19 February 2017
40 years of competition COME AND BE PART OF THE SPORTING AND SOCIAL EVENT OF SUMMER
VISIT OUR COMBINED SHOWROOM
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Contents 20 MEMORY LANE Looking back at the Open’s 40-year history
25 FASHION PRIZE Enter the Best-dressed competition and win big
26 DRESS CODE Spectator fashion
28 FASHION JUDGES Meet the arbiters of winning style
29 WHITE ONE Take one white shirt
31 COLOUR THERAPY Cover photo by Judy Stokes, judystokesphotography.com
Stand out in high colour and print
32 MAN OF MEANS The menswear essentials
8 LETTERS Messages from the Auckland Polo Club and Land Rover
11 PROGRAMME The run of the day
13 ACTION STATIONS It’s not all polo. Check out the other goings-on, including the Land Rover versus pony race
14 BY THE BOOK The rules of polo deciphered
16 THE IN CROWD The finer points of the game from the sidelines
18 MY LITTLE PONY Horse facts
19 NUMBER CRUNCH The day in numbers
33 WINNER’S CIRCLE Pete Dormer on what it’s like to win the trophy
35 SIDELINE STYLE Meet two women who ooze elegance
38 TOUR DE FORCE The exceptional Argentine player Juan Britos
Auckland Polo Club President Tony van den Brink Land Rover NZ Polo Open Executive Director Hannah Marshall Auckland Polo Club Secretary Jane Donald Auckland Polo Club Treasurer Jan Frizzell Event Bar Managment Britomart Group Auckland Polo Club Grounds Manager Jayden Oster Auckland Polo Club Captain Daniel Worker Land Rover NZ Polo Open PR Manager Olivia Radford Social Media Manager Karla Tarr LAND ROVER NZ POLO OPEN MAGAZINE Publisher Brydie Canham Editor Fiona Hawtin Design by Lure Creative Magazine custom-published by B Media Ltd, Ph: 09 308 9998 bmedia.co.nz
39 TEAM TALK Meet the players
49 SPONSORS We give thanks
50 TICKETS Ticketing options
51 MAP Where to find what
Auckland Polo Club, PO Box 24, Clevedon aucklandpolo.co.nz Facebook @LandRoverNZPoloOpen Twitter @PoloOpenNZ Snapchat @NZPoloOPen Instagram @PoloOpenNZ Hastags #LRNZPO #NZPoloOpen16
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Welcome We would like to welcome you to the Land Rover NZ Polo Open. This event is the highlight of the local polo calendar. We hope you enjoy your time with us at Fisher Field
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the New Zealand Polo Open, the pinnacle event on the polo calendar. It has evolved through the years from grass-roots polo to one of the most competitive tournaments in the Southern Hemisphere. This professional event draws top international and New Zealand players, competing on fine Kiwi polo ponies that, through good breeding over time, have gained a reputation for being some of the world’s best. This year’s four teams of high-goal players will compete in the 18-goal tournament throughout the week, with the much anticipated final held on Clevedon’s magnificent Fisher Polo Field. We’re thrilled to have partnered with Land Rover for the second year running and look forward to watching a Land Rover versus polo pony compete in an exciting horse-powered race. I’d like to extend my thanks to the many people who are involved in the Land Rover NZ Polo Open, who each contribute to making it one of our country’s great sporting events -– our sponsors, competitors, patrons, grounds staff, umpires, supporters, club volunteers, and our event team. I look forward to seeing you all at Clevedon. Tony van den Brink President, Auckland Polo Club
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
and Rover is a proud supporter of polo around the world and is excited to be partnering with Australasia’s premier polo championship, the New Zealand Polo Open. An event which attracts global talent, the highly respected competition joins tournaments and clubs around the world from India to Africa, the UK, Europe and the Americas which are supported by Land Rover. The Land Rover Clubhouse quickly became the place to be in 2016, with the best view of the field from the elevated balcony. To add to the action on the day, a highlight will again this year be the closely fought and intensely competitive pony versus car race. With more than 25 years of involvement in equestrian sports, Land Rover is looking forward to introducing the prestigious sport of polo to more friends of the brand this year. Stephen Kenchington General Manager, Jaguar Land Rover New Zealand
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Programme LAND ROVER NZ POLO OPEN FINALS SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY, 2017 Auckland Polo Club Fisher Field, 102 Clevedon-Kawakawa Road, Clevedon
First game: 8-goal final. Five chukkas
Second game: Subsidiary final. Five chukkas
Viva Fashion on the Field Fashion competition outside the Clubhouse. Pre-register for the Best-dressed Woman, Smith + Caughey’s Best-dressed Man and Mi Piaci Best Shoe at firstname.lastname@example.org There’s also a registration desk on the day
Land Rover versus Pony horsepower race3.00pm
Land Rover NZ Polo Open 2017 Final. Six chukkas
Half-time stomping of the divots
NZ Polo Open presentation and speeches at the Clubhouse
Official after-party at the Canadian Club Giddy Up Club
Bus boarding for 9pm departure from main gate
The Land Rover NZ Polo Open is strictly a no BYO event. A day in the country watching great polo goes hand-inhand with a glass of Champagne or a beer, obtainable at the venue. If you think you’ll be indulging and staying on for the after-party, consider booking a return bus from $22.50 per person. Entry is by wristband only, received at the gate upon sighting your electronic ticket. Go to ITICKET.CO.NZ/EVENTS/2017/FEB/LANDROVER-NZ-POLO-OPEN
For your safety, polo ponies and polo balls travel at speed and if either hits you, it hurts. Spectators must not be in the safety zone during play. The safety zone is the area within 10 metres of the boards (the sideboards outlining the field) and 30 metres from the back goal line. Only players, umpires, referees, goal judges, officials or stick holders may enter the safety zone while the game is in progress.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
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Start your engines The race of the day is a polo pony versus a Land Rover. Over two lengths of the polo field at 2.30pm, this promises to be a close call.
On the ball
Buy a ball raffle in the VIP Westpac Rescue Marquee and if this matches the number on the first game ball to score a goal you’ll win. Balls are $30 with proceeds going to the Rescue Helicopter.
Aside from the polo itself, the fashion competition is a great spectator sport and will be judged outside the Clubhouse at 2pm. If you fancy your chances, either enter online ahead of the day, at or on the day at the registration desk – open until 1pm. There are men’s and women’s categories with a total prize pool of $7,000 to be won.
Coming up roses
This year’s Veuve Clicquot marquee has a floral theme: rosé and roses. The marquee will be serving Veuve Clicquot Rosé and Veuve Clicquot NV to invited guests. Even if you don’t have an invite you can enjoy the Rosé Garden vista from the grass outside.
When the polo has played out, the official after-party kicks off around 5pm with a DJ. If you haven’t read any Jilly Cooper it may be prudent to mention that polo players generally like to let their hair down, so this should be a good party. All Open tickets include entry to the knees-up.
field day Polo aside, there’s plenty of ways to amuse yourself on the day
Wine & dine
Please don’t bring your own drinks on the day – it’s strictly forbidden. But there are plenty of bars around The Hill, the Clubhouse and Chukkas Lawn where you can get a glass of wine, water or a cold one. What’s more there’s food to buy if you’re peckish and haven’t brought a picnic.
Better than a fairground ride, Land Rover’s Terrapod will be across the field from the Clubhouse. Buckle up in the passenger seat and be taken on a thrilling ride up and over a steep incline. You get the off-road experience with masterful Hill Decent Control in the comfort of a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
Play the game Polo is thrilling to watch even if you don’t follow all that is going on. Knowing the rules makes it even more exhilarating. Here’s what you should know
olo boils down to this: two teams, both alike in handicap, ride horses on a polo field trying to score a goal by swinging their mallets at a plastic ball between goal posts. Of course, it’s much more nuanced than this. Where is polo played? On a polo field measuring 274m long by 200m wide. That’s the equivalent of six football pitches. How long is a game? There are between four and six seven-minute periods called chukkas, although play will continue until the ball goes out of play, or the whistle is blown. How many on a team? Four. They’re numbered 1 to 4. Number 1 and 2 are the forwards; number 3 is like a centre in football and usually the best player; and number 4 is the goal defender. Explain handicaps? Like golf, all players have a handicap. From -2 for players starting out, all the way a to 10 goal rating the better you are. Ten-goal players are rarer than hen’s teeth across the globe. A team’s handicap is calculated by adding the individual players’ handicaps
together. An 18-goal team typically plays another 18-goal team. Why so many umpires? Well, there are two mounted umpires on the pitch and a third off the field who arbitrates if the two can’t agree. There are also goal judges positioned at both goal ends, who wave a flag when a goal is scored. How fast do the ponies go? Up to 55km per hour. What’s a right of way? The line in which the ball is travelling. The player who has just hit the ball has right of way and no player can cross the line in front of that player. It can only be crossed when there’s no danger to horse or rider. If they do when it’s dangerous, it’s called crossing and is a foul. Why are the riders and ponies pushing each other? That’s called riding off. It’s all part of the game but can’t be done at a dangerous angle or crossing the player who currently has possession of the ball, or that’s fouling. And what’s with hooking sticks? Also allowed provided this is from the same side of the opponent as the ball or directly behind. The
Rules of Polo
stick must be below the level of the opponent’s shoulder. Players cannot try to hook in front of a pony’s legs – safety always comes first. So what’s the punishment for fouling? It depends on the foul, but a free hit at an undefended goal 30 or 40 yards out from the posts can be awarded to the player fouled against.
Why do the riders always switch horses during and after a chukka? Because playing polo is like doing a 100-metre sprint multiple times – and the ponies give it everything for those few minutes. Want to learn to play? Believe it or not, but polo is easy to learn to play. If you’ve ridden previously you’ll likely pick it up quickly. Although it may take you
quite a while to approach the skills of the stars, Auckland Polo School can give lessons to everyone: from those who’ve never sat on a horse before, through to accomplished riders. For a lesson, which comes with horse hire and basic equipment, contact Tamsin Watson on 021 039 6639; email@example.com
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017 2015
The in crowd So now you know the rules of play, just how do you sound like you were born to the sidelines? Here are five things you should know before the big day at Clevedon MENTION THE PONIES. Okay, they may technically be horses because they stand at more than 14.2 hands – four inches equals one hand and they’re measured from the ground to the top of the withers, where the front of the saddle sits – but don’t call them that. They are called ponies. Yes, it’s like calling day night, but this anomaly goes back to when ponies were actually used in the sport for their agility. Another thing, there isn’t strictly a registered polo breed, most ponies in New Zealand have Thoroughbred bloodlines.
YOU CAN’T JUST SIT AROUND DRINKING GIN ALL DAY. As you’ll see, the field gets pretty cut up with the ponies tearing up and down it. So, at half-time, spectators are asked to go onto the field and Stomp the Divots for five minutes. Divots are those clumps of turf kicked up during play. Other than a bit of field smoothing,
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
stomping is a fun chance to show off your loafers and to mix and mingle. Wear stylish shoes and enter the Best Shoe competition and you could win a prize. (Go to page 25 for more on prizes.)
KNOW THAT WHILE THE RIDERS ARE GIFTED SPORTSPEOPLE WITH A GAME PLAN, PONIES ALSO KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE GAME. Seriously. They may not know the final score but they anticipate the play and instinctively follow the ball. If there’s a backhand shot made, they’ll automatically turn round and give chase to the ball. And, they’ll anticipate a ride-off by leaning into the other horse. A ride-off is when a player can take an opponent out of the line of the ball by bumping into them. Thing is though, the angle of the collision and leaning in can’t be at any more than 45 degrees to the other horse. It’s fair to say the best polo ponies enjoy the game
as much as the riders – or they wouldn’t be doing it.
FOLLOW THE SEASON. Ooh rarrther. The sport is a favourite pastime of the rich, royals and notables, including former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. If you want to impress, you could mention you wouldn’t miss being in Sussex for the Gold Cup in Cowdray next July for all the tea in China, what. That’s like the Olympics for British polo.
DON’T BE CAUGHT DEAD IN THE SAFETY ZONE DURING PLAY. It’s actually the danger zone. Both the ponies and polo balls travel at great speed – up to about 175km per hour for the ball– so to avoid a high-speed collision, spectators are not allowed to be in the safety zone during play. That’s the area within 10 metres of the boards – the sideboards outlining the field – and 30 metres back from the goal line.
LEARN TO PLAY POLO Auckland Polo School is located in the beautiful Clevedon Valley, just 35 mins from the CBD. Offering both Group and Private Lessons from Tuesday to Sunday and with horses to suit all riding abilities, our Resident HPA Approved Polo Coach will soon have you “hooked” on this adrenaline fuelled sport. Call us today to book an introductory Private Lesson. (Mention the Land Rover NZ Polo Open and get 15% off)
Phone: 021 039 6639 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Find us on facebook EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR BOTH HORSE & RIDER 7 Papakura-Clevedon Road, Clevedon Phone: 09 292 3099 Email: email@example.com
Polo ponies aren’t a registered breed the same way Thoroughbreds or Arabs are. That said, most of the ponies in New Zealand tend to be Thoroughbreds. If a pony is quick, agile, able to stop and turn on a pinhead and able to predict play, they have the qualities players look for. Although Argentine ponies have a reputation as the best in the world, New Zealand ponies are up there too. Waikato polo player Craig Wilson’s Zippy won the Champion Pony at the Argentina Open last year. That’s the most coveted champion pony title globally. It was also won by Kiwi Cody Forsyth’s pony Lily, in 2002.
In the beginning Polo lo got its start in Central Asia around 600BC when mounted nomads played something resembling polo as part of their war training, using enemy heads as balls. There were up to 100 ponies on a team, so the game would have been pretty chaotic. If you don’t have access to a pony, well, how about a game of elephant polo, as played in Asia, or camel polo in the Middle East?
HORSE sense Because polo would be nothing without a stead, here are some equine facts
A groom does so much more than making the ponies look pretty on the day. Unlike in polo-mad Argentina, where a pony may have more than one groom allocated to it, here, a single groom may be responsible for an average of six or seven ponies. They’ll be the ones feeding the ponies at 6am, exercising them, cleaning them and their saddles and other tack before loading the transporter. Once at the field, the groom wraps the ponies’ legs, braids their tails and saddles them up. Then there’s cooling rinse downs after play. New ponies going onto the field also need warming up. Hopefully the groom has time to follow their player up and down the sideline during play, ready for a quick change of mount in any breaks, because a high goaler will often use two ponies per chukka. What’s more, a groom carry a spare mallet in case one is broken on the field and be able to administer basic vet care, dressing any wounds that might occur in a game. Phew!
THE TOURNAMENT IS IN ITS
IN THE WEEK OF THE OPEN
are involved in
4 grades... IN THE HIGH GOAL LAND ROVER NZ OPEN
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Here we tot up the key figures
120 players riding 600 ponies with 200 grooms
to make the horses pretty and tend to their every need
160 ponies, REQUIRING
The ponies will start their prep in October. Players begin to arrive from November, with international players arriving in early February
TO PREP THE PONIES The full-time groundsman starts priming the field in October. The field is painted to look greener. 600 metres of boards are put around it to keep the ball in play. 400 tonnes of sand will be applied to weatherproof the turf. The fields are mown 3 times and white-lined weekly.
ON THE DAY THERE WILL BE
6,000 spectators, 50 marquees & 4 truckloads of beverages Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
Speed never goes out of fashion on Fisher Field
It was the late 70s and the Dalgety Travel were ready to ride
The way we were
In 40 years of the NZ Polo Open, the sideburns may have changed but the commitment to playing great polo hasn’t
Dione Jones looking the part
Showjumper John Cottle showing why he’s a legend
Yates Travel team from left: Warner Wilder, Stuart Mackenzie, Robbie Saunders and Graeme Bray
sk long-time Auckland Polo Club members to recall some of the antics both on and off the field and some stories are repeated over and over. They are now the stuff of APC legend. Like the time sponsor Richard Holden brought his guests in by boat to a specially made wharf at the bottom of Fisher Field or when The Topp Twins came to play. What about when Australian polo legend Sinclair Hill came to the very first NZ Polo
Open back in 1977? Or when the UK’s Howard Hipwood flew in on PanAm for the 1978 event. Then there was the year an exceedingly dashing Argentine player was seen leaving Fisher Field in a helicopter with a mystery woman. The floods of ‘85 saw horses replaced by boats motoring up and down the field and it took hours to collect the floating bubbly glasses. There are plenty of other stories too – they’re just not fit to print.
Hats off to the Carter Holt Harvey team
Itâ€™s not just horses that have marched down Fisher Field Polo legend Kenny Browne, flanked by Daph Walker and Anne Browne. Kenny won the first NZ Open in 1977 and a number of times in following years
They start them young on the Fisher Field
Team Regent from left: Patrick Macildowie, Tommy Wilson, Roddy Matthews and Mark Davis
There have been some amazing sponsors through the years, including Jenn and Graeme Hogg of Databank
The Schweppes team from left: Craig Wilson, Mark Harris, Johnny Walker and Douglas Duncan
Team BNZ with APC President Bruce Jones
The Mumm team in their finery
The Zimbabwe team came to play
In 1979 and 1985 the finals were a wash-out Lycra at the polo. Whoâ€™d have thought?
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017 2015
21 page 15
Photo by Anna Kidman
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offers unrivalled service. Attention to every detail means the day will go without a hitch. The Lodge’s dedicated wedding team are devoted to organising everything from bespoke menus and arrangements to transport and entertainment options. Wedding parties can be assured that allweather site options, with panoramic views for the ceremony, mean all bases are covered at the purpose-
built lodge. Corporate events are also a specialty. You and your guests can enjoy some of the extra memorable experiences that Kauri Bay Boomrock offers. It’s not every wedding that can come complete with a round of archery. Thrill-seeking groups can venture to The Bunkers area for activities ranging from off-road fourwheel driving to clay bird shooting. Then linger for a whisky tasting.
FOR THE LATEST IN FOOD INSIDE THE HERALD EVERY WEDNESDAY AND ONLINE AT THE ULTIMATE VOICE IN FASHION, FOOD & DESIGN
Fashion You could use your $2,500 Smith + Caughey’s voucher for best-dressed woman at Miss Smith’s Closet
Choose some Mi Piaci or Merchant 1948 shoes
Take your pick from Kate Sylvester’s new Mrs Mia Wallace collection
Make a selection from Zoe & Morgan’s innovative jewellery
This cache of Tom Ford fragrance and makeup could be yours
Eye on the fashion prize Enter the Viva Fashion on the Field competition and you could be rewarded big-time for your contribution to sideline style
ot that anyone really needs a carrot to dress well but, just in case, there are some great prizes awaiting those who take out the three categories in the bestdressed competition this year.
This is the big one. The winner receives: A $2,500 Smith+ Caughey’s voucher to spend on fashion at Miss Smith’s Closet or First Floor fashion, shoes, lingerie, jewellery, fragrance, cosmetics, homewares, fine china… whatever your heart’s desire in the temple of retail wonder that is Auckland’s finest department store. A $1,500 Kate Sylvester voucher. Kate Sylvester’s reputation as one of the country’s very best designers precedes her. Her collections are always serious fashion but with an ease and practicality that her legion of fans demand. With this voucher you’ll be able to pick from her new season autum-winter collection Mrs Mia Wallace.
A $1,000 Tom Ford fragrance and cosmetics selection. The global fashion superpower’s cosmetics collection is the very essence of luxury. Included in the Tom Ford prize is the line-up of fragrance and makeup pictured above, which features his famed Black Orchid and Noir Extreme fragrances. A $500 Zoe & Morgan jewellery voucher. The three siblings who are responsible for this highly regarded jewellery house are known for their artisanal and creative approach to design. They craft both men’s and women’s pieces from precious stones as well as fine gold and silver jewellery.
Smith + Caughey’s best-dressed man
A $1,000 Smith + Caughey’s voucher to shop up a storm in Auckland’s best department store. In the menswear department, you’ll discover heritage brands like Liberty
rubbing shoulders with modern labels such as Paul Smith, Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Neuw Denim, Superdry and Scotch & Soda.
Best Mi Piaci divot-stomping shoe
A $500 Mi Piaci or Merchant 1948 voucher for the best shoe – man or woman – of the day. Mi Piaci is Italian for “I like” and you can guarantee you’ll like the European -influenced styling of the women’s shoe label crafted with premium leather. The Merchant 1948 label has both men’s and women’s shoes, so everyone is covered. Pre-register for Viva Fashion on the Field ahead of Sunday 19 February in Clevedon by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org There will also be a chance to register on the day. Look for the booth by the bridge as you enter the grounds. It is open from 11am1pm, with competition entry free.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
Fashion for the field
Fashion is a spectator sport. Tear yourself away from the polo and you’ll find those watching are as well turned-out as the ponies
olo and horse racing both involve equine flesh but that’s where the similarities end if you’re dressing to be a spectator. Horse racing involves elaborate outfits planned with a military precision. Much less prescriptive, polo is the easygoing cousin, the one who looks effortlessly put together. Make no mistake though, thought needs to go into that unstudied look. Fish out of water don’t last long. Bear in mind you’ll be in for a marvellous day in the country, so while comfort is key, there are still standards. The great thing about polo’s dress code is anything worn on the day will always be a welcome addition to your wardrobe and trotted out again and again, unlike more formal racewear.
HAT CHECK Polo should never be confused with racewear, so leave those fascinators and Princess
Beatrice hats at home. The purpose of a hat at polo is to keep the sun off, so a wide-brimmed straw hat is about as flash as you’re going to want to get.
crisp white or wide-leg pants – all offer endless possibilities.
Yes, we know the Duchess of Cornwall has worn her skinny jeans to watch Prince William play polo, but unless you have HRH in front of your name, don’t do it.
A MAN’S WORLD Think somewhere between a week-day office and athleisure look and you’ll hit the right note. A banker’s suit is out, so are board shorts. The classic preppy combo of chinos and a polo or linen shorts and a relaxed blazer are far better bets. Smith + Caughey’s menswear buyer and fashion judge Christian Harmes believes it’s important to be able to maintain the look for the entire day, so anything overcooked won’t work. Christian says if you look like your own interpretation of a Polo Ralph Lauren ad you’ll be laughing
DRESS FOR THE CONDITIONS
WAR PAINT Beautiful, polished
It’s a day in the country, so don’t dress for an important meeting or post-yoga coffee. For women: a long, floaty summer dress that won’t become unruly if it’s windy, a hit of
skin, a flushed cheek, a pretty lip colour with loosely waved hair or simply groomed pony tail are the order of the day. This is not the time to show your skill with eyeliner.
COME TO HEEL Stilettos and grass go together like a mule at the polo. A sturdy mid-heel, wedge or flat is approved footwear for women. Men: it’s a loafer-no-socks combo or a jodhpur-style boot.
DENIM NO-GO ZONE
Keeping up appearances Stand out from the crowd in polo-worthy fashion with a one-stop spree from Smith + Caughey’s Helen Kaminski straw hat, $279, from Smith + Caughey’s
Le Specs sunglasses, $89.95, from Smith + Caughey’s
Jo Black Pacific blazer, $449, from Smith + Caughey’s Helen Kaminski hat, $330, from Smith + Caughey’s
Zoe & Morgan earrings, $210, from Smith + Caughey’s
Shashenka bag, $149, from Smith + Caughey’s Parisian woven belt, $79, from Smith + Caughey’s
Miss Selfridge dress, $325, from Smith + Caughey’s
The Academy Brand chinos, $99, from Smith + Caughey’s
Stella & Gemma necklace, $52.50, from Smith + Caughey’s Windsor Smith shoes, $189.90, from Smith + Caughey’s
Polo Ralph Lauren Big Pony polo, $180, from Smith + Caughey’s
Barker Shoes Ripley loafers, $485, from Smith + Caughey’s
Meet the judges We’ve called in the style heavyweights to judge this year’s Viva Fashion on the Field event
Smith + Caughey’s womenswear buyer
Viva managing editor
Smith + Caughey’s menswear buyer
THE DRESS CODE FOR POLO IS VERY DIFFERENT TO THE RACES. HOW WOULD YOU SUM IT UP?
Kelly Separates, great dresses,
Amanda A good pair of chinos or dress pants with a cotton or linen shirt in plain hues, stripes or checks. Or a polo shirt! A relaxed blazer with an open-necked shirt. Loafers or R.M. Williams boots.
jumpsuits and long maxi dresses are all options. Summer colours and floral prints with a hint of skin.
Christian For me it will be the
Kate More relaxed and effortless
wearer’s ability to maintain his look for the entirety of the day.
than the races, so guests can be practical with sun coverage and footwear.
Amanda Easy sophistication without trying too hard. WHAT WILL YOU BE LOOKING FOR IN THE WOMENSWEAR WINNER?
Kelly A complete look with something unexpected so you stand out. How you carry yourself is important also.
Kate An interesting silhouette or a unique, yet nonchalant sartorial approach.
Amanda Understated elegance that is modern, but situation appropriate.
frighten the horses. PERSONAL ESSENTIALS FOR THE DAY?
Kelly The day is going to be long and you’ll be in the sun, so sunscreen and a hat is a must.
Kate Champagne and red lipstick.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY PARTIAL TO IN A POLO OUTFIT?
Amanda Hat, sunglasses, sunblock
Kelly A great straw hat, not to be
Christian I’m not a big hat wearer
mistaken for the fascinator though.
Kate Bold prints and colour. Amanda A sense of understated elegance. Polo is traditionally the sport of old money – people who don’t have to flaunt it. So anything flashy is just bad taste.
and paddock-appropriate shoes. but I will be looking out for one this time round. It’s going to be hot! ANYONE WHO PARTICULARLY STANDS OUT AS MASTERING THE LOOK?
Kelly No one comes to mind as
Christian Linen is strong in a lot
yet but will be watching on the day for my pick.
of our current collections, so I’d be looking to incorporate a linen piece.
Kate The beautiful blogger
ANYTHING THAT’S INSTANT DISQUALIFICATION FOR YOU?
WHAT ABOUT MENSWEAR?
Bad grooming. Chipped toe polish and rough heels are just not cool.
Kate Beautiful tailoring with a
Kate Overly heavy makeup.
point of difference.
Amanda Anything that will
This is a daytime event.
Shea Marie wore our coral Edie dress to the polo in Los Angeles last year and she captured the essence perfectly.
Christian Hard to go past Mr Ralph Lauren – Polo Ralph Lauren.
Fashion 5 10
The white stuff Take one white shirt. Add flowing skirt or tailored pants in muted tones or contrast colour and a statement accessory. You’ll be a smash on the sidelines 1. Ruby blouse, $199. 2. Isaac & Lulu pants, $299. 3. Deadly Ponies Mr Piper bag, $730. 4. Miista Amanda sandals, $204.70, from Smith + Caughey’s. 5. Postie Plus shirt, $20. 6. Zoe & Morgan Chimi earrings, $420. 7. Seed cotton lace shorts, $159.90. 8. Zoe & Morgan Solar Plexus Chakra ring, $240. 9. Mi Piaci heels, $240. 10. Juliette Hogan JH Eyewear sunglasses, $429. 11. Witchery top, $139.90. 12. Liam Arabesque skirt, $299. 13. Tom Ford Soleil Blanc eau de parfum, $370, from Smith + Caughey’s.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
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Fashion 1 13 14
2 12 3
Over the rainbow The day calls for colour, print â€“ or both
1. Karen Walker Hallucination dress, $795. 2. Caroline Sills Aziz hat, $119. 3. Estee Lauder Envy Lustre Lipstick in Drop Dead Red, $61. 4. Juliette Hogan JH Eyewear sunglasses, $429. 5. Kate Sylvester dress, $599. 6. Clinique Sculptionary Contouring Palette, $70. 7. Ted Baker heels, $226.80, from Smith + Caugheyâ€™s. 8. Twenty-seven Names Plein Air hat, $240. 9. Zoe & Morgan Casablanca lapis lazuli studs, $210. 10. Ruby Vita dress, $429. 11. Karen Walker Mujer pouch, $60. 12. Mi Piaci heels, $260. 13. Gregory Weisman dress, $599. 14. Carlson Vista jumpsuit, $399.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
They don’t call them polo shirts for nothing. A polo, chinos and loafers are classic spectator fashion
1. Zoe & Morgan diamond signet ring, $3,203. 2. Rodd & Gunn belt, $79. 3. Neuw Denim cropped trousers, $95.90, from Smith + Caughey’s. 4. Superdry London Loom shirt, $120, from Smith + Caughey’s. 5. Clinique Mineral Sunscreen for Face SPF50, $54. 6. R.M Williams Comfort Craftsman boots, $620. 7. Barkers Elliott hat, $40. 8. Rodd & Gunn Hamlet linen shirt, $199. 9. Tom Ford For Men fragrance, $145, from Smith + Caughey’s. 10. Timberland cotton linen chino shorts, $102, from Smith + Caughey’s. 11. Zoe & Morgan signet ring, $ $163. 12. Working style loafers, $399. 13. Working Style Spitfire aviators, $299.14. Rodd & Gunn polo, $79. 15. Working Style cotton jacket, $690.
inning the Land Rover NZ Polo Open is the best it gets in polo in this country. “By a long shot,” says Pete Dormer of last year’s champion team, the Edmundo Tigers. Success made the long trip with four truck-loads of ponies from Canterbury worthwhile. A 1-goaler, Pete put together the team consisting of himself, the English team captain and 7-goaler James Beim, and Olly Tuthill and Ed Hitchman – both English 5-goalers. Ed got a back injury, however, which meant Pete had to find a replacement for the big day. He was lucky to be able to call in
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: (From left): James Beim, Juan Britos, Pete Dormer, Olly Tuthill and team reserve Glen Armstrong.
A word with Pete Dormer, from last year’s winning team, Edmundo Tigers
rising Argentine star Juan Britos. Coming into the competition, Edmundo Tigers weren’t expected to win. For the final, they were up against Tiger Building, with the lethal weapon of John-Paul Clarkin, New Zealand’s best player at 7 goals. But, when Juan leaned far out of his saddle to take a shot, it was obvious they weren’t going to muck around. Pete credits the win with “having a fun team of fellows and doing plenty of swimming at Maraetai Beach”. Tired of his friends telling him how much he’d like it, Pete first tried polo seven years ago and is now president
of the Christchurch Polo Club with a string of 12 good ponies and 10 young ones. Edmundo Tigers are not defending their title this year, as Pete has just travelled north to Hawke’s Bay with the Hurunui Polo Club to win the Savile Cup. But don’t be surprised if he’s back on Fisher Field next year. How did you celebrate? With beer and rum. Where did the name Edmundo Tigers come from? Long story. Come for a rum one night and I’ll tell you. If you weren’t playing polo, what would you be doing? Boating.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2016
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Natalie Decorte pretty much rules the polo sidelines
ut Natalie Decorte on any polo sideline and you couldn’t fail to miss her. She’s the one with the grace of a ballet dancer, the cool model look and an easy, unstudied sense of just what polo style is. That’s because the Sydney-sider was a professional ballet dancer with the Royal Ballet in London and with the Australian Ballet. She also does a sideline in modelling and has had time to perfect the outfits she wears while supporting polo-playing husband Janek Gazecki. Working alongside Janek as brand manager for Polo Events Australia, the mother-of-two (three in April) also edits the Australian magazine The Polo Project. We asked her to spill her secrets. DO YOU THINK THERE’S A POLO SPECTATOR DRESS CODE? Yes and no. I really push the comfort factor. Make sure what you choose
is appropriate for the weather and not too tight, or short for the ladies. No stilettos as they are not grassfriendly. Men don’t need to wear suits and ties – relaxed chinos with an unbuttoned shirt and loafers always look good. Whatever your style is, you can make it polo. Women can wear anything from a floaty maxi to tailored shorts – just have fun and make it a little quirky. YOUR FIRST RULE OF DRESSING FOR POLO? I ask myself: “Will I still be comfortable in this outfit after five hours of mingling, watching polo and divot-stomping?” I never want to have to take my shoes off before I get home. ANYTHING YOU’D NEVER WEAR TO POLO? A fascinator. Can’t stand them, and they are definitely not for the polo.
FOR POLO – THE ONE YOU THROW ON WHEN YOU’VE GOT FIVE MINUTES TO GET READY? A white shirt tends to make everything polo. Pair it with a high-waisted pant or a maxi skirt for instant equestrian style. BEST PART OF A DAY AT THE POLO? I love socialising and talking to people about the sport. Many of them have never been to a polo event so explaining a little about how the game is played and seeing how much they enjoy watching is great. I obviously also love the fashion, and every year it seems to get better and better. Initially there was a lot of race wear and millinery, but slowly people have been realising it’s quite a different day. Follow Natalie on @natdecorte @thepoloproject
WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2016
f you don’t spot the stylish Ellen Morgenstern on the sidelines, she’ll most likely be on the field playing. But if she is spectating, expect to see her in a killer outfit. Not only does she play polo herself, the 0-goaler has a fashion design degree and is an avid artist currently dabbling in screen-printing. Right now though, she is busy working for the family company, involved in seismic engineering. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND? I was born in New Zealand and raised between here and the USA. My mother Tanya and father Arthur got me into polo. I play off 0 goals and love the game, because I adore my horses and love the adrenaline rush.
Photo by Clint Schubert IntoPix Photography.
HOW DID YOUR POLO INVOLVEMENT TAKE OFF? My parents both play. I guess I was lucky enough to grow up around the sport and be immersed in the
polo culture from a young age. I’ve been playing in competitions for about six years now. HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU BE ON THE SIDELINES? Honestly not as often as one would expect. If I’m not playing, I can be found over at my polo truck, helping with the horses. I enjoy watching once all the work’s done. DO YOU THINK THERE’S A POLO SPECTATOR DRESS CODE? Tournaments like the Land Rover NZ Polo Open, yes. For women, a classy, sophisticated ensemble. Grass-appropriate footwear, a great hat and a killer pair of sunglasses. For men, chinos and a crisp linen shirt are a great start. Team with a fedora, sunglasses and a classy pair of shoes.
YOUR FIRST RULE OF DRESSING FOR POLO? For me it has to be comfort. It’s a long, often hot day and to enjoy all the Open has to offer, you not only need to look good but to feel great also. ANYTHING YOU’D NEVER WEAR TO POLO? Other then stiletto heels, white jeans. Unless you are playing the game, they are not fashionable at polo. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT FOR POLO – THE ONE YOU THROW ON WHEN YOU’VE GOT FIVE MINUTES TO GET READY? A comfy sundress paired with Ray-Bans and my Panama hat. FAVOURITE LABELS? Sass & Bide, Miss Crabb and For Love & Lemons are a few of my go-to favourites.
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Letters Star Player
Shining star Semco PDL’s Juan Britos is a player with a bright future
sk almost any polo player who isn’t Argentinian and they’ll tell you the South American country breeds accomplished polo players like we breed sheep. And 24-year-old Juan Britos is shaping up to be one of the greats, according to Kiwi Cody Forsyth, himself a former 8-goaler. “He’s going to be very, very good. He’s got so much natural ball skill, things you can’t teach.” Unlike many of the Argentine players, Juan doesn’t come from a poloplaying dynasty. Rather, he got into it as a teenager, with friends who used to ride telling him he would enjoy the sport. “The first great polistas [polo players] were born in Argentina and their children inherited the love of the game,” says Juan. “I don’t come from a great polo family, although my father liked horses and started riding as a hobby.” When Juan tried polo he loved it. The speed. The power. The rough-and-tumble. “The women,” laughs Cody. Juan now has his own string of ponies in Argentina, although he only spends a few months a year at home. The 7-goaler spends most of the year on the polo circuit travelling between Australia, England, France, Germany and Spain. This is Juan’s second year at the Land Rover NZ Polo Open. Having seen him play in the winning team last year, Semco PDL’s Harry Semenoff Jnr was keen to get Juan back this year to help in his bid to take out the Open to honour his late father’s wish that the Semco family name be on the trophy. Juan has flown in from competition in Florida, especially to play with the title contenders. Auckland Polo Club members are only too happy to see him back in New Zealand. “He’s charismatic and great fun,” says Cody. Juan’s a good sport too, having last year turned up with his team for the day-after working bee to help clean up. “With his shirt off,” noted one member.
“I don’t come from a great polo family, although my father liked horses and started riding as a hobby.”
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
2017 Teams TEAM PROFILE
HARRY SEMENOFF JNR
Handicap 0 goals Junior, as he’s known, is making his second attempt at honouring his late father’s wish that the Semco name be engraved on the NZ Open trophy. The team he’s assembled could well be the one to do it. Mounted on many of Harry senior’s beloved home-bred horses, Junior will be playing in the number one shirt and won’t shy away from the challenge of playing against higher-rated professional players.
Handicap 5 goals Gisborne lad Glenn epitomises the “she’ll be right” Kiwi way. Undaunted by any opposition, he has had a phenomenal run in recent English polo seasons, with a clean sweep of the top silverwear, including the Duke of Wellington trophy at Guards Polo Club. He’s previously won all of New Zealand’s top tournaments, including the Open, and comes to the 2017 event fresh from representing NZ against England.
Handicap 7 goals This dashing 24-year-old Argentine enthralled spectators and struck fear in the hearts of the opposition when he represented his country against New Zealand here last year. He then went on to win this tournament with Peter Dormer’s South Island team, Edmundo Tigers. It’s no surprise then that Semco PDL were keen to secure him for this year’s Open. Guaranteed to cause hearts to flutter – on and off the field.
Handicap 6 goals Thomas has no fewer than three cousins playing in this tournament. To say this family breeds talented players is an understatement, with a raft of top riders across the Hunt, Keyte, Clarkin clan. With three NZ Open wins under his belt by age 25, it goes without saying that Thomas is a prodigious talent. Cool, calm and collected, both on the field and off, there’s a great future ahead for this rapidly rising international star.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
2017 Teams TEAM PROFILE
Handicap 5 goals Known for relentless energy and skill, Cambridge-based Kit is much in demand at top tournaments both here and across the ditch. He’s worn the Silver Fern many times, representing New Zealand in test matches at home and overseas, including playing on snow in China. An accomplished horseman, Kit has a great record in retraining former race horses, giving them a second career on the polo field. Any team that he features in is well worth a bet.
Handicap 7 goals New Zealand’s most experienced and highest handicapped player and captain of the NZ team, JP, as he’s known, is simply a maestro with the mallet. He’s won the NZ Open no fewer than eight times, but that won’t diminish his hunger for success in 2017. Winston Churchill once said that a polo handicap is a passport to the world and JP’s passport certainly bears testament to that. For the summer though, he’s based at home, Waikato’s Mystery Creek.
CRAIG WILSON Handicap 6 goals The younger of the two Wilson brothers playing in the Open this year, Craig has achieved one of the highest handicaps in NZ, despite time having also played representative rugby for Waikato. Craig is known for the speed and quality of his ponies. In December he had the thrill of seeing one of these, Zippy, crowned Best Playing Pony at the Argentine Open. The title is the pinnacle of achievement for polo pony producers globally.
Handicap 0 goals At 15, Matt had to choose between polo, or rugby. Rugby won, in part, he claims, because brother John-Paul was snaffling all the best horses. Matt represented Waikato through the age grades before leaving for club play in France in 2003, where he had a stellar career, including being capped for the French Barbarians. He retired last year, but still lives in Bordeaux. After 20 years, it is polo boots on again, with John-Paul playing nice, sharing rides.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
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2017 Teams TEAM PROFILE
Handicap 4 goals One of NZ polo’s most popular players, Nick divides his time between his own polo operation in Queensland, and Auckland, where he manages the van den Brink family’s large stable. Nick has had a stellar Australian season, including winning the Australian Open. He’ll be keen to add the NZ title to his haul and his team, with an even spread of handicaps, are strong contenders for the Open crown. This Keyte can fly.
Handicap 4 goals Jake is a rapidly rising star in the Australian polo firmament. Based in South Australia, this is his first foray into New Zealand, although he’s already had his boots on the ground and mallets swinging in Asia, Argentina, England and France. Jake plays the NZ Open fresh from travelling as a member of the Australian national squad to the Snow Polo World Cup in Tianjin, China. Expect to be impressed.
Handicap 6 goals In the world of international polo, Waikato-born Simon has done it and very probably won it. He’s represented NZ on numerous occasions and has played in England, Australia and Malaysia among many other countries. It’s a family affair for Simon at this year’s Open, with brother Nick alongside him and cousins Tom Hunt and JP Clarkin in rival teams. Familial harmony will be restored afer the final whistle blows.
Handicap 4 goals Christchurch native Charlie was virtually raised in the polo saddle. His father, Roddy, managed the Royal club, Guards, in Windsor Great Park, for many years. Now following in his footsteps, Charlie is resident professional at another of London’s prestigious clubs, Ham Polo Club, where his Kiwi charm has won him many friends. Charlie proudly wore the Silver Fern, with the NZ under-21 Colts, touring England in 2007.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
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2017 Teams TEAM PROFILE
Rodd & Gunn
Handicap 2 goals Clevedon born-and-bred Jeremy, generally known as JJ, is a veteran of two previous NZ Open finals, but a win is proving elusive. 2017 could be his year, as he, and cousin and team mate Henry Jones, have some serious horse-power beneath them. Both are riding ponies owned and trained by their fathers Chris and Nick Jones, known for producing fast, agile mounts sought after overseas. Who will keep up with the Jones’s?
Handicap 3 goals This tall, handsome and charismatic 25 year old epitomises everything Jilly Cooper fans expect in a polo player. Clevedon is just a little more exciting when he’s at home, rather than in Gloucestershire or Argentina where his professional polo playing skills take him for much of the year. Althetic Henry will undoubtedly provide some ‘how did he do that’ moments during play, and possibly a few more at the after-party. One to watch.
Handicap 7 goals Paco hails from polo’s mecca, Argentina, but cut his teeth in high-level play here, with several summers based at Clevedon. He’s in demand in both hemispheres now and has enjoyed prolific success, particularly with the Black Bears polo team in the UK. Paco represented Argentina in the 2016 international test match against NZ, and was pivotal to securing victory. Shy and unassuming off the field, Paco changes on it.
Handicap 6 goals The older of the Wilson brothers playing in this tournament (brother Craig lines-up for Tiger Building), Tommy is one of New Zealand’s most capped international players. After many years spent on the international circuit, he’s now largely confining his play to Australasia, to focus on polo pony breeding at home in the Waikato. Tommy brings a wise head and an invaluable level of experience to this new Rodd & Gunn line-up.
Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
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Ticket options There are so many ways to watch the polo and socialise. Take your pick from GA to luxurious marquees THE VIP WESTPAC RESCUE MARQUEE Treat yourself to a day at the polo and help an amazing cause at the same time. This marquee is catered and includes a glass of Veuve Clicquot on arrival. There is a private cash bar and raffles. VIP tickets are limited. From $210, from iTICKET.co.nz
GENERAL ADMISSION Gain access to the Chukka Lawn for food and beverages, and the after-party, plus the chance to enter the fashion competition. From $35 at iTICKET.co.nz
BUS Take away the hassle of getting to and from the polo by booking the bus. Bus leaves from Britomart at 10.30am and returns at 9pm. Tickets from $22.50 at iTICKET.co.nz
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Photo by Eye Witness Images
Show your clients how much they matter by treating them to a VIP day at the polo. The hassle is taken out of hosting in a luxurious, private, field-side marquee. They come fully catered and furnished, with a private marquee steward and starter beverage package included. From $2,500. Contact the polo office for more details at email@example.com
Thank you to our sponsors
Special thanks The Auckland Polo Club would like to thank the vast team of volunteers who contribute to the Land Rover NZ Polo Open. From the timekeepers to the groundsâ€™ volunteers beavering away night and day, there is endless effort put into this event behind the scenes. The event could not run without the support we receive, and we wholeheartedly thank you all.
Please note the Land Rover NZ Polo Open is not a BYO event. A day in the country watching great polo goes hand-in-hand with a glass or two of Champagne or a beer. If you think youâ€™ll be indulging and staying on for the after-party, please consider booking a return bus from $22.50 per person. Go to iticket.co.nz. Entry is strictly by wristband only.
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Land Rover NZ Polo Magazine 2017
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Published on Feb 1, 2017