Top-class performances at Windsor Charity Polo Cup

John Walsh, Jane Smalley and Max Segunda. PHOTO BY JOSHUA KODIS

Recognized as a premier high-goal charity polo match, the seventh Biennial Windsor Charity Polo Cup was a day filled with glamorous guests, a superb luncheon and the thrill of watching world-class players on magnificent horses come thundering down the field, all for the benefit of three local charities.

Hilary M. Weston, Windsor co-founder, served as honorary chair of this signature event, supported by a committee of Windsor residents. Max Secunda, Windsor director of equestrian operations and match director, once again assembled an impressive lineup of international players, all of whom donated their time.

As the event’s presenting sponsor, PNC Bank had the honor of naming the two teams. The PNC Bank players were Hope Arellano, Mackenzie Weisz, Manu Calafell and Finn Secunda, and the PNC Private Bank team included Nacho Figueres, Lucas Criado, Felipe Viana and Sebastian Koga.

In the end, the teams tied at 6-6, following a match cut short one chucker by rain, with Arellano, the highest-ranked female polo player in the U.S. and Argentina, named Most Valuable Player.

As guests arrived at the sold-out event, they enjoyed a champagne reception, while browsing the upscale specialty retail village, where a portion of sales was donated to the charities, and strolling among gleaming sports cars, presented by the Space Coast Region Porsche Club of America.

Across the field from the expansive luncheon tent, the tailgate crowd set up elaborate spreads, with each group hoping to take home the Best Decorated prize for their interpretations of this year’s theme, Fashion Trends Through the Decades.

After welcoming everyone, Jane Smalley, Windsor’s marketing director and the event’s sponsorship co-chair, turned the microphone over to TV personality John Walsh, one of the founding members of the Polo Cup.

“I’m thrilled to be here today. This is a really fabulous event,” said Walsh, thanking Hilary Weston for sharing the event with the community and helping to raise funds for these and other worthy charities.

Walsh recognized the sponsors and thanked the Windsor staff for all their hard work, including turning the driving range into a polo field, which he said takes a huge amount of time and effort.

Walsh next introduced Windsor resident Mike Lyons, recently promoted to president of the PNC Financial Services Group and PNC Bank National Association.

“On behalf of PNC, we’re thrilled to be the lead sponsor again of this event. As John said, we’ve done it every year since inception and if Jane will accept our money, we’ll commit to all the future years that we can,” said Lyons.

“Being part of the Windsor community and the Vero Beach community, you don’t just be part of it, you have to do your part for it. And today we’re sponsoring three great charities: one for underprivileged children, one for the arts, and one for the natural land here, which is so beautiful. So, we couldn’t be prouder to be part of that,” Lyons added.

This year’s chosen beneficiary charities were the Homeless Children’s Foundation of Indian River County, Ballet Vero Beach and the Indian River Land Trust. Net profits from the event will be donated equally in support of their respective causes.

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Photos by Joshua Kodis

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