel after the game. 3 Getting the opportunity to travel and play polo. Polo is the passport to the world, and I’ve been lucky enough to play in a few different countries over the past few years. It’s a great experience to meet and compete with other players from around the world.
COLE HORNE 0 Goals
ANNE EVAMY 0 Goals
1 I saw a polo match here in Calgary when I was 19, and because it combined my two most favourite sports (riding and field hockey), I vowed that I would play it one day. A few years later that opportunity presented itself, and I’ve now been playing for about 15 years. 2 The horses, the speed, the strategy, the challenge — and putting that little white ball through the goal! 3 Pretty much every game I have played, whether here in Calgary or in the U.S.A., Mexico, Barbados or South Africa.
1 My parents were always very horse-oriented, and suggested I take up a sport in that area. I started in 2007 by taking lessons with Kyle Fargey. 2 Playing your hardest regardless of the outcome. 3 The very first four-goal game I played for Land Rover Calgary.
1 My dad played, and all the other fathers who played with Dad had kids who were playing, so it seemed like a natural thing to do. I started in the Pee-Wee polo program in California when I was eight. 2 I love winning! The horses are also amazing to train, and having the breeding program gives me lots of satisfaction. 3 Having a marching band play music before the final of the Argentine Open was pretty cool. It set the tone for a very special day.
JULIAN MANNIX 4 Goals
1 My father and brother played, so I grew up watching them play. I’ve played since I was 16 — so, for six years. 2 The horses and the speed are my favourite part about the game. 3 Favourite memory is winning the 2014 U.S. Open.
ALY ROONEY -1 Goals
1 I grew up around the club and from the beginning always knew I wanted to play. 2 That I get to play with my dad. 3 The first game of every season and how excited I am. (And beating Gordon Ross’s team … every time!)
JOHN ROONEY 1.5 Goals
1 It is the most challenging, exciting and fun sport. I’ve been playing polo longer than I’ve been married — which feels like a short time but in actuality is a very long time. 2 I get to play with my daughter. 3 The last time I scored a goal, made a great play or won a great game. Beating Gordon Ross’s team … every time!
GORDON ROSS 0 Goals
1 I was looking to get back into an equestrian sport when I moved to Calgary. A member of the polo club asked me to join her to watch a game, and I was stunned at how fast and exciting it is. She threw me on a polo pony, put a mallet in my hand and I was hooked. This is my eighth or ninth year. 2 The speed, the competitive nature of the game and the fact that it’s a thinking game. The partnership between you and your pony … you become one, and the game transcends into a different experience. 3 Several games come to mind, especially winning the finals of the eight-goal this winter at Empire (in California) with teammates Dayelle Fargey, Jarred Sheldon, Louis Scirocco and Juan Curbello. The other would be playing on the winning side of the Canadian Open for the Cam Clark Ford team.
JOHN TASDEMIR 0 Goals
1 I wanted to get back into a team sport, and someone years ago planted the notion of playing polo. I didn’t think it was possible to start late in life but the Houston Polo Club encouraged me and, like most, I was immediately hooked. I started in spring 2011. 2 I love the constant challenge and the big transitions from physicality to finesse. 3 My first tournament victory, winning the 2013 six-goal Van Conover Cup in Houston.
wT r a il
Sarcee Tr ail SW
73 Street SW
WEBBER AC ADEMY
85 Street SW
101 Street SW
ASPEN LANDING Aspen Ridge Heights SW
17th Avenue SW
KNOW THE GAME
NEED TO KNOW: 1
A match usually lasts about 90 minutes. It’s divided into seven-minute periods called chukkers. There are six chukkers in a full regulation game, with a three-minute break between each, plus a 10-minute halftime. 2
CALGARY POLO CLUB PLAYERS RATINGS
Polo ponies are not actually ponies — they are full-sized horses, often thoroughbreds, weighing in at about half a tonne each. A horse may play no more than two chukkers per game, and must not play consecutive chukkers. Galdon, Luis
Cunningham, Scott M.
Fargey, Dayelle Fochuk, Chris
The goal is 7.3 metres (eight yards) wide, marked by three-metre (10-foot) goalposts.
2014 SCHEDULE Polo every Sunday at 2 p.m. — free to watch.
AUGUST 1 to 17
Roenisch Memorial Cup Noon & 2:00 PM
Kimo Cup Noon & 2:00 PM
Italian Dinner 6:00 - Midnight - $65 Ranch House Dinner
Veuve Cliquot Classic 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM VIP tickets $100 Ranch House Access General Access – No Charge
14 to 16
Rocky Mountain Cup Noon & 2:00 PM
21 to 31
J.B. Cross Cup Noon & 2:00 PM
• Even though the rules strive to keep the game safe, it doesn’t mean there’s no action. Want to see a hockey-style bodycheck? A fierce bump in polo can push a rider and his horse out of a play. Also called a ride-off, it must be executed at an angle not greater than 45 degrees. No one wants to see a horse knocked off balance. When players from opposing teams are galloping shoulder to shoulder, keep your eyes peeled. You can bet you’ll see some ferocious bumps. • Hooking is another dramatic defensive move. A player can block an opponent’s swing by hooking his mallet with his own stick. Just as in hockey, high-sticking is a foul. So is tripping. C
• You’ll notice that two referees, or umpires, on horseback make most of the calls. But that serious guy, taking notes and abstaining from alcohol on the side of the field? He’s the third official. The two refs will come to him if they can’t agree. Once you’ve got a game under your belt, you’ve taken the first step toward a healthy addiction. Don’t stop now. Matches continue all summer at the Calgary Polo Club. They’re free to watch — and everyone is welcome. CPC
• 2008 Cdn. High School Bull Riding Champion • 2009 BCRA Bull Riding Champion • 2010 CPRA Rookie of the Year • 2010 Pro Rodeo Permit Holder of the Year • 2012 CPRA Bull Riding Season Leader • 2012 PBR Cdn. Finals Champion • 2012 Tour Finals Champion • Two-time Cdn. Finals Rodeo Qualifier • Three-time Cdn. PBR Finals Qualifier • Four-time Calgary Stampede Qualifier • Two-time PBR World Finals Qualifier (Las Vegas)
PROUD SPONSOR OF
Ty Pozzobon Professional Bull Rider
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OFFICIAL WHITE HAT MAKER FOR THE CITY OF CALGARY C
Scene EVENTS | PEOPLE | LIFESTYLE
The polo life is about much more than a sport.
It’s the fellowship and the atmosphere that are part of the game, and of the people who love and play it. It’s making memories, and it’s sharing experiences with family and friends that will last a lifetime. 2 3
We Canadians will pipe in just about anything, and polo is no exception. What a way to begin a day of play. 2 Mitch Horne, Cole Horne, sponsors Jan and Gary Moore of After 8 Interiors, Nicolas Ramos and Tomas Collingwood. 3 The elite tailgating experience is all part of a day of polo. 4 Start ‘em young! Bailey gets a feel for the mallet and ball. 5 Arden Sommerville is happy to get play underway with a spirited bowl-in. 6 Doak Horne and Dorys Gagne. 7 There’s no picnic quite like a Veuve Cliquot picnic at the Calgary Polo Club served from the trunk of a Bentley. 8 Gordon W. Ross, Barbara Blakey and Richard Cote. 9 Keeping the playing field in shape by stomping divots. 10 Geoffrey Evamy Hill, Anne Evamy, Jenny Evamy Hill and Rick Stelmachuk. 1
For decades a quietly
successful word in Canadian business, the Mannix name is taking on new meaning and significance on the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s polo fields
BY SHELLEY BOETTCHER PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLIN WAY
For brothers Fred and Julian Mannix, becoming world-class polo professionals has been the culmination of a family passion going back three generations. Their grandfather, Fred C. Mannix, set them up for success when he established a farm south of Calgary. There, his son Fred P. developed a love of equestrian sports â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially polo. So young Fred H., 30, and Julian, 23, grew up steeped in the game, playing competitively from young ages. Today, Fred is rated at six goals and Julian at four, putting them in the elite ranks of the sport globally. This is their story.
I was born and raised here in Calgary. My family is all here. This is the place I always want to be.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Fred H. Mannix
red Mannix Jr. was 17 years old when he made his first major mark on the international polo scene. At the time, he was a near-unknown, a Canadian kid who had never travelled outside North America. But opportunity knocked and, with his family’s blessing, the young Calgarian flew to England. He found a handful of horses to rent, and then introduced himself to some players from Australia and New Zealand. Unlike him, they were all professionals, but they were willing to take a chance on playing a game with him. A big game: the prestigious Coronation Cup. They won, in overtime, after knowing each other for only three days. “The day before, we were nobodies, playing against the English National Team,” Mannix recalls. “And the day after, we were the champions of the Coronation Cup.” The rest, as the expression goes, is history. These days, Mannix, 30, is the finest polo player Canada has ever produced. Ranked as a six-goal player in North America and at nine goals internationally (the highest possible is 10), Mannix is the captain of the Alegria Polo Team, Canada’s only top international
Right now, it takes a lot of investment and concentration, but I’m going to play competitively as long as I can. I want to play polo until I’m an old man.” C
polo squad. (His brother Julian is also on the team.) In 2012, Mannix became the first Canadian in more than 75 years to compete for the Argentine Triple Crown. A year later, he became only the second Canadian since the early 1900s — when Montreal-born Lewis Lacey played — to compete in the renowned Argentine Open final, often considered polo’s most coveted and respected tournament. “That was major. Major,” Mannix says softly. “Everyone wants to play that game.” Born at the Rockyview General Hospital, Mannix was raised in Calgary and attended the prestigious St. George’s School, an all-boys’ university preparatory school in Vancouver. He then attended Florida Atlantic University before returning to Calgary to start work in the Mannix family businesses. He now works in sales for Sapphire Water International, the family’s wastewater management company. “I’m not a computer guy,” he says. “I prefer to just pick up the phone.” But every chance he gets, Mannix puts the phone down, picks up a mallet and plays polo. From January to April each year, he’s in Florida; from September to December, he’s in Argentina. And in the summer, he spends as much time as possible at the Calgary Polo Club. Calgary, he says, has always been home. “I was born and raised here. My family is all here,” he says. “This is the place I always want to be.” Perhaps not surprisingly, a mutual love of horses drew him and his wife, Kelsea, together. The proud parents of two-year-old daughter Brooklyn, they met when she was hired to work at the barn where he rode. “A friend said I should go meet her because she was a real cutie,” he recalls with a laugh. “He was right.” Mannix credits his father, Fred Sr., for his start in polo. His father had fallen in love with the game in his youth, but stopped playing to focus on business. When he began to play again, his sons tagged along. “At first, it was about being with my father, spending time with him,” Mannix says. But the youngster quickly developed his own passion for the game, says Joe Henderson, a professional polo player based in California. The two met when Mannix was 10 years old,
a polo-obsessed kid who aimed to be the best. Henderson mentored Mannix for a few years, and then worked with his brother, Julian. “Fred wanted to play, and he wanted to be good even then,” recalls Henderson. “He had the talent and the desire, and that showed early.” A family love for all things equestrian meant there were always horses around, too. Mannix’s first horse was a 20-year-old mare named, inexplicably, O-11. Since then, he’s had a few; he and his brother Julian keep strings in North America and Argentina, where they started a breeding program in 2007 to create future generations of polo horses.
I’ve broken my hand, my leg…. Gravity is a force that no one can master.” He names his favourites after Hollywood movie stars; Reese, named after Reese Witherspoon, “is a beauty, a little chestnut mare that’s as quick as a bird.” With speed comes a steep price. The best polo ponies can command $300,000 apiece and even the starter horses are $5,000 or more. “It’s a significant financial investment,” he says. But Mannix has always had both the resources and the skills to be one of the world’s best, say those who have been watching him play since an early age. Anne Evamy, president of the Calgary Polo Club, first saw him play two decades ago. “He’s been a talent since the get-go,” she says. But beyond that, she says, Mannix is dedicated to the sport as a whole. “His achievements are a testament to his energy and his commitment to polo in every respect,” she says. “The Calgary polo community is very proud of him.” So are his teammates. Fellow player Mariano Uranga and Mannix have known each other since they were born; their parents have been friends for decades.
Uranga — a six-goal Argentinian professional player — says Mannix plays every ball as if it’s his last one. “And he translates that action to the entire team, so we all play as if every ball is the last.” Beyond his skills on the field, Mannix is also incredibly organized and “a very good planner,” Uranga says. “You have to win a game before you start it, and he does that,” Uranga says. “He organizes the course, the grooms, the other team members. To see his success … to me it isn’t a surprise, because I know how much he puts into it.” Yes, Mannix may make winning look easy, but it isn’t, Henderson says. “I don’t think people always understand how hard it is to get to a nine-goal rating,” he says. “It’s incredible, what he has done.” And Mannix’s commitment extends beyond just playing the game. With the help of a private tutor, he studies Spanish so he can talk with fellow players and grooms when he and his family are in Argentina. (His daughter is also learning, he says.) “We started by learning the alphabet. It was a very humbling experience,” he says with a laugh. “I’m still not bilingual. I should be better than I am, but I speak enough to survive.” The path to the top hasn’t all been fun and games. He doesn’t downhill ski anymore; he’s given it up because the risk of injury is too high. “I have so many good things going on with polo, I don’t want to risk it,” he says. “But I love to play tennis, golf, pickup hockey. Anything that involves being active.” To stay in shape, he works out regularly with personal trainers — former professional soccer players or boxers — wherever he goes. But being in top physical condition doesn’t keep him from getting injured, despite protective gear: helmets, gloves, kneepads, elbow pads. “I’ve broken my hand, my leg,” he says. “Gravity is a force that no one can master.” Mannix knows he won’t be able to play professionally forever. But for now, he’s determined to see how far he can go. “Right now, it takes a lot of investment and concentration, but I’m going to play competitively as long as I can,” he says. “I want to play polo until I’m an old man.”
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ulian Mannix never struggled to figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up — not even during his teenage years. As a high-schooler, Mannix spent his weekends commuting from Calgary to California to play polo with the pros. His efforts paid off. Mannix, 23, is on his way to following in the hoofprints laid down by his older brother Fred and becoming one of the top polo players Canada has ever produced. A four-goal player, he has won the U.S. Open and competed for the the C.V. Whitney Cup and the Triple Crown of Polo — and he’s working to become even better. “Julian loves to score goals, and he’s good at it,” says Joe Henderson, a professional polo player who spent five years mentoring and playing with Mannix. “That’s what he does.” Mannix, however, hasn’t always been obsessed with the game of kings. Born and raised in Calgary as the youngest of five kids, he attended Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School south of the city. As a child, he regularly watched his father and brother play polo, and heard them talk about the game. But for him, the sport of choice was hockey. Most days, you’d find him with a hockey stick — not a mallet — in his hand. “I didn’t like horses,” he says. “I didn’t think I’d ever be a polo player.” That changed, however, when he was 16. He had a chance to go to Greater Palm Springs that winter to play at the Eldorado Polo Club, where riding lessons gave him a new appreciation of horses. “Then I had to choose between polo and hockey,” he says. “I think I made the right choice.” For the rest of his high school days, Mannix spent his weekends flying to California to train and learn more about his new sport. He says his family’s support has been the key to his successful immersion in polo. “It’s like a disease,” he says with a laugh. “Once you’ve got it, you never really get rid of it.” And how. Currently finishing a business management degree at Florida Atlantic University, he arranges his courses to allow for plenty of time at the local club, about a 45-minute drive from his school. “I try to schedule all of my classes in the morning or
I know it will be a tough road, but I have everything in front of me to make it work.”
late afternoon, so I have the day to go to the barn and practise or be with the team.” From January to June, he’s in Florida; September to December, he’s in Argentina. And in July and August he’s at the Calgary Polo Club. For years, his favourite horse was Waikiki, a mare from California that his brother gave him for his 16th birthday. “She’s retired now, but she was one of those horses that just knows where the ball is going to be,” he says. “She really loves playing, and she’s played every level. It’s amazing to play on a horse like that.” These days, he’s mostly riding Indigena, a
mare from Argentina that, he says, helped his team win the U.S. Open this year. “I knew in the first 30 seconds of seeing her that I needed to buy her,” he says with a laugh. “She’s a tiny mare, low to the ground, but she has a big heart and she’s really fast and agile.” Speed and agility will be crucial when Mannix tackles his newest challenge: qualifying for the Argentine Triple Crown. “That’s my next goal, but it’s not easy,” Mannix says. “I know it will be a tough road, but I have everything in front of me to make it work.” CPC
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CELEBRATING VICTORIES ON AND OFF THE FIELD. CAESAR’S – A CALGARY TRADITION. Caesar’s Steakhouse in Willow Park Village. 15 minutes from the Calgary Polo Club. WILLOW PARK VILLAGE 110, 10816 MACLEOD TRAIL S. 403-278-3930 DOWNTOWN 512 4 AVENUE S.W. 403-264-1222 Private dining options available.
Deep Roots in the Old West Calgary polo had its beginnings as the sport of cowboys BY TIFFANY BURNS
Polo is known as the sport of kings, but in Calgary it would be more accurate to call it the sport of cattle ranchers. Long before organized rodeo blazed a trail through the Canadian West, polo was a cowboy sport.
Formed in 1890, the Calgary Polo Club is arguably the oldest in North America with consecutive annual play. Thanks to southern Alberta’s passion for horses, the club not only survived two world wars and the Great Depression, it flourished. Even though the local equestrian community kept the sport alive in typical low-key cowboy style, there have been plenty of bold-faced names along the way.
Alfred Ernest (A.E.) Cross, best known for being one of the “Big Four” cattlemen who founded the Calgary Stampede in 1912, was a polo lover first. He established the Calgary Polo Club in 1890, along with several friends from the exclusive Ranchmen’s Club. Although his A7 Ranche is said to be the oldest ranch in Canada still in the hands of its original owners, Montreal-born Cross was more than a cattleman. His professional pursuits included the brewing business, the film industry and politics.
Not to be outdone, Henry Bruen Alexander, the first president of the Calgary Polo Club, built some of downtown Calgary’s most impressive sandstone buildings. His real estate legacy includes the Alexander Block, which still stands on Stephen Avenue. Calgary polo was also buoyed by many of the remittance men who came to Wild Rose Country to expand their fortunes. Originally from England, Colin George Ross was one of those “drawn to the profit potential in western Canada’s burgeoning cattle kingdom,” accord-
ing to the Historical Society of Alberta. After using family money to invest in property in the foothills, Ross’s obsession with polo led him to be known as a millionaire polo player. In 1907, the Los Angeles Times raved about his unbeaten Calgary team, which travelled across North America to meet rivals’ challenges. These men most likely played at Owen’s Race Track, in today’s Elbow Park. It was rented by the Ranchmen’s Club for polo games and “manly sports,” as noted in the minutes of the Ranchmen’s Club committee in August 1895. Also in the
minutes, and true to polo-party form, gaining approval for a license to sell beer was a top priority. Despite the official written record, the manly sport of polo wasn’t limited to men. As early as the 1920s, a women’s team organized in both
POLO IN HISTORY Generally acknowledged as the oldest
Violet Bode May, c 1923 - The striking and confident Mrs. May, shown here at an Alberta horse show, was the darling of the New York press during the visit of the Calgary women’s polo team in 1928.
team sport, polo had its beginnings before recorded history. The earliest matches probably took place in Asia, where the game first spread and took hold. Polo Player, China, Tang dynasty, c. 7th century, ceramic with pigments - San Diego Museum of Art
1890: The Calgary Polo Club is founded by A.E. Cross and a group of associates from the Ranchmen’s Club.
The first recorded public polo match takes place, with a Turkoman team defeating a team of Persians.
1920s: A joint Calgary-Kamloops women’s polo team competes in the first international women’s tournament in New York.
1874: The Hurlingham Rules are created, laying the groundwork for modern polo.
1834: The first polo club is established, in Assam, India. British traders, soldiers and colonists soon bring the game back to England, where it thrives.
1907: British-born Calgarian Colin Ross and his team barnstorm across North America taking on all challengers — and winning.
1830s 1870s 1890s 1907
1837: Samuel Morse patents the telegraph, revolutionizing global communication.
1873: The first European settler, John Glenn, arrives in the Calgary area.
1894 With a population of 3,900, Calgary is incorporated as a city within the North-West Territories.
1875: The North West Mounted Police Fort Brisebois is renamed Fort Calgary by Col. James Macleod.
The Calgary Stampede is held for the first time, beginning a 100-yearplus tradition.
1930s: With the continent in the grip of the Great Depression, the Calgary Polo Club saw membership numbers drop, especially among non-players. But play continued and the club never missed a season. 1934: High River’s Round T Ranch sent a team to the provincial championships, prompting the Calgary Albertan newspaper to run a cartoon poking fun at the idea of cowboys on the polo field.
1920s 1930s 1929: A stock-market crash begins the Great Depression, which is soon compounded by a Prairie drought.
1932-33: The Glenmore Dam is constructed, forming the Glenmore Reservoir — and allowing sailing to flourish in Calgary. The reservoir cost $3.8 million in 1932 dollars to build. It controls the flow of the Elbow River, and its water treatment plant keeps south Calgary supplied with drinking water.
Kamloops and Calgary travelled to the first international women’s tournament in New York. As the city of Calgary grew and developed, the Polo Club hopscotched through several pieces of real estate, including fields in Hillhurst and Chinook Park. In 1959, Jim Cross (son of A.E.) helped the club put down its final roots by providing land in Okotoks. As the club settled into its new surroundings, the aggressive sport of polo continued
As Calgary grew, the Polo Club hopscotched through several pieces of real estate, including fields in Hillhurst and Chinook Park.
to attract aggressive business leaders. Charles Hetherington, president and CEO of Panarctic Oils Ltd., received his United States Polo Association rating in Calgary in 1959, eventually serving as Canadian governor for the association. He continued playing into his 70s, and his enthusiasm still infuses every game played on Hetherington Field at Calgary Polo Club. Meanwhile, history marched on — so much so that it alarmed Fred Mannix Sr., an
avid player since 1957. Mannix commissioned author Tony Rees to write a book about the history of polo in Calgary. Interviews with “old-timers,” as Mannix fondly calls them, not only led to lost trophies, but a wealth of material that couldn’t be limited to Calgary. The book, published in 2000 and now proudly displayed on many a coffee table, became a much larger project titled Polo, the Galloping Game: An illustrated history of polo in the Canadian West.
The Calgary Reds, after their 9-3 victory against Spokane in the Pacific Northwest Polo championship, 1955. From left, Clint Roenisch, Pat Linfoot, Jim Cross and Thornton Gregg.
1957: Fred P. Mannix, a third-generation member of the Mannix business family, discovers a passion for playing polo. 1959: After moving through various locations in Elbow Park, Hillhurst and Chinook Park, the Calgary Polo Club puts down roots at DeWinton south of the city, thanks to a gift of land from Jim Cross.
1980s: The connection between Calgary and California polo clubs is solidified. Teams travelled between the two locations for each one’s season, with Calgary clubs claiming tournament wins at Greater Palm Springs and Santa Barbara on a regular basis.
Fred H. Mannix is born in Calgary, inheriting his father’s love of polo.
Mannix, who has by now decided he wants to play polo professionally, competes in the U.S. Open.
Mannix moves to polo hotbed Argentina, where he turns pro. His Alegría team continues to be one of the world’s most competitive.
1947 The Leduc No. 1 discovery reveals Alberta’s huge oil reserves and marks the beginning of the province’s thriving energy sector. Over the next two decades, most of the oil industry’s corporate offices locate in Calgary.
Canadian Pacific Railway moves its head office from Montreal to Calgary. In 2005, Imperial Oil relocates its head office here, moving from Toronto.
Calgary’s population surges past 1 million and continues to grow.
The Husky Tower (now Calgary Tower) is built with one continuous pour of concrete.
The number of skyscrapers in downtown Calgary increases as oil prices rise. The city’s populatioon passes 400,000 and heads toward half a million.
Calgary steps onto the world stage as host city of the XV Olympic Winter Games.
DEEP ROOTS 1
The High River polo team in 1893, from left, W.H. McPherson, Colin George Ross, H. Samson, A.H. Eckford and Clinton W. “Kink” Roenisch. 2
From left, the Alegria team of Julian Mannix, Julian Zavaleta, Joaquin Pittaluga and Mariano Uranga at the 20-Goal Metropolitan Championships.
Some of the players featured in Rees’s book are still on the field. With its 10-player dynasty, the Roenisch family is particularly noteworthy. Clinton “Kink” Roenisch started playing in 1933, at age 44, instilling a passion for the game throughout his clan, continuing to the fourth generation with Daniel, who plays as a three-goal pro at the Calgary Polo Club today. Daniel benefits from double polo DNA: not only was his dad, Rob, a five-goal professional at his peak, his mother, Julie, was the top-rated female player in Canada with a two-goal handicap and the first woman ever to play in the U.S. Open. She also helped to bring serious women’s polo back to the club for the first time in half a century.
Besides ensuring history was recorded, Fred Mannix has helped power the future of Calgary polo by passing his love of the sport to his sons, Fred Jr. and Julian. The brothers compete in the World Polo Tour with their team, Alegria. Julian, 22, is rated at four goals and led the team to victory in the U.S. Open this spring. Fred Jr. is the go-to leader for matches played in the mecca of polo, Argentina. A rare combination of patron and pro, the 30-year-old is one of the world’s best players. In a sport that only a few hundred Canadians play, he’s reached the stratosphere of the game on a global level. This summer he’s back on home turf, fine-tuning his game before heading to Argentina for the fall season.
Along with local ranchers, polo pros and CEOs, the Calgary Polo Club has had no shortage of visiting VIPs. Actors Tommy Lee Jones and William Devane have played in club tournaments. Mike Vernon, goaltender for the Flames from the early 1980s until 1994, traded his hockey stick for a mallet a few times. Prince Charles has taken in a match, and the professional head of the British Army, Charles Guthrie, played at the club. Lady Patricia Mountbatten Brabourne has also been a field-side fan. As the historic club plays its 2014 summer season, those bold names, along with all the unsung heroes of the sport, continue to write the story of polo in Calgary. CPC
POLO HISTORY PHOTO CREDITS: P.37, Stand Off Polo team, Stand Off, Alberta. ca. 1890s, Glenbow Archives NA-1128-7; P.38, Glenbow Archives NA-2924-6 ; P.40, 16th century Persian manuscript, courtesy of The Calgary Polo Club; 1834 First polo India, courtesy of St. Albans Polo Club; 1873, John Glenn, Glenbow Archives NA-49-1; 1874, Col. James Macleod, Glenbow Archives NA-23-2; 1890, A.E. Cross, Glenbow Archives NA-2307-21; 1907, Colin Ross, Glenbow Archives NA-967-29; 1912, Calgary Stampede poster, Glenbow Archives NA-604-1A; 1923, Violet Bode May, Glenbow Archives NB-16-473; 1925, Women’s polo team, Glenbow Archives NA-2924-25; 1929, Great Depression, Glenbow Archives NC-6-12955J; 1930s, High River polo team, Glenbow Archives NA-169-1; 1934, The new spirit of polo, illustration, courtesy of the Calgary Sun; P.41, 1947, The Western Examiner, Leduc #1 well, Glenbow Archives NA-789-80; 1957, Fred P. Mannix, courtesy of The Calgary Polo Club; 1959, Jim Cross, Glenbow Archives NA-5600-7100C; 1984, Fred H. Mannix, courtesy of The Calgary Polo Club; P.42, High River polo team with Clinton W. “Kink” Roenisch, Glenbow Archives NA-5554-11; The Alegria polo team with Julian Mannix, courtesy of the Calgary Polo Club.
ÂŠ 2014 The Calgary Public Library 1404-431 C
UNDER the california SUN TRAVEL BY MARISSA WILLMAN
aking in a polo tournament under the California sun is an idea that’s hard to resist when winter tightens its grip on Calgary. As our season winds down, the Eldorado and Empire polo clubs in the Greater Palm Springs area are just gearing up for another year of winter polo action. So, you’ll go for the polo, but find plenty to enjoy beyond the field — and plenty of fellow Calgarians to enjoy it with. From golfing and exploring the countryside to spa treatments, shopping and fine dining, each day in this desert oasis offers something for everyone. A warm desert morning in Palm Springs is best enjoyed against the San Jacinto Mountains under the tree-canopied patio of Spencer’s Restaurant, where an extensive eggs Benedict menu offers crab cake, Maine lobster, Scottish salmon and surf-and-turf choices. After breakfast, spend the morning exploring the canyons and trails of the desert’s mountain backdrop on horseback with Smoke Tree Stables, which offers private and group rides into Andreas Canyon.
FACING PAGE: 1
Spencer’s Restaurant offers a superb selection of seafood and prime beef cuts. 2
La Quinta Resort and Club — an impressive collection of golf courses. 3
Relaxed elegance is what the Greater Palm Springs experience is all about. 4
Sunnylands Estate and Gardens in Rancho Mirage. 5
Horseback riding is a traditional way to explore the desert. 6
There’s nothing quite like seeing the Coachella Valley from a hot-air balloon. 7
Indio’s Empire Polo Club is one of the largest in the United States.
Greater Palm Springs is known as a golf destination, and for good reason. With more than 100 golf courses throughout the Coachella Valley, there’s always somewhere new to play. The La Quinta Resort and Club boasts one of the desert’s most impressive collections of courses, thanks in part to its partnership with neighbouring PGA West. Two Pete Dye-designed courses never disappoint: the Mountain Course at La Quinta Resort and the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West. The Mountain Course offers a serene and unmatched setting amid the red rocks of the Santa Rosa Mountains, while the TPC Stadium Course is a challenging track whose bunkers and water features dare to be conquered. Unique spa experiences are another Greater Palm Springs calling card. For unforgettable relaxation and pampering, let The Well Spa at the Miramonte Rersort and Spa in Indian Wells sweep you away. Your session begins with a serenity ritual at the wishing well, followed by your choice of Ayurvedic-inspired treatments ranging
EMPIRE POLO CLUB 8
Incredible spas include the Ague Serena at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells.
With 101 hectares (250 acres) of emerald polo fields, rose gardens and a lake set against the Santa Rosa Mountains, it’s easy to see why players and spectators alike succumb to the lure of Indio’s Empire Polo Club. Founded in 1987, Empire is one of the largest clubs in the U.S, with 12 grass fields, an indoor arena, 600 stalls and two exercise tracks. For spectators, a Sunday polo match can be as casual or elegant an affair as one wants. Bleacher seats and tailgating are free, while VIP cabanas, tents and tables offer premium views and service. Taking advantage of the desert’s enviable evening weather in the winter months, Empire also hosts Polo Under the Lights on the second Friday of the month January through March. The club offers individual and group lessons and a coaching league; it’s the winter facility for the Los Angeles Polo Training Center and Polo School.
The Pacifica Restaurant. always has something superb waiting for the discerning palate. 10
The Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert has collections of modern, contemporary and traditional art. 11
El Paseo shopping district — “the Rodeo Drive of the desert.”
SCHEDULE JANUARY 2015 4 Sunday Polo Noon & 2 p.m. through March 29
from diamond facials to table yoga. Wine lovers can literally bathe in the nectar of the gods with the Nutriente wine bath. 9 Friday Night With its elevated farm-to-table cuisine and “Polo Under The Lights” 5:30 p.m. onsite herb garden, lunch at the Miramonte’s Grove Artisan Kitchen never disappoints. MeanMARCH 2015 while, sophisticated comfort food is on the menu 29 Sunday Polo (final day) and closing day. at Wilma and Frieda’s Café in Palm Desert, where classics like mac and cheese are elevated with ingredients like Gruyère and old Amsterdam Gouda. After lunch, the shops of Palm Desert’s El Paseo beckon. Here, you’ll find names like Saks Fifth Avenue and Gucci, as
well as a diverse collection of local boutiques specializing in everything from pet accessories to cooking spices. A variety of art galleries makes it easy to spend the afternoon enjoying the sights of El Paseo. For architecture and history buffs, Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage is a must-visit. Known as the “Camp David of the West,” the mid-century modern estate has been a venue for international summits and the choice of world leaders and Hollywood legends for decades. Today, the A. Quincy Jones-designed home is open to limited public tours. Dinner in the desert is about variety, luxury, fine flavours and local ingredients. Top choices for impeccable dishes and
Northern Blizzard Resources Inc. A Canadian based crude oil production and development company Proud supporter of the Calgary Polo Club
ELDORADO POLO CLUB
Mountain biking tours for all skill levels get visitors up close and personal with the desert terrain. 13
Tradition meets desert casual at Eldorado Polo Club. Open since 1957, Eldorado has been the site for the U.S. Open Polo Championship and has played host to Prince Charles and Prince Philip. But the area’s laidback lifestyle keeps the club accessible. The field-side Cantina at Eldorado lets spectators relax on the patio while enjoying Saturday and Sunday games. On Sunday afternoons, tailgating brings lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and furry companions to the sidelines. At the Eldorado Club House, spectators don their finery and enjoy a full menu and bar. During Eldorado’s winter polo season, visitors can watch competitive leagues and events like the Skins Tournament and USPA Pacific Coast Circuit Governor’s Cup. Eldorado’s 81-hectare (200-acre) expanse offers a polo academy, clinics and a weekend coaching league from December through March.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway — a unique and fascinating attraction in the region.
Delicious dining at Wally’s Desert Turtle has to be experienced first-hand. 15
The Miramonte in Indian Wells offers everything from luxurious spa facilities to fine dining.
NOVEMBER 2014 1 Club Opens
exceptional service include the Cliffhouse in La Quinta, Pacifica Seafood Restaurant in Palm Desert and Wally’s Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage. After dinner, cap off your day with a throwJANUARY 2015 back to Palm Springs’ Rat Pack past at Melvyn’s 2 to 11 Wendell Kerley Memorial 16 to 25 January League: Restaurant and Lounge in Palm Springs, where 10-12 goal and 4-6 goal practices black and white photos of Frank Sinatra and and matches, Wednesday Old Hollywood’s finest adorn the walls. With a through Sunday. lounge singer belting the best of Ol’ Blue Eyes from behind the grand piano and a classically crafted martini in hand, it’s no surprise that you’ve fallen in love with winter in the desert. DECEMBER 2014 20 Club chukkers and team practices begin
Calgary’s polo crowd knows that Greater Palm Springs is a place that calls for many a repeat visit. Here are three more can’t-miss activities to fill up your downtime. • The view of Greater Palm Springs from a hot-air balloon is absolutely incomparable. Several companies, including Balloons Above and Havnfun Hot Air Ballooning, offer guided luxury tours with stunning views of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains, golf courses, palm tree groves and more. Unforgettable. • Climb aboard the world’s largest rotating tramcar at the historic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and experience a
breathtaking journey up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon. Begin your 10-minute ride at the Valley Station and rise to the Mountain Station, 2,595 metres (8,500 feet) above sea level. For the ultimate experience, dine at Peaks, a fine restaurant at the top of the tramway with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Coachella Valley. • Get out into the natural surroundings of the area on a mountain bike. Big Wheel Bike Tours offers a range of four- to six-hour two-wheel tours to put you in touch with the beauty of this special landscape. The company will customize the ride to suit your group, and high-quality mountain bikes are part of the package.
Home BY ANDREA COX • PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIN BROOKE BURNS
Heart of the For Justin and Sharon Dallaire,
turning a 1950s farmhouse into the home of their dreams was always an eventuality — but Mother Nature put a rush on their plans
hange doesn’t come easily to most. But for Justin and Sharon Dallaire, it’s second nature. Ten years ago, the couple ditched city life and moved to the country, while at the same time reinventing their careers. “We loved the idea of having more space and slowing down our lives a little,” Justin says. At the time, Justin was flying right seat on Air Canada’s runs to Europe and was often away from home. “He just wanted to be home to tuck the kids in at night,” says Sharon. So when the opportunity came, Justin took early retirement and carved out a new career pursuing his passion for home design. Around the same time, the Dallaires, who had a home in McKenzie Towne, decided they were ready to experience a more sustainable way of life in the country. “This lot pretty much fell in our lap, and as a builder I saw the potential,” says Justin. “It was really the land that sold us.”
The kids just love this. Their friends come over and they disappear for hours.”
The 2.6-hectare (6.5-acre) property extends above a coulee, embracing magnificent views of both the Bow River valley and the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Paths weave through the forested slopes of the coulee down to the plains and the river below. “The kids just love this. Their friends come over and they disappear for hours.” Above the coulee where the home sits the land is verdant, with apple trees, long Prairie grasses
and myriad visiting wildlife from moose and deer to soaring bald eagles. “We see everything here,” Justin says. Close to the home is the kids’ treehouse, perched high in a tree overlooking a large vegetable garden. When the family moved in 10 years ago, the original 1950s farmhouse was in need of some TLC. The home didn’t capture any of the views and had very few windows, and its design was dated.
The plan was to wait for a few years, get settled and get a feel for country life before making any changes. But in 2005, only a few months after moving in, heavy rains hit, and the roof over the Dallaires’ eldest son’s bedroom failed, pouring buckets onto his bed in the middle of the night. By this point, Justin was living his dream — he had started Cornerstone Homes, a custom homebuilding company. “I’ve always loved building. It might seem like a big career shift, but I grew up in the construction industry.”
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The kitchen is the home’s focal point. “It’s where we hang out as a family.”
Indoors and outdoors blend and combine to create a series of unique living areas. 3
A custom built-in library with a classic rolling ladder is a personal touch.
So it was a no-brainer for Justin to set to work revamping the roofline and transforming the exterior to its current French Country aesthetic with cultured stone detailing and brushed copper accents. At the time, the couple left the interior of the home unchanged, allowing their design ideas to percolate. And then two years ago, the major transformation began. “We pretty much gutted everything.” Utilizing the original footprint, Justin reworked the
walkout bungalow’s layout, removing walls and opening up the space, with the kitchen becoming the focal point. “It’s where we hang out as a family. We love to cook,” he says. His favourite room is the conservatory, a stunning addition with a 20foot vaulted ceiling swathed in handcrafted Old World-style millwork. The room offers a 360-degree view of the landscape and a wood-burning fireplace with floor-to-ceiling red brick detailing. “This is the best place to be in a thunderstorm or a wild winter snowstorm,” Justin says.
Sharon had strong thoughts on the interior finishing choices and furnishings. “I love turn-ofthe-century houses because of the woodworking and the details,” she says. One of the must-have items on her list was the custom built-in library with a rolling ladder. Working with designer Nicole Sifton Bellusci, she chose hand-scraped oak flooring, oil-rubbed industrial bronze fixtures and an almond antique washed stain on the cabinetry, which has scrolling and corbel detailing. Behind the
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The soaring ceiling, bright natural lighting and panoramic views in the home’s conservatory make for stunning space. 2
A flourishing garden is a source of pride and one of the many joys of country living. 3
Perched above the vegetable garden is the children’s treehouse. 4
Built-in wine storage — a practical and elegant way to keep favourite vintages close at hand.
cooktop, Nicole and Sharon created a work of art using handcrafted tiles. Furnishings are comfortable and very French farmhouse. Take the distressed and gently weathered kitchen table, a great spot for family get-togethers, or the white slip-covered couches, perfect for sinking into while reading a book.
Justin’s travels fuelled some of the design, including the bistro pantry and the reclaimed brick wall that emulates an old English pub. Adapting to country life was an easy and welcome transition for the Dallaires, although they did have to make a few changes. “Shuttling the kids around can be a bit challenging. You plan
things differently,” says Justin, adding that one of the biggest shocks was the realization that he couldn’t just run out for a Timmy’s. But the views and the space make it all worthwhile. “It’s old-school out here. People look out for one another.” CPC
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• Soft Tissue Surgery • Orthopedic Surgery • Veterinary Dentistry • Wellness Programs • Advanced & Referral Dentistry • Behavioural Counselling • Internal Medicine • Therapeutic Laser Therapy • Laboratory • Radiology • Nutritional Counselling • Dog and Cat Grooming
Foothills Rolling grassland is punctuated by cool green valleys on the spectacular grounds of the Calgary Polo Club. CLOTHES: • Dress by Brooks Brothers, $142 • Coat by Donna Karan, $3,995 from Holt Renfrew • Boots by Arnold Churgin, $285 • Belt by Marccain, $240 from La Chic • Blanket by Pendleton, $385 from Leo Boutique
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The club boasts eight grass playing fields, including the J.B. Cross and J.C. Palmer fields, seen here. CLOTHES • Coat by Chanel, $3,575 • Pant by Brunello Cucinelli, $925 from Holt Renfrew • Knit top by Akris Punto, $650 from Holt Renfrew • Boots by Arnold Churgin, $299 • Necklace by Shakti, $315 from Rubaiyat
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The club is a hub of equestrian activity, with on-site horse boarding and a large complex of stables and paddocks. CLOTHES • Plaid skirt from Brooks Brothers, $228 • Sweater by Weekend Max Mara, $460 • Scarf by m0851, $110 • Sunglasses by Chanel, $505 • Cuff by Chanel, $1,850 • Boots by Churches, $580 from Gravity Pope
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(Left) Berms and hillsides surrounding the club, like this one overlooking Centre Field, provide superb vantage points for viewing. CLOTHES Jacket by Akris Punto, $1,475 from La Chic • Pant by The Row, price available upon request from Ooh La La Womenswear • Scarf by Weekend Max Mara, $160 • Boots by Veronique Branquinho, $485 from Gravity Pope
(Right) The club is steeped in a history that combines luxury with rustic rural settings. CLOTHES • Pant by The Row, $850 from Holt Renfrew • Rabbit fur coat by Holt Renfrew Furs, $2,895 from Holt Renfrew • Shirt by Issey Miyake, $750 from Holt Renfrew • Emerald earrings by Arman, $2,935 from Rubaiyat • Bangle by Anna Beck, $575 from Rubaiyat • Shoes by Chie Mihara, $420 from Gravity Pope
BEHIND the scenes MOMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLIN WAY
Tacking up is the simple act of getting a horse
and its equipment — bridle, saddle, reins, stirrups — ready for whatever it will be asked to do, from racing to show-jumping or, of course, playing polo. It takes a special set of talents and a patient attitude for a groom to do this time-honoured work day in and day out, as it’s been done for thousands of years.
they don’t get to stand in the A lthough spotlight and bask in successes the way
polo players, jockeys, riders and owners often do, grooms are essential to the success of any horseand-human team. They are the men and women who are hands-on with the more than 290 horses at the Calgary Polo Club, morning, noon and night, making sure they are fed, watered, comfortable, clean and looking their best. C
They’re key to getting horses ready to play and compete, keeping them relaxed as they work with them. A groom needs a firm but gentle touch, physical strength and an uncanny ability to read a horse’s mind. Even though their work is largely behind the scenes, grooms are a crucial link in the chain that bonds humans and horses as polo competitors.
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