Players get together for a worthy cause
Polo players in Central Virginia battled for more than just a trophy—they helped battle breast cancer in the second annual Pink Ribbon Polo Cup on June 18 hosted by David and Ellen King’s King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia. Proceeds from the event support the American Cancer Society’s breast-cancer research, programs and services. More than $110,700 was netted for this worthwhile cause.
The festivities got underway with a Polo and Pearls gala on Saturday evening under a starry night at the foot of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. A gourmet dinner was served while guests listened to the smooth sounds of an orchestra. Players were easily identified as they came decked out in their polo jerseys. Sponsor and event patrons were recognized for their generosity, as was honorary chairwoman Kay Barquin and her daughter, player Wendy Kirschnick. Both women have battled breast cancer.
The evening also included a rather lively live auction. Items of note included donated works from internationally esteemed artists Priscilla Long Whitlock, who specializes in oil landscape paintings; and Eduardo Galliani, known for his elegant black and white fine art portraits and unique style in equestrian and environmental photography.
The following day, the action got going early with tailgaters and sponsors setting up exquisite luncheons. It was a great place for families to spend the day. Pre-game festivities included prizes for bestgroomed dad, in honor of Father’s Day, best tailgate and best hat. Brenda Stevens won over the judges with her joyful hat featuring party horns and a sign declaring her elation at being a breast cancer survivor. The polo match got underway at 1 p.m. with Embarq and Ferguson taking to the field. Spectators enjoyed the action, which heated up as the game progressed. At halftime, the crowd wasted no time in demonstrating their own athletic abilities as they descended on the field, enthusiastically stomping divots. In the end, Ferguson won the game, but the American Cancer Society was the real winner. In honor of the Pink Ribbon Cup, Galliani photographed and interviewed several of the women players in the area [pages 24-29].
“I requested the players choose their best-looking and most affable horse to pose with. Raina, John Gobin’s mare [featured here and on the cover], was a shining star in her own right.” Egan says she appreciated the tenderness and patience each player displayed with his children. “I found it refreshing to see this other dimension to their personalities, a softer side rarely seen on the competitive polo field.”
Egan was born and raised in the Connecticut River Valley and started riding horses at the age of 9. She has a background in dressage, but played polo at the University of Connecticut. She now works as a commercial and fine-art photographer, based in New York City but can be found in South Florida during the winter months. You can view more photos at www.susaneganphoto.com.