A Night Out: Kickoff Event for the 2009 Land Rover America’s Polo Cup

The America's Polo Cup World Championships will be held this May, but the party started last Saturday with a kickoff event that celebrated everything Polo.

What: A pre-celebration for the America’s Polo Cup World Championships, which will take place next May at the Capitol Polo Club in Potomac. The match will pit the United States against Australia. Other pre-event festivities include a reception at the Embassy of Australia, a fashion show, and a gala.

Where: The West Potomac Park Polo Grounds, next to the Lincoln Memorial and the Potomac River.

When: Saturday, September 20, 1 PM.

Who: Aside from the US Cartier polo-team players, many boldface names and polo enthusiasts were on hand to support the event. Once it settled into the Cartier VIP tent, the crowd was welcomed with a few words from Australian ambassador Denis Richardson. Aussie and American Idol star Michael Johns sang a version of the Australian national anthem that even Simon couldn’t have criticized. United States Army Chorus singer Sergeant Antonio Guiliano sang a stirring rendition of the US national anthem. Miss Maryland USA, Casandra Tressler, and Miss District of Columbia, Kate Grinold, mingled with the crowd and helped with the trophy presentations.

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Food: Along with the usual fruit, cheese, and crackers, PF Chang’s China Bistro served barbecue entrées.

Drink: Red wine, white wine, Champagne, and—in keeping with the Australian spirit—Foster’s Beer.

Scene: After the welcoming ceremonies and the presentation of colors, a DJ played uplifting beats such as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” until the teams took the field for the first Chukker Polo Team Ambassadors Celebrity Cup, a friendly scrimmage that served as a preview for the match in May. Those who didn’t want to pay $50 tickets for the VIP tent enjoyed the scene from lawn seating next to it. A highlight for the younger crowd was the divot stomp, where people were invited onto the field during halftime to help fix the holes made by the horses’ hooves. As for attire, most of the crowd was sporting seersucker and colorful summer dresses. Men were dressed in chino pants and polo shirts, and some women wore hats that would’ve blended in well at the Kentucky Derby. The event wasn’t just a day of schmoozing, partying, and polo playing; guests also supported causes such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation and MS Charities.

Ratings (See our ratings explanation here):

Boldface names: 2 out of 5
Swankiness: 3 out of 5
Food and drink: 4 out of 5
Exclusivity: 2 out of 5
Total score: 12 out of 20

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