Athlete Nacho Figueras On Bringing Polo To Inner Cities

International polo star Nacho Figueras is the face of Ralph Lauren Polo fragrance and is in town for a New York City polo event. He also talked about bringing the sport of polo to inner cities.

Veuve Clicquot Champagne is pleased to announce that the fifth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic will return on Saturday, June 2 taking place this year at beautiful Liberty State Park. Known as one of the summer’s most unique and glamorous star-studded social events, the 2012 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic will showcase the sport of polo with a new backdrop—less than 2,000 feet from the Statue of Liberty with a breathtaking view of the New York City skyline on more than 15 acres of gorgeous park land.

The current construction taking place on the Governors' Island playing field, the original home of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic since its inception in 2008, required Veuve Clicquot to find a new location this year. Veuve Clicquot was committed to finding a space accessible to city dwellers to host the event, which has become a staple of the summer season. Rather than moving the event to one of the many professional polo fields in the areas outside the of New York City, Veuve Clicquot was determined to stay true to its urban roots and find an inspiring location where the exhibition game could be played within a stone’s throw from Manhattan.  After going through the arduous process of carefully surveying 27 locations in the Greater New York area, including parks, beaches, fields and islands throughout the five boroughs and beyond, Veuve Clicquot is pleased to call Liberty State Park its new home for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic this year. 

“With love and appreciation for the thousands of New Yorkers who have supported the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic these past four years, we are delighted that the 2012 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic will be held at Liberty State Park,” says Vanessa Kay, President of Veuve Clicquot U.S. “After a great deal of researching, surveying and examining a number of locations in the Greater Metropolitan area, we are thrilled to have found the ideal location to host the fifth-annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. With views of the New York City skyline, the iconic Statue of Liberty and historic Ellis Island, the park truly reflects the spirit of the event, a signature occasion of Veuve Clicquot’s social season that New Yorkers continue to look forward to year after year.”

The game of polo and Liberty State Park both have storied and significant histories in New York and New Jersey. A tradition that was reintroduced by Veuve Clicquot in 2008, the sport of polo was first played in the United States nearly 70 years ago. The area that is now Liberty State Park was a major waterfront industrial area with an extensive freight and passenger transportation network during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Once considered the lifeline of New York City and the harbor area of Jersey City, NJ, today Liberty State Park is a leading tourist attraction and gateway to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. With over 1,212 acres of land and water, this green oasis in New Jersey is one of the most dramatic parks around New York City with spectacular views.

This year, as a result of the event’s new smaller stomping grounds at Liberty State Park, the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is a ticketed event with an admission of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per person. ln addition to entry, ticket price will cover ferry transportation to and from Manhattan to Liberty State Park or shuttle service available from the Liberty State Park station on the New Jersey Transit Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line. As always, Veuve Clicquot is committed to responsible alcohol consumption – accordingly, all guests must be ticketed and be aged 21 and over to attend the event. Furthermore, parking will not be permitted onsite – guests must either arrive via ferry or Light Rail.

The 2012 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is proud to benefit Work To Ride, a non-profit equestrian program providing disadvantaged urban youth with activities centered around horsemanship, equine sports and education. “We are thrilled to support such a wonderful organization that enables underprivileged youth the opportunity to experience the transformative effect of equestrian life,” says Vanessa Kay. As the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic strives to promote the sport of polo, Work To Ride utilizes the special connection between youth and horses to teach strength, support and teamwork. Contact with animals, nature and the sport of polo instills discipline, responsibility and life skills to the program’s adolescents while also developing confidence and self-esteem. “Work To Ride is honored to be the beneficiary of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. We have long admired the work of Nacho Figueras and Veuve Clicquot to spread awareness of the sport; and we look forward to continue providing this unique opportunity for our youth,” says Lezlie Hiner, Founder, Work to Ride.

Since its inception, Work To Ride participants have achieved many accomplishments in the polo world, including winning the title of the National Interscholastic Polo Championship in 2011 and 2012.  One of Work To Ride’s star players, Kareem Rosser, will be playing alongside Nacho Figueras at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic this year. The organization hopes to expand the program and develop an arm in or around New York City at some point in the near future.

Guests will be able to watch the exciting polo exhibition match, sip champagne, enjoy catering from Silkstone and celebrate a wonderful day in the park. All guests to the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic must purchase a ticket in advance to gain admittance; tickets will be available on starting May 1, 2012. Veuve Clicquot will host several lotteries through their Facebook page in the month leading up to the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, giving fans the opportunity to win free tickets to the event. Check for more details.

Spectators will watch Nacho Figueras lead his team, Black Watch, against some of the world’s best polo players on team Nespresso. Nespresso has a long association with polo, sponsoring some of the most prestigious tournaments worldwide, including St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow in Switzerland, the Argentine Polo Open Championship, and recently the Nespresso 108th U.S. Open Polo Championship at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Veuve Clicquot welcomes Nespresso as a sponsor of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic this June, followed by the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Los Angeles this fall.  

“The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is my favorite occasion of the year and I am grateful to share my love for the sport of polo with the people of this great city,” says event co-host Nacho Figueras. “Working with Veuve Clicquot to make polo a fun, exciting and accessible sport is very important to me, and I’m proud that we searched long and hard to find a new location to keep the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic right next to where it first started. We always want to ensure that the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic has an element of the unexpected, so playing polo at Liberty State Park where polo has never been played is very exciting.”

Synonymous with flutes of champagne and top-notch fashion, guests of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic are encouraged to don classic polo style inspired by the traditional looks of fascinators and summer dresses for women and daytime suits for men. To help guests achieve their most fashionable moment, Veuve Clicquot will debut the new custom, limited-edition Veuve Clicquot-yellow parasol, created in collaboration with celebrated parasol maker, Penelope Parasols. The perfect accessory for an afternoon of polo-watching and champagne-sipping, the parasol is made of 100% silk dupioni fabric in Veuve Clicquot’s iconic yellow hue with a solid hardwood shaft, brass-finish handle, ferrule and tips. Available for $189, the Veuve Clicquot Penelope parasols will be for sale at the event on June 2 as well as on, starting May 8.

To create a spectacular dining experience for all guests, Veuve Clicquot has partnered with Silkstone, one of New York’s most creative culinary experts. Hailing from the highly buzzed about dining destinations, The Fat Radish in New York City and Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk, Silkstone will create unique polo-paired dishes, of course in addition to Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and Rosé by the glass and bottle, will be available for purchase.

Co-hosts Vanessa Kay and world-renowned polo player Nacho Figueras will be joined by New York’s most glamorous crowd, friends of Veuve Clicquot and polo enthusiasts in the VIP Marquee. In previous years, the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic has been attended by Mayor Bloomberg, Madonna, Kate Hudson, Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner, Naomi Watts, Isla Fisher, Wyclef Jean, Amber Heard, Alek Wek, Julianna Margulies, Keith Lieberthal, Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman, Zoe Saldana, Adam Sandler, Greg Kinnear, Jeremy Piven, Jaime King, Selma Blair, Sofia Vergara and more.

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