2016 Windsor Charity Polo Cup in Vero Beach

Equestrian Communities Polo

EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITIES IN FLORIDA

Looking for a great reason to escape the cold weather and attend a “once in a lifetime” event?  Why not dust off that favorite Audrey Hepburn hat and head to Vero Beach, Florida for the biennial Windsor Charity Polo Cup which will be held on Saturday, February 13, at the exclusive private residential sporting club of Windsor, located on a barrier island nestled between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. This upper class equestrian community features some of the most beautiful Vero Beach luxury homes in one of the best Florida retirement cities on the East Coast of Florida.

Windsor in Vero Beach will host the match on its own private 400-yard polo field.  This prestigious event draws attendees from all around the world and features some of the most recognized international polo players who donate their efforts for a worthwhile case, the Alzheimer’s Association and locally to the Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County.

This exciting biennial event, co-chaired by the Honorable Hilary M. Weston, co-founder and Creative Director of Windsor and former Lt. Governor of Ontario, Canada along with Salvatore Ferragamo, the grandson of the highly esteemed Italian footwear designer and wine baron, is a highly anticipated venue that draws thousands of equine enthusiasts to Vero Beach as it is considered one of the best polo matches in the country.  With mild Florida temperatures, the event provides an ideal retreat from the harsh winter weather and is a great social gathering for the luxury residents of Vero Beach.  The event parallels the attitude of attending the Kentucky Derby and is the place to be seen this season.

In 2014, this acclaimed “high goal” charity polo match offered some of the best international players featuring the likes of the infamous Salvatore Ferragamo, Memo Gracida, Malcolm Borwick, Luis Escobar, Mike Azzaro, Pablo Dorignac, the late Carlos Gracida and TV personality John Walsh.  So far, several of these expert polo players have signed up for this year and will entertain the crowds with their exhilarating polo skills.  Here is the current list of players for this year’s match:

  • Malcolm Borwick – This world class polo player achieved his status by winning the Prince of Wales with the Royal Pahang Team.  Other accolades include 10 years and 500 games with the England squad including 2 World Cups and 3 time winner of the Coronations Cup against Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
  • Luis Esobar – This Costa Rican native moved to Florida at the age of 17 when he commenced his polo career. He has competed in many renowned polo matches and has won the Challenge Cup, The Pacific Coast Open, the South African Open, the Texas Open, the Silver Cup, the Ylvisader Cup and many tournaments in Argentina.  Luis also founded a polo school at Santa Clara Polo Club in Palm Beach.
  • Salvatore Ferragamo – In addition to serving as the co-chair for the event, Mr. Ferragamo is not only the grandson of the world renown Ferragamo footwear designer but also the President of Il Borro Winery from the Tuscan region of Italy and an accomplished polo player.  He has a true passion for the sport and is honored with playing on Tim Gannon’s team against Prince Charles and Prince Harry at the Outback Polo match at Tidworth.  His passion is exuberant and his efforts are truly appreciated in promoting this year’s event.
  • Jeff Hall – This US native has been riding horses since the age of 4 and has been a polo player since he was 12.  Having won almost every high-goal trophy in US polo, his record of success includes 2 victories at the Pacific Coast Open; 8 wins of the USPA Silver Cup and the most recognized US Open. With a 7-goal handicap, his is considered on the best players in the world and will definitely be a welcome addition to this year’s competition.
  • John Walsh – Returning again this year, is renowned TV personality and highly ambitious polo player who competes seasonally in both Florida and New York.  Mr. Walsh has also played worldwide in Argentina, India, Morocco and China.  He also served as Co-Chair of the Windsor Charity Polo Cup in 2012 and played on the winning team.  He is commended for his heroic efforts in both public awareness and fundraising and attendees will be amazed at his expertise on the playing field.

This is the planned schedule for this year’s festivities:

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • 10am - Gates open
  • 11:30am - Live music and champagne reception in the main pavilion (for guests with luncheon tickets
  • 12 noon - Pavilion lunch served
  • 1:45pm - Opening ceremonies
  • 2:00pm - Match Play begins
  • Halftime - Divot Stomp and Luxury Automobile Parade Tailgate, Raffle & Auction Winners Announced
  • Conclusion - Awards Ceremony

We’re told those attending need to be aware that the polo match will be cancelled if the playing field is too wet and tickets are non-refundable yet the other events planned for the day will be held. Be sure to dress the part and wear traditional polo attire.  Festive hats are encouraged for women attending but heels are discouraged due to the grass staged activities.  Men don jackets and ties, but they are not required, while tailgaters tend to dress casual.  

February is an excellent time to explore the “Hamptons of the South” and see some of Florida’s equestrian communities while enjoying this world class fundraiser.  The benefactors for this event will be The Alzheimer’s Association and The Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County.  The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research for the past 30 years and provides help to over 5 million Americans.  The organization works to support the needs of Alzheimer’s patients and their families at both the state and federal level.  The Alzheimer and Parkinson Association of Indian River County is a local independent non-profit providing the community with support for disorders affecting memory and movement at the Center of Memory and Motion in Vero Beach as well as satellite locations around the county.  Over 11,000 people attended programming in 2014 which includes social programs for dealing with dementia, movement classes, free memory screening, education and private support groups.

There are a multitude of options for supporting these worthwhile causes.  When attending the Windsor Charity Polo Cup, there are several ticket choices available ranging from an elegant table for 10 alongside the playing field, a first class luncheon, grandstand seating or a fabulous picnic while tailgating with friends.  Other activities planned include a VIP hospitality area, themed tailgate competition, a raffle and Porsche People’s Choice Concours featuring more than 25 cars from vintage to the latest exquisite models, a retail village and gourmet concession stands will also be available.  Here is a list of seating options available for 2016:

  • Underwriting Sponsor - $2000
  • Table for 10 - $2700
  • Individual Luncheon Tickets - $250
  • Tailgate Ticket - $125
  • Grandstand Ticket - $50
  • Raffle Ticket – Individual $25 – Set of Five $100

The host of the event, Windsor nicknamed "Village by the Sea”, is a private residential sporting club built on 416 acres of a tropical barrier island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean.  The development was established in 1989 by Hilary and W. Galen Weston of Toronto, Canada with a concept of “New Urbanism” featuring an all inclusive first class lifestyle promoting a diverse, mixed-use yet interconnected and walkable community.  The “Village” concept was created by renowned town designers/architects Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater- Zybert and boasts public and community spaces framed with lush landscaping and multiple housing options featuring their signature Anglo-Caribbean architectural style. Windsor has 350 estate home sites with a wide variety of home styles to choose from.  Village homes, cottages and country estates are offered.  There are two neighborhoods in Windsor, The Village and The South Village.  This naturally preserved and impeccably decorated landscape features hidden courtyards and gardens. Surrounding the golf course and along the Atlantic shoreline, elegant estates adorn Windsor.  For horse lovers, a fully equipped Equestrian Center is offered making Windsor one of the best equestrian communities in the region.

Residents get to enjoy waking up and heading to the Har-Tru tennis courts for a match with neighbors or golfing on the 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. in the middle of winter.  Afterward, most head over for a relaxing lunch poolside at The Beach Club or meet friends at the Cabana Bar for fun in the sun, a relaxing swim in the 25-metre pool and afternoon cocktails.  For entertainment, it’s easy to schedule an outing to visit a world class art exhibit at the Windsor art gallery found on the property followed by an exquisite dinner at The Clubhouse at the greens.  Other daily options include horseback riding, exploring the beautiful topography on the 4 miles of trails found here and or staying healthy while exercising at the Fitness Centre.  For convenience, there is The Village Centre with The Village Store, post office, the Exedra (Windsor’s Outdoor Amphitheater) and guest accommodations at the Village Suites.  Windsor has its own Town Hall which serves as a chapel and a venue for weddings, concerts and lectures. This upscale country club lifestyle attracts equine and beach lovers worldwide and makes Windsor an exquisite choice for Vero Beach luxury homes.

When it comes to socializing, Windsor is a place where “friends are neighbors” and “neighbors are friends”.  Whether it’s a stroll through the weekly Farmer’s Market for fresh local produce, celebrating holidays at the New Year’s Eve fireworks display or enjoying the community Pasta Night, there are always activities planned to keep residents engaged and entertained throughout the year.  One visit to Windsor, discerning folks will discover “paradise found” in this first class equestrian community.  Here is the complete list of amenities offered at Windsor:

  • The Village Centre featuring The Village Store, Post Office, Properties Office, The Exedra, and The Village Suites and Gardens.
  • The Town Hall
  • The Gallery
  • 18-Hole Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
  • The Clubhouse featuring fine dining
  • The Beach Club featuring casual food options poolside 
  • Har-Tru tennis courts
  • The Equestrian Centre
  • Fitness Centre
  • 4 miles of Trails
  • The Gun Club

If this is your first time to explore Vero Beach, you may be amazed at the wide array of activities that make this one of the best Florida retirement cities.  With a myriad of activities offered year round, the ultimate climate, beautiful Vero Beach luxury homes and a rich cultural life, Baby Boomers visiting are rapidly becoming residents.  Vero Beach is nicknamed the “Treasure Coast” as gold coins and collectible heirlooms are still found after Spanish ships capsized in the region in the 17th and 18th and can be seen off the shoreline in the sparkling ocean waters and coral reefs.  

Vero Beach in Indian River County which is ranked as Florida’s 6th wealthiest county and amongst the top 100 affluent communities in the US.  There are 3 main public beaches; South Beach, Humiston Park and Joyce Park and 30 miles of unspoiled white sand.  Vero Beach is located between the Indian River Lagoon and the Intracoastal so boating is enjoyed year round and there are deepwater marinas including the Vero Beach City Marina for easy ocean access.  Staying in good shape is easy as there are two ocean front parks, plenty of walking trails, first class oceanfront resorts and even an old fashioned boardwalk for evening strolls.  This beach community is decorated with painted sea turtles on the sidewalks has over 200 restaurants, major shopping malls and unique boutiques for entertainment and exploring.  

The average winter temperature is in the mid 60’s allowing outdoor activities year round including fishing at the Sebastian Inlet State Park (best spot to catch Snook, Bluefish and Spanish mackerel) and golfing at the many courses found here while enjoying the warm sunshine. Vero Beach is highly cultural and features a $2.5 million Riverside Theatre for off Broadway performances, comedy headliners and lectures.  Outdoor concerts and art festivals are held throughout the year on the grounds between the Vero Beach Art museum and the Riverside Theatre and Vero Beach is considered one of “the 100 Best Art Towns in America” and has over 600 active members in The Vero Beach Art Club.  

For nature lovers, Pelican Island is the most diverse estuary in North America with more than 2,000 bird species along with pelicans, turtles, dolphins and manatees which can be spotted frolicking in the protected shoreline of Indian River County.  For active folks and their families, Sebastian Inlet State Park is known for its annual surfing competitions and surfers of all levels migrate here for excitement.  The Indian River is also the ideal spot to kayak, jet-ski or sail while enjoying the beautiful sunrise and sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean.  With so much to do year round, it’s no surprise that snowbirds know Vero Beach is considered one of the best Florida retirement cities.

So while supporting the Alzheimer Association and the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County by attending the 2016 Windsor Charity Polo Cup in Vero Beach take the time to see the many sites, enjoy the weather and explore some of the exclusive equestrian communities like Windsor. One visit to Vero Beach and we're confident you won’t want to leave.

Let us know if you'd like to receive our free Vero Beach relocation information. It's our pleasure to help.

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