The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island

Yesterday morning, our usual Sunday slumber was interrupted by the buzz of an alarm clock.

At Ryan’s request, we woke up around 7 a.m. so that we could catch the very first ferry to Governors Island for this year’s Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic–an event we’ve been looking forward to for a couple of months now.

We arrived so early, in fact, that we actually got onto the press ferry, with several other die-hard polo fans who we befriended.

Our new friends had an impressive set-up for the day, complete with their own tents, tables, and even decorations, as you can see above.

The match didn’t begin until the early afternoon, so we enjoyed our self-packed picnic lunch while we waited, complete with cheeses from Murray’s, fresh strawberries with crème fraîche, and of course, a bottle of Veuve.

In the true spirit of polo, the day also brought about everyone’s sartorial best—women were outfitted in their finest hats, while men donned bowties of all shapes, sizes and colors.

The people watching was undoubtedly fantastic, but the polo match itself was too, as Nacho Figueras’ Blackwatch team beat the Veuve Clicquot team, 6-5.

Nacho, a Ralph Lauren model and the 2nd Most Handsome Man in the World, according to Vanity Fair, stole the show and was subsequently awarded the match’s MVP award.

(Ladies also relished the opportunity to have their photo taken with his life-sized cardboard cut-out as well.)

After the match ended, we stayed and chatted with our new friends, who invited us to join them for polo out in Bridgehampton later this summer.

The crowds slowly dispersed and once again, we lucked out and beat the lines for the ferry and made our way back to Manhattan, slightly sunburned and tired, but very happy.

– Laura and Ryan

11 thoughts on “The Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island”

  • Too bad no Prince Harry this year! I’ve been wanting to go for a few years now, but the date keeps not working out for me! Hopefully next year…looks like such a fun day!

  • Dear VC Administrators,

    I am sure the people at the VIP tables did not have to endure the chaos and the fiasco that reigned at this year’s event.

    Lines to get a bottle of champagne or even a glass wound around each other like some kind of coiled snakes. There were wall to wall people and not a drop to
    drink or eat – except three tents (and the lines were huge at each tent). Also,
    there were two places to obtain food. The rest were souvenirs – and who is
    in the mood for shopping when they are parched from a two hour wait for the ferries and a long hike after you get off the island and a two hour wait to get anything to eat or drink.

    An amateur could have organized this better!

    When the races finally started – we were already on the way out – back to the ferry, where luckily we found one of those Governor’s Island buses that picked us up. If we had worn our fabulous heels (which we were smart enough to leave at home) – we would have had to walk back barefoot!

    We wound up the a nice restaurant in the area, with many irate people who told us their VC Hell on Governor’s Island stories. But, at least they were able to obtain a seat, get a drink and food and not be treated like cattle.

    I have plenty of positive ideas that could have made this into the wonderful event that we were anticipating.

    We are even willing to pay a fee to avoid such an ill-planned event, in the future.

    How can you run out of champagne by 3:00 at $85 a bottle? There is no excuse for that.

    There were many picnic areas without any access to the roads – no aisles to get out – which made you feel rude when you had to step on anyones blanket. They people were not even willing to move their belongings after repeated ‘excuse me.’ Perhaps, you could not blame them – as VC should have provided the orderly and safe access from one place to another.

    Again, if you could get a table or a VIP table, it would have been great. But, everything was so last minute – even the little tables seemed to be thrown up there. We didn’t hear anything about those!

    Don’t get me wrong. I love VC and will continue to drink their champagne, hoping the organizers of this particular event will get their act together.

    Yesterday’s outing, to say the least, fell flat. The atmosphere should have been ‘bubbly.’ Except for a few people who made it a point to arrive very early, the crowd (a beautifully dressed and wonderful crowd) was treated
    with utmost disdain.

    It was NOT a fun day – until we left!

    • We’ve read the same complaints in a few different places—I’m sorry that not every one had a great day! Hopefully Veuve will consider everyone’s comments and make next year even bigger and better. -LR

    • Many, many people were saying the same thing. It was the overall consensus of the event. The lines were WAY too long and the event was organized very poorly. The crowd was gorgeous, the location was stunning, and the event was beautiful. But there was practically no food and the little there was, ran out. My friends and I are vegetarian and were on two different lines where the food ran out after waiting on line for 30 to 40 minutes each. The chickpea salad and the vegetable focaccia ran out at the Picnic Fare line, so we moved to the burger line to get fries, because we were desperate at that point, and would have settled for just fries. The fries also ran out by the time we got to the front. We practically missed the whole Polo match because we had to go outside for food. We were literally starving and thirsty, and had to go to a vending truck outside. The lines were insane and there was no logical configuration to the seating so there was no way to walk through the crowd without stepping on the blankets. This has the potential of being one of the most stunning and spectacular events in NY, but the organizers need to be changed immediately, and new ones hired.

  • I might have to try this out next year. Looks like a fun time. And I think your picnic basket idea is right. Perfect for a day on the lawn…

  • Laura, thank you for including the horses from my stable! It was wonderful meeting you. I understand all the frustrations, but the event was a little better than last year. Last year it was 110 degrees and there were not enough cover from the sun. People were buying up the umbrellas to try to stay cool but they ran out of them. Lucky we brought our own food so we didn’t have to deal with the lines but I agree with the opinions above. I also don’t like how they keep you of the field after the game so you can not join the award ceremony.
    Take care,

  • Love your photos from this event! I cooked the food that day for the event and unfortunately did not get to see all of the beautiful scenery! Thank you for the photos!

  • sorry about the long lines but this post is awesome. Everyone looks beautiful and love the hats great style and by your post seems like you had fun and we have fun just looking at all your pic’s this looks like it could be pages in a magazine!Next time we go to New york I will email you for some fun things to do or places to eat!

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