Polo hounds: Diehard fans braved downpours, heat for a glimpse of the noble game

Governors Island hosted Victory Cup on Saturday — New York City’s biggest polo competition — on Aug. 4.
Photo by Milo Hess

BY COLIN MIXSON

Polo fans gather on Governors Island for the Victory Cup on Saturday, which featured some of the hottest horseback croquet New York City has ever seen, according to one die-hard fan.

“I love polo!” said Julianne Cuba, who sailed out of Williamsburg to catch the tournament. “Polo rules!”

Lisa Zari sported an appropriately equine fascinator on her hat.
Photo by Milo Hess

The city’s largest-ever display of equestrian stick soccer drew thousands of horse fans to the island park, where they endured torrential downpours and searing heat to witness the once-a-year spectacle of high-society sport.

But come rain or shine, the Victory Cup’s Craft Brew Tent — where brewers from across the state came to show off their suds — was always hopping, according to one beer aficionado.

“I got an extremely hoppy beer,” said Bill Roundy, author of the popular bar-based comic Bar Scrawl. “It was from Decadent Ales, so it certainly matched the atmosphere.”

And many of the sport’s aristocratic admirers came out looking the part, with over-the-top dresses and fancy hats, which alone were well worth the price of admission, according to Roundy.

“My favorite part was all of the outfits,” he said. “People really went all out.”

Brooklyn artist Bill Roundy, right, and pal Bret Lehne climbed a hill on Governor’s Island for a better view of the polo game — and beautiful Downtown Manhattan.
Courtesy of Bill Roundy

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