NEW YORK, N.Y.—May 31, 2017----Nacho Figueras, one of polo’s greatest ambassadors, will continue to help increase the sport’s popularity at the much-anticipated Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Saturday at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J.
The tenth annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic is one of the few polo tournaments around the world that even non-polo people have heard of.
With a stunning backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline, the event is expected to attract a record crowd of 10,000 and worldwide ChukkerTV live stream audience.
Game time is 2 p.m. Polo commentator Dale Schwetz will provide play-by-play. The full day’s activities are scheduled 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“It’s grown a lot over ten years,” said Figueras, who with Veuve Clicquot first brought the event to New York in 2008 after a 70-year absence. “We bring polo to all people and make it accessible with this kind of tournament.”
The celebrity event, which has grown from 250 spectators its first year, is the official kickoff to the summer season and has become one of the biggest polo and social events of the year.
Figueras is best known internationally as the face of Ralph Lauren’s line of Polo fragrances and clothing for 17 years which has helped raised his celebrity status and profile.
“The success I have had modeling has given me more fame and publicity than polo has,” said Figueras, who started playing the game at age 9 with Lucas Monteverde, Jr., and turned pro at 17. During his prime, Figueras’ highest rating was 8-goals.
“It is helping me achieve my dream and vision of polo becoming a bigger, more visible sport,” Figueras said. “I am trying to use that publicity as a platform to promote the game I love so much and to make it more accessible to the general public.”
Figueras has done more than most players and organizations to promote and grow the sport of polo. He gives his time and support to hundreds of charities and causes every year including the annual Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match at Grand Champions Polo Club that helps raise money for the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington. Figueras plays for Hirsch’s Black Watch polo team.
“It is a mission in my life to raise awareness of the sport through events like the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic as well as charity events,” Figueras said.
Figueras has gathered several of his friends and family members, including several who play at Grand Champions to compete in the celebrity polo match.
The team lineups are:
Veuve Clicquot: Delfina Blaquier, Lia Salvo, Nacho Figueras, Bill Ballhaus.
Liberty Comets: Melissa Ganzi, Ashley Van Metre Busch, HH Sawai Maharaja Padmanabh Singh, Hilario Figueras.
The Veuve Clicquot team features his wife of 19 years Delfina Blaquier, a model, photographer, horsewoman and mother of their four children; Lia Salvo, Argentina’s top woman player; and Bill Ballhaus of Beverly Equestrian.
The Liberty Comets team is Melissa Ganzi, USPA Florida Circuit Governor and President ofGrand Champions Polo Club; Ashley Busch of Altair Polo and wife of NASCAR racer Kurt Busch; India national team member HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of the Royal family of Jaipur, 18, and Hilario Figueras, 17, Nacho and Delfina’s oldest son.
In addition to Figueras and his son playing at Grand Champions, Ballhaus and Busch competed in various winter and spring leagues at the club. Ganzi competes on a regular basis in high goal for Flexjet and various club leagues.
The tenth anniversary of the Liberty State Park event promises to be the most memorable with headline entertainers Neil Patrick Harris as event host and 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer Alicia Keys with a special musical performance.
The event benefits Keep A Child Alive, a non-profit organization working to support children and families affected by HIV, and also Friends of Liberty State Park, an organization dedicated to keeping the park a free, green and non-commercial urban waterfront oasis.
Veuve Clicquot is a French champagne house based in Reims, France specializing in premium products. Since it was founded in 1772, Veuve Clicquot has played an instrumental role in establishing and evolving the champagne industry as we know it today. For more information, visitwww.veuveclicquot.tumblr.com.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere with food and refreshments during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.