Absolute Leisure: Spending Sunday Polo with Shane Baum & Chris Klein

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A few years back, CEO, CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) member, Shane Baum of Leisure Society, fell in love with the game of polo. It all started when Mr. Baum won polo lessons for his two daughters, Holland and Auna, at a silent auction. While at the lesson with his daughters, he was asked if he would like to join the lesson, so he thought, “Why not?!”
Now, polo has become a passion that borders an addiction.
 As a result, Shane now owns two polo ponies and, along with his family, spends most weekends in the barn taking care of his horses and playing as much polo as possible. Shane has been eager to sponsor a polo club and after attending several matches at the San Diego Polo Club, he found his home. Shane is delighted to have his company, Leisure Society, be the official eyewear sponsor of the San Diego Polo Club 2015 season.
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On Sunday, August 23rd, Leisure Society hosted an elegant tailgate with 50 VIP guests from Los Angeles, Orange County and the surrounding San Diego area. Several VIP guests in attendance included: Shane Baum, Erin MacAlpine, Actor Chris Klein and his wife Laina Klein, Alex Beh, Ashley Stern, Liz James, Tim and Polina Mudrick, fellow CFDA peer and TOMS Eyewear Creative Director John Whitledge, Zack and Carly Bates, David and Aimee Rueda and Seth and Jenny Nelson.
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 Highlights started early in the day at the Leisure Society sponsored polo lessons before the pros kicked-off at 1pm. Long time horseman and first time polo player, actor Chris Klein, having a beginner and quintessential yet dramatic fall off the horse. Klein was playing in his first game of polo ever during our morning polo lessons and with the active encouragement of a vocal audience, Klein found himself over committed and took a slow motion fall off the polo saddle onto the ground.  Everything seemed fine, until we realized that his left foot was still in the stirrup.  We simultaneously gasped in horror as the horse began to kick and pick up speed as Klein bounced around like a rag doll, or better yet, a seasoned Hollywood stuntman doubling in a John Wayne movie. It lasted only moments and I was positive that Chris was maimed or even worse.  Eventually, his boot was pulled off his foot and he laid there limp and motionless, the horse went on its way.  Klein hopped up, regrouped, brushed off/spit out the dust, slipped the boot back on and remounted his steed.  It was a true Clint Eastwood moment, the stuff of legends.  Klein, ever the actor, was quite upset that none if it was captured on film. It seemed so grisly that all cameras were seemingly deafened by the severity of the situation.  I’m happy to report that Klein made it to the festivities later in the day, bruised in ways only a true horseman knows…a courageous moment.

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In the afternoon, Leisure Society designer and CEO, Shane Baum and Erin MacAlpine hosted guests at their tailgate with up-close, panoramic views of the match with ponies racing at 30mph up and down the field.
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A close game with the winning trophy going to the Roseville Motors Cars. Shane, on behalf of Leisure Society, was truly honored to award their MVP, Graham Bray, with Leisure Society Cambridge sunglass: 24ct gold-plated titanium and polarized CR-39 lens with a 12-layer Diamond Cast anti-reflective coating.

Cancellation of Coronado Beach Polo Event Scheduled for October 18, 2015

The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission announces the cancellation of Coronado Beach Polo scheduled for October 18, 2015. Complex and challenging from the onset, recent developments dictate cancellation of this event.

The Commission wishes to thank the San Diego Polo Club for its willingness to bring an amazing polo match to Coronado and to International polo player Nacho Figueras for agreeing to participate. Also, the Commission thanks the Hotel Del Coronado for offering the use of its incredible beach venue.

Originally scheduled to “recreate a moment in Coronado’s history” when Coronado was the epicenter of polo in the western United States, many challenges were overcome by organizers including the untimely death of original polo partner Russ Sheldon a member of the United States Polo Association Board of Governors; however, bringing polo to a West Coast beach for the first time continued to prove problematic and in the end presented a mountain of impossibility. It is with regret that the Commission leaves to history Coronado’s storied connection with the “Sport of Kings.”

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this event. The Commission continues to offer a full schedule of events in support of the City’s 125th year celebration. For more information, please see CoronadoARTS.com or contact Kelly Purvis, Arts Administrator at

About the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission: The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission was established by the Coronado City Council in 2011. It is a seven-member commission charged with providing recommendations and taking action to “foster the development and enjoyment of performing, visual, cultural, and other arts in Coronado.” For more information: www.coronadoarts.com. The Commission meets on the first Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The meetings are open and the public is invited to attend. Agendas and Minutes of current and previous meetings are posted and available on the City’s website: www.coronado.ca.us

Willis Allen Memorial: Polo player and real estate mogul generous with his wealth

Original Article posted in San Diego U-T on June 16, 2001.

By Jack Williams

1912 WILLIS M. ALLEN SR. 2004

He raised and rode exquisite polo ponies. He shared his wealth generously and without fanfare. And he oversaw the growth of his real estate company into a luxury-housing leader.

Willis M. Allen Sr. did it all, it seemed, with a breezy informality and accessibility that endeared him to everybody from the poorest ranch hands to captains of industry.

“He had a sense of humor and sense of style that made people feel very comfortable around him,” said Andrew E. Nelson, who bought the remaining shares of the Willis Allen Co. real estate firm in 1995. “He treated everybody equally, and people who met him loved him.”

Mr. Allen, who had a hand in the operation of the real estate business that bears his name for 55 years, died Sunday at his La Jolla home. He was 91. The cause of death was cancer of the throat, said daughter Louise Knowles.

Mr. Allen’s holdings included three ranches in Baja California, where he raised polo ponies and cattle, Crystal Pier and Cottages in Pacific Beach and a share of La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla.

His philanthropy, estimated to be in the millions, benefited such institutions as the San Diego Humane Society, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Aerospace Museum and a variety of Scripps Health entities, including the McDonald Center for alcohol and drug abuse treatment.

He created the Allen Field sports complex in La Jolla and he bought property in Ramona for the Pemarro center, a long-term drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility operated by Group Conscience Inc.

“He paid for scholarships anonymously and supported orphanages in Baja California,” his son, Willis Jr., said. “If you wanted to call somebody for money, you called Willis.”

Although his Willis Allen Co. became synonymous with multi-million-dollar coastal properties, Mr. Allen started in business on a much more modest scale.

With a loan from his grandfather in the 1930s, he bought a half interest in the College Riding Academy at 70th Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

“They rented horses to ride for 1 cent per minute,” his son said.

A few years later, he sold insurance policies for $16 a week. After joining a La Jolla real estate firm founded in 1914, Mr. Allen would settle for a $1 commission on a rental property, Nelson said.

In 1940, Mr. Allen and three others bought the firm, known then as Cooper Co. Mr. Allen bought his partners out within a year.

When he went overseas in the Navy during World War II his wife, Ruth, took over the reins.

Mr. Allen left the Navy as a lieutenant commander after serving in the Pacific and expanded his company during the postwar housing boom.

Offering a range of services, Mr. Allen established separate mortgage and insurance firms as he built up the business. “He knocked on doors to sell insurance and founded a mobile mortgage company in a Volkswagen van, going to people’s homes to set up their loans,” Nelson said.

In 1949, Mr. Allen sold an expansive parcel of land that today encompasses Clairemont and University City. As his client base expanded, he opened a second office in Rancho Santa Fe in 1952, a third office in 1973 in Del Mar and a fourth in Point Loma in 1988.

In 1980, Mr. Allen’s firm recorded its first million-dollar sale, closing a deal on a physician’s home on El Camino del Teatro in La Jolla for $1.6 million.

By 1981, the company was reporting $60 million in annual business. In 1989, it did $300 million in sales, making it the largest and most profitable independently owned real estate firm in the county, according to a 1989 article in San Diego Home and Garden magazine.

In his office on Wall Street in La Jolla, Mr. Allen often preferred jeans to more traditional business attire.

“When I met Willis, he was wearing Levi’s with a tie and button-down shirt, in days when you didn’t do that,” Nelson said. “There was an informality, warmth and openness in his office. He had a way of making people feel good about themselves.”

Mr. Allen, the son and grandson of rear admirals, was born in Philadelphia.

As a youth in Connecticut, he became enamored of polo, a sport he would play until weeks before his death.

At 19, he accompanied some friends in driving from Greenwich, Conn., to San Diego, where he found work at stables in Mission Valley.

Later, he sold Chevrolet automobiles, schooled polo ponies and competed in polo matches in an arena on the old show grounds in Coronado.

In 1934, he married Ruth Annable, who shared his passion for polo ponies.

For many years, the Allens raised horses, cattle and hay on a Sorrento Valley ranch that later became El Camino Memorial Park.

Mr. Allen polished his polo skills in the late 1930s in matches conducted at low tide at La Jolla Shores.

In 1987, he helped found the Rancho Santa Fe Polo Club on land developed by his son-in-law, Harry Collins. The grounds became a popular site for charity fund-raisers over the years, beginning with a match to benefit the San Diego chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

At age 70, Mr. Allen rode on a four-man team that won the seniors tournament at El Dorado Polo Club, which he helped found in Indio.

“He knew how to pick horses, whether they were $500 or $5,000,” his son said. “They trusted him and he made the sport fun for them.”

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Mr. Allen also indulged an interest in recreational flying, logging about 3,000 hours in private aircraft.

“He was involved in everything from flying down to Baja to chase goats and shoot rattlesnakes to going to black-tie events,” his son said.

For every black-tie event, though, there was a casual get-together at his home in Pottery Canyon that exemplified the diversity of his friendships.

“It didn’t matter to Dad if you were a kid from Mexico or Prince Philip,” his son said.

Mr. Allen’s wife died two years ago. Survivors include his daughters, Louise Knowles of La Jolla and Judy Collins of Rancho Santa Fe; son, Willis Jr. of Mount Helix; 14 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.

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“Boots & Bolos” Pan American Cup

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic Nacho Figueras

This past Sunday, June 28, the San Diego Polo Club had the pleasure of hosting its fourth annual Woodford Reserve Classic which hosted a charity polo match to benefit the International Testicular Cancer Foundation. First-time visitors Nacho Figueras and Hilaro Figueras supported the cause by joining La Jolla Polo Team and assisting their win.

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The second half of the tournament will be held at the San Diego Polo Club this Sunday, July 5. Gates will open for the “Boots & Bolos” Pan American Cup Finals at 12:30pm. The patriotic spirit will be everywhere this Sunday as guests are encouraged to sport their best pair of cowboy boots and their nicest bolos for Sunday Polo’s all-American event.

SDPC is excited to announce that during this Sunday’s intermission before the feature match, Cowboy Mounted Shooting will have its very own demonstration. Mounted Shooting is the fastest growing equestrian sport in the nation. It has attracted sponsors like Wrangler, Tony Lama, John Deere, Colt and Stetson. Riders compete in this timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers, each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. The sport offers a variety of levels of competition to include riders from novice levels to the seasoned professionals. Competitors wear traditional western attire or late 1800’s period clothing. There are never any loaded guns outside of the arena.

In addition to this demonstration, Sunday Polo will host its very own watermelon eating contest.

Steven Ybarra will be singing the National Anthem during this Sunday’s intermission. One of the most gifted, honest musicians to emerge from San Diego’s thriving singer-songwriter scene in years, national recording and touring artist Steven Ybarra has captivated crowds across North America with his voice, guitar, and keen ear for that perfect melody. An accomplished and innovative standout, Steven Ybarra has put out eight captivating, heartfelt albums of passionate pop gems. Along the way he’s earned not just devoted fans, but numerous accolades, including four San Diego Music Awards. He has shared the stage with Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Gavin De Graw, Jason Maraz, Switchfoot, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jeremy Camp, Sugar Ray, and countless others. His modern country and pop songs have been featured on MTV, ESPN, and in motion pictures and documentary films. His albums Love Love Love and Best Days have helped build his solo career to what it is today, and now his 3rd CD, What I Really Want to Say, is set to catapult him all the way. Steven is currently signed with Pacific Records.

Join us this Sunday for the Pan-American Cup Finals.

Here is the link for tickets: http://sandiegopolo.ticketleap.com/pan-american-cup-finals-2015/

Nacho Figueras’ Team La Jolla Polo Wins Polo Match at Woodford Reserve Polo Classic in support of the International Testicular Cancer Foundation

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The San Diego Polo Club welcomed Nacho Figueras and Hilaro Figueras during his first-ever visit to the San Diego Polo Club at the fourth annual Woodford Reserve Classic, which took place on Sunday, June 28. The charity polo match benefited International Testicular Cancer Foundation, a charity that raises awareness about testicular cancer in younger generations. ITCF was created in memory of a young man that lost his battle to testicular cancer at a young age.

San Diego Polo Club Woodford Reserve Polo Classic-Parade of Teams

Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario Figueras assisted in winning the game for La Jolla Polo Team, which celebrated their victory in front of a large crowd alongside Reuben Katz, Shannon John Johnson, and Ellen Greenhill. The team fought against Team ITCF, which featured Vice President of the San Diego Polo Club, Nour-Dean Anakar, Stephan Goss, Nicole DeBurg and Team Captain, Diego Cossio. The two teams played each other in a short two chukker polo match.

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In partnership with the La Jolla Polo Team, Nacho Figueras and his son Hilario played an exhibition polo match in front of the San Diego Polo Club audience in order to raise awareness about the International Testicular Cancer Foundation.

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His wife Delfina Blaquier enjoyed the afternoon in the VIP tent with other guests, including the founder of UGG Brian Smith, Craig J. Venter Institute’s COO Nicole DeBurg, Zeeto Media’s CEO Stephan Goss, Reuben and Natasha Katz, Board Member of ITCF Shannon John Johnson, General Manager of BMW Encinitas Darrin Fetterolf, Regional Marketing Manager of Brown-Forman Ivan Toro and Woodford Reserve Marketing Manager Lisa Renard.

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The San Diego Polo Club invited guests to a Woodford Reserve’s Distiller’s Select Kentucky Bourbon and Doubled Oaked Bourbon pairing with sweet caramel and fresh apple slices.

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Woodford Reserve also served cocktails to VIP guests during the half-time divot stomp and presented the winning team with Woodford Reserve barrel head timepieces and bottles of bourbon.

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BMW of Encinitas led the ceremonial Parade of Teams in both matches with a fleet of luxury cars, including the new hybrid BMW I-8.

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The national anthem was sung by San Diego Opera’s Christen Horne and Jim Smallwood, founder of the International Testicular Cancer Foundation with Natasha and Bela Katz of La Jolla Polo Team, provided the ceremonial first ball throw in to start the game.

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Son of San Diego Polo Club’s founder, Willis Allen, displayed over a dozen antique Steerman biplanes on the grass, which took off over the large crowd after the matches.

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Father’s Day Brunch & Rancho Santa Fe Cup Finals

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The San Diego Polo Club (SDPC) celebrated Father’s Day on Field 5 with a special Father’s Day Brunch. Guests enjoyed a brunch buffet and coffee while enjoying a day full of equestrian fun.

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Gates opened at 11:00am as guests and their fathers enjoyed items from a wonderful brunch menu that included Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits, Crème Brulee French Toast Casserole, Spice Rubbed Tri Tip and an Andouille Sausage Carving Station, along with Kale Caesar Salad, Fresh Fruit Platters, and Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

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The first polo match of the day began at 11:30am between Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion and Von Furstenburg. Diego Cossio scored twice in the 1st Chukker for Von Furstenburg followed by one goal from Ashton Wolf representing Adeptus Nutrition/Pasion. By the 3rd Chukker Von Furstenburg had leaped ahead by one point from David Samaniego. Diego Cossio locked in the win in the Final Chukker with one more goal from Von Furstenburg; the final score being 5-3.

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We had the pleasure of hosting Rhianna Wilson as our national anthem singer during the day’s intermission. Rhianna Wilson is 17 years old and will be a Senior in High School this fall.  She is a 3rd Generation San Diego Native who resides in Ramona with her family. Rhianna is a Petty Officer in her NJROTC class at school and a vocal artist for the Girls Against Abuse Musical Charity.  She has had the honor to sing the National Anthem for the SD Padres, Rodeos, SPAWAR Ceremonies, but the one that has meant the most was for NBC’s Salute to Service aboard the Midway on Veteran’s Day this past November.

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The feature match of the day began at 1:30pm between Luna Polo and Night Watch. the 1st Chukker consisted of two goals from Diego Larregli representing Luna Polo and one goal from Diego Velarde representing Night Watch.

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In the 2nd Chukker Bernie Diaz scored for Night Watch. Topo Mendez brought Luna Polo ahead by one point soon after.

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Diego Larregli scored three goals in a row for Luna Polo in the 3rd Chukker. Diego Velarde scored one for Night Watch.

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In the 4th Chukker Diego Velarde and Manny Rodriguez scored for  Night Watch, leaving the final score in Luna Polo’s favor at 6-5.

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Diego Larregli won MVP with 5 goals on the afternoon. Steve Pollack presented Diego with a pair of sunglasses, courtesy of SDPC’s Official Eyewear Sponsor, Leisure Society.

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Rancho Santa Fe Cup

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Sunday, June 7th was another beautiful day here at the San Diego Polo Club. What originally was a gloomy, cloud-covered morning eventually turned into a sunny afternoon as the first wave of guests arrived. This exuberant day brought our polo season underway with special attendees sipping on bottomless mimosas in the VIP Tent while settling in before the first match.

The first match began at 1:30pm between Luna Polo and Knight Watch. Luna Polo leaped ahead in the 1st chukker with Jennifer Alexy and Diego Lareggli each scoring a goal. Rodolfo Ramos and Diego Velarde held their ground for Knight Watch as they also scored two goals later on in the match. The match ended with Knight Watch at 2 and Luna Polo at 4, taking the win.

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Guests sporting their chic polo attire enjoyed samples from BuzzBox Beverages and cold brew from Roast Coach while perusing through the fine furnishings and clothing options from ValGalder Design for Living. VIP guests enjoyed samples of Enzolie Men’s Fragrance on each of their tables and were later fed delectable meals from the Wild Thyme Company which included summer rolls and cheese plates. Others enjoyed the bright weather while tailgating with their families on the opposite side of the arena.

At intermission the attendees enjoyed an energetic demonstration by the Ballistic Racers Flyball Team. Dogs of every age and size had the thrill of demonstrating their talents for a fascinated audience.

Our national anthem was sung by Jazmin Fekete, a native San Diegan from Rancho Penasquitos. She started competing at 5 years old and has recently been seen on Fox 5s “3 minutes to stardom”. She has sang in front of crowds big and small and even sang as a pre opener for Kelly Clarkson in 2006. Jazmin now sings as a worship leader for several events and is a part of the Rock Church Worship Arts Choir.

Shannon Smull had the honor of throwing in the ceremonial first ball in celebration of her birthday! Shannon is an arena player that is new to grass polo.

The second match of the day began at 3:30pm between Adeptus/Pasion and San Fernando/San Judas. The 1st Chukker consisted of two goals from Colleen Wilson and Kimo Huddleston for team Adeptus/Pasion, followed by one goal from Alvaro Tadeo representing San Fernando/San Judas. Tadeo scored another three goals in the 2nd Chukker, tying up the game. The audience sat on the edge of their seats as SDPC’s very own Ashton Wolf scored the final goal for Adeptus/Pasion and taking home the win, 7-6.

Opening Day Exceeds Expectations

Opening Day at the San Diego Polo Club has evolved into one of San Diego’s signature events, where people flock to the fields for thrilling polo, champagne, divot stomping and an incredible fashion scene. On Sunday, May 31, 2015, the San Diego Polo Club celebrated the kick-off of their 29th season in Rancho Santa Fe and 109th anniversary of polo in San Diego with a crowd exceeding 4,000, all to benefit local charity, Wounded Warrior Homes.

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One of the day’s most captured moments was at the entrance of the venue. The team at SDPC worked with local artists to build a wall made with recycled wood, succulents and plants arched with the letters “SD Polo”. Guests of all shapes and sizes posed in front of the SD Polo Wall. To see your photos, visit our Facebook Page.

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As an added feature, this year’s Opening Day showcased Southern California’s Food Truck Challenge and 3rd Annual Hot Rods for Heroes, a car and food truck competition. Over 100 hot rod cars, vintage autos and motorcycles were on display for everyone to peruse. Guests sampled food from the competing food trucks and tasted beers from San Diego’s finest craft breweries, including Ballast Point, Belching Beaver and Left Coast Brewing.

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The day started off with a game between Luna Polo (Virgil Kyle A, Jennifer Alexy A, Topo Mendez 2, Diego Lareggli 2) and San Fernando/San Judas (Roberto Estudillo A, Ramon Richard B.5, Francisco Guiquazu 3, Sam Sheike 1). Francisco Guiquazu scored the first goal on the afternoon and two total in the first chukker for San Fernando/San Judas and Topo Mendez shot one in for Luna Polo.

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In the second chukker, Jennifer Alexy, Topo Mendez and Diego Larregli all scored for Luna Polo, bringing the score 4 to 2 at half time.

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Diego Larregli came back strong with two goals in the third chukker and one in the fourth, bringing Luna Polo up to 7 goals. Francisco Guiquazu scored twice more for San Fernando/San Judas, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.

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Sempra Energy’s Executive Vice President, Jessie J. Knight  congratulated Luna Polo on their win on the trophy deck. Jessie J. Knight is chairman of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E); chairman of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), an affiliate of SDG&E; and executive vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy. Jessie Knight was Mayor Faulconer’s chief aide when he was a City Council member and is also currently heading Mayor Faulconer’s new Chargers Stadium Task Force.

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After the first match, guests stomped the divots that were kicked up by the horses and sipped champagne! Among the stylish polo crowd were polo players, celebrities, entrepreneurs and scientists alike. Scott Eastwood, son of Clint, is currently filming 3 major motion pictures and just starred in The Longest Ride, but he found time to stomp divots and watch polo with friends.

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Guests in the VIP tent enjoyed complimentary Woodford Reserve tasters and mini-cocktails with the Kentucky bourbon and lemonade, our favorite way to enjoy the liquor.

A 1954 Bentley Mark VI Sedanca Custom owned by David Young of San Diego led the parade of teams for the featured match. The car is fully restored and the only one of its kind in existence today. He drove alongside J. Craig Venter’s 1963 vintage Jaguar XKE.

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Genomics entrepreneur and one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, J. Craig Venter pitched the first ball into play Sunday for the San Diego Polo Club’s Opening Day featured match. Venter is a biologist renowned for his contributions in sequencing the human genome and creating the first synthetic bacterial cell. He is founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, co-founder and executive chairman of Synthetic Genomics Inc and co-founder and CEO of Human Longevity Inc.  His new privately held company is focused on extending the healthy, high performance of the human life span. He’s been called one of the most influential scientists of our time.  He is a proud graduate of UCSD, an avid sailor and a award winning rare car collector.

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The 3:00pm match featured Team Von Fuerstenberg (Stephan Goss B, Nour-Dean Anakar A.5, Nicole DeBurg B, David Samaniego A.5, Diego Cossio 3) vs. Adeptus/La Pasion (Tracee Brunetti B, Colleen Wilson A, Ashton Wolf 3, Kimo Huddleston 2). Co-owner of Team Von Fuerstenberg, Stephan Goss had the first two goals on the afternoon, which set the tone for the remainder of the day.

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Diego Cossio scored another for their team, bringing the score 3 to 0 at half time. In the third chukker, Cossio scored again, but Kimo Huddleston retaliated by putting two in for Adeptus/La Pasion.

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Tracee Brunetti also scored one for their team in the fourth chukker. Final score was 4 to 3, Team Von Fuerstenberg.

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It was a sweet win for the underdogs and new polo players, Nicole DeBurg and Stephan Goss of Team Von Fuerstenberg. Nicole is known as the COO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, as well as past CFO of the San Diego Housing Commission. Goss, 27 year old CEO of Zeeto Media— San Diego’s fastest growing sustainable internet marketing company– was lucky enough to celebrate his first win at the San Diego Polo Club on Opening Day in front of the massive crowd. Founding Member and Vice President of the San Diego Polo Club, Nour-Dean Anakar has volunteered countless hours to SDPC and deserved the win more than anyone else.  Team Von Fuerstenberg couldn’t have been happier.

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Publisher of Riviera Magazine, Ken St. Pierre presented both teams with gift bags on the trophy deck.

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Esteemed member of OC Polo and the USPA and CEO of Leisure Society, Shane Baum presented the winners with umbrellas and gifted the MVP, Diego Cossio, with a pair of luxury sunglasses. Leisure Society is an eyewear brand created by Mr. Baum as an extension of his perspective on what life should be: spending time with family, friends, and enjoying intimate moments of absolute leisure.

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Craig Venter presented Leo, owned by Colleen Wilson of Adeptus Nutrition, with the Best Playing Pony award- carrots!

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Guests enjoyed the 7th Chukker After Party presented by Riviera Magazine with beats by DJ Here.

Meet the Man on the Cover.

2015 SDPC Magazine Cover

Meet the man on the cover of 2015’s annual 116-page San Diego Polo Club Magazine, Christopher Collins. Chris Collins grew up at the San Diego Polo Club, learning to play polo from his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Willis Allen, the original founders of the club. Chris has grown into a tremendous player and great guy both on and off the field.

How did you get into polo?
My Father, Grandfather and most importantly Great Grandfather got me into the sport at a very young age.  They all shared their individual passion for the sport, which ultimately got me passionate about this great game.
Collins Family

What is a special memory you have with the SD Polo Club?
Having the opportunity to play with my dad, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, is definitely one of my best memories at the San Diego Polo Club. I was only 11 years old but I can still remember how nervous I was before the game. Another great memory is winning the Spreckels Cup for the first time in 2010 with my dad. Finally, even though I’m not sure how much of this I actually remember, one of my best memories was attending my first polo match just two days after I was born. I was in a stroller on the sidelines for the very first game at the San Diego Polo Club.

Where would you like to see the sport head in the next 10 years?
We need to keep the sport growing and continue to get more people involved, informed and in love with this amazing game. I want to see more people taking lessons and I strongly encourage everyone to do so. I think the USPA has done a great job with Team USPA in farming young American players and giving them opportunities they would have never had 5 years ago. If we can keep improving young polo players we will improve the sport here in the U.S. and make us even more competitive on a global scale.

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What has been your favorite moment in polo?
My favorite moment was when I was playing on team USA, and we beat Canada in the qualifying rounds to move on to the World Cup tournament in San Louis, Argentina. We were defiantly the underdog going into that final game of the tournament and we all played as hard as we could to eventually win the game.

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Where have you traveled to for polo?
I have been fortunate to play in many countries including, England, Argentina, and South Africa and the Dominican Republic.  I have also be able to travel to Wellington Florida, Dallas, TX, New York, Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado.

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What do you hope to accomplish still in polo?
I am still trying to achieve the highest handicap I can while being a full-time professional in commercial real estate.  I would also like to keep traveling and playing around the world as often as time allows.
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What player most influences you?
Willis Allen was a huge influence on me growing up.  He had such a drive for not only the game but the horses.  He had an understanding for the horses that most people overlook.  I pride myself on being half as good as he was with the horses and with the patience he exhibited in the time I was able to spend with him.

What do you love most about polo? 

The adrenaline every time you step on the field. After that, the horses and team aspect of the game.  Nothing beats those three things.
Pick up your copy of the 2015 San Diego Polo Magazine on Opening Day, Sunday, May 31, 2015.

POLO FASHION: Opening Day of Polo His & Hers Ultimate Style Guide

Opening Day of Polo- His and Hers Ultimate Style Guide presented by

Sonya Berg logo

Just in case you haven’t heard all the hype yet, the 29th annual Opening Day of San Diego Polo Club summer season is only a couple of weeks away, on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

You know what that means, don’t you?  Well, for starters, Opening Day of San Diego Polo is an overall experience. It’s where chic meets sophisticated and trendsetting fashionistas; it’s the most adrenaline pumping and action packed spectator sport; it’s where family and friends reconnect and celebrate; it’s where the jet-setting, celebrities and elite social scene meet; it’s the food and libations (yes, plenty of sipping your favorite bubbly); it’s the divot stomping at half time (think Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”); but most of all,  it’s one of the most grandiose glam meets stylish fashion fetes of the summer in San Diego!

The hot topic of the moment for all of you glam and dapper polo-ites is “What to wear to Opening Day of Polo?  Don’t you fret, I’ve got your back!  I’ve put together the Ultimate Style Guide to ensure you’re looking sharp and classy at this fashion-forward affair.

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista | 6 Tips for Her | Opening Day of Polo Attire

WEAR: Dresses, skirts, rompers, jumpsuits, palazzo pants and slacks

Ladies dresses should be classy and casually sophisticated.  Consider slightly above the knee, mid-length or maxi sundresses or skirts in solids or printed fabrics.  Fabrics that are cool and flowy are perfect for viewing a polo match on a sunny summer afternoon.

Sonya Berg

For a more playful and sporty frock try a fit and flare dress in a graphic pattern.  Cutout dresses add a peek-a-boo effect without revealing too much.

Sonya Berg

 Nothing echoes summer and femininity like a strapless dress or halter dress in a bright color.  A touch of shimmer fabric like his turquoise strapless dress will take you from polo viewing by day to the highly anticipated 7th chucker after party sponsored by Riviera Magazine at night.

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If a fresh and flirty twist is what you’re looking for, choose a flowing dress, jumpsuit or floral romper in a lux fabric.  These are some of the selections by ASOS that would be a perfect choice for the younger generation to wear on Opening Day of Polo.  Just add a pair of sunglasses and a sassy hat for a look that’s whimsical and in vogue.

For a more refined and mature option try palazzo pants or slacks in breezy lightweight fabrics.  For a chic and classy look try something like these navy and white polka dot pleated silk pants available at Saks Fifth Ave., paired with a red or white blouse and coordinating hat and mini chain shoulder bag.

Martin Grant High Waisted Pleated Silk Pants

SHOES: Wedges, espadrilles, gladiator sandals or flat sandals

Remember to leave those stilettos at home ladies, not only are they a polo fashion faux pas, but they can turn your half time champagne sipping, photo posing and divot stomping fun into a hazardous experience!

Opt for a more practical and comfortable shoe like a wedge heel, espadrille or a pretty metallic or crystal embellished flat sandal.

If you want to get a little more creative and playful with your style you can add a pop of color with your shoes and accessories.  Try adding a shoe in a color that complements your attire, like I did by adding this chic lipstick red suede ankle strap wedge by Chloe to my simple solid navy cotton sundress.  Add a hat and a clutch in a similar shade of lipstick red to pull the look together.

Sonya Berg

You can refine your look even further with nails and toes that are polished to perfection in the same shade.  My favorite shade of red nail polish is Dior Vernis gel shine nail lacquer 999 Rouge 999.

If you’re looking for a wedge that will go with everything, start with a nude wedge.  These are my newest favorite wedges.  The Christian Loubitin Cataclou wedge in suede and embellished with gold studs.  It’s available in several colors at Neiman Marcus and Saks fifth ave.

Angie

COLORS: White, crème, pastels, bright colors, jewel tones, solids and prints

Now let’s talk about color…. soothing white, shades of crème, bright colors, rich jewel tones and light pastels are a staple for summer and polo because they help to keep you cool while looking fresh, and the jewel tones and bright colors look great on camera when your striking a pose. Pretty feminine floral prints, whimsical patterns and geometric patterns are current for polo.

Monochromatic is always an elegant look for polo whether your wearing a romantic silhouette like this ballerina inspired maxi column dress in ethereal white or this fluid fuchsia sheath.  If lady like floral prints are your thing this brush stroked oversized floral print body conscious dress in monochromatic coral red shades looks chic and is light as air in a mesh stretch fabric.

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This white & vibrant blue floral dress is a great way to wear a floral print that looks elegant and will keep you cool in warm weather.

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Gen Y Millennials may want to try a vintage romper in a playful floral print.  Floral print rompers not only embody spring and summer but they can add an eclectic style as alternative choice.

Monochromatic dressing makes a simple and chic background to showcase any statement accessory. This wide brimmed hat in bright fuchsia adds a cheerful pop of color that takes this ensemble from elegant to game on!

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Even against this basic black and white sheath a fuchsia hat makes a dramatic statement piece.

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If you want to sport one of the hottest colors trending the runway for summer 2015, then try something in any shade of aquamarine like this hot little strapless number by Flavio Castellani.

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Or this simple sheath in a shade of aquamarine by Nicole Miller.

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Soft yellow custard and every shade of yellow in between are trending for 2015.  If yellow is what you desire, try anything in saffron and marigold to amber and lime.  To find the right shade of yellow for you find one that compliments your undertones.  This chartreuse dress is a perfect pop of color that’s sharp and vibrant and sure to make you stand out amongst the polo crowd.  A dark wedge and this chic wide brimmed hat add the perfect contrast and add depth to complete this look.

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A graceful fit and flare dress with cut outs is alluring and elegant in this sophisticated chartreuse, black and white modern baroque print.

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Nautical is in for spring and summer of 2015.  Lots of classic red, white and blue is popping up everywhere!  Since solid color jewel tones will keep everyone looking sharp and they’re the secret to looking great on camera, you can’t go wrong wearing a bright color or jewel tone on Opening Day.  Like these jewel tones in his and her styles.

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Everyone will want to look especially polished too since the photo ops abound on Opening Day.  You’ll be taking picture everywhere from the step & repeat at the entry to the countless posings with your friends and the polo ponies and players.

This New Blue techno metal stretch dress with cut out waist by Nicole Miller will flatter the figure by accentuating the waistline and it will complement most skin tones to keep you looking great on camera.

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Vibrant electric blue is always stunning especially on brunettes.

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Black and White is another lively option for polo dressing; especially in a polka dot print lightweight knit dress or a tropical print sheath sundress. Or you can create a retro canvas for your pop of color accessories by choosing a simple black and white sheath like this one.

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Fabrics: Cotton, Linen, Silk, Organic,Breathable, Lightweight

Ladies when you make a summer outfit you need to think about the colors, patterns, textures and accessories as much as you think about the textiles.  You want to look stylish while staying cool and protecting your skin from too much direct sunlight.  That means you should consider lightweight and breezy fabrics that are natural and breathe.  Some examples of light and breathable fabrics are:  Linen, cotton and rayon (even though rayon is a synthetic fabric it’s made from natural raw materials and resembles those natural properties).  Light colors will stay cooler than dark colors because they reflect the light.  Another consideration is natural fibers absorb moisture from the skin and allow it to evaporate while synthetic fibers will be water repellent and allow sweat to build up, reducing evaporation causing discomfort and irritation.  Cut outs, flared skirts, flowing dresses, strapless dresses, halter dresses and sleeveless options made from these natural fabrics are an even better summer outfit option.  Don’t forget your sunscreen, hat and sunglasses for a little extra sun protection.

As you can see from these crisp linen dresses and stylish linen jacket, linen is one of summer’s joys!  It’s light and breathable, and it has a unique lightly wrinkled texture that gives it charm and makes it stands out in any ensemble.

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Hats: Structured Wide brimmed, Simple Straw, Floppy, Fedoras

Now you’re probably thinking…”Hey, wait a minute, what about the hats? Do we need to wear a hat to Opening Day?”

While hats definitely aren’t mandatory at Opening Day of Polo they are a great excuse to transform your outfit and add your own personal style and personality to your look while providing protection from the sun. Whether it’s a more casual sporty and polished look your wanting to achieve or an elegant garden party effect, hats can do the trick.

If you’re sitting in the VIP tent at Opening Day of polo, the dress tends to be similar to Opening Day of the races.  You will likely see daytime cocktail dresses with structured wide brimmed hats and color-coordinated hats like these.

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Sonya Berg

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Another very poloesque option, if dressy and sporty are appealing to you, is a wide brimmed straw hat with a solid color sundress or a sporty print with similar hues of a neutral colored wide-brimmed hat.

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Sonya Berg

Fedoras and other casual but stylish chapeaus are another option, especially for the more youthful crowd.

Accessories: Big Sunglasses, Handbags, Wraps, Accessories

For show stopping style…don’t forget your sunglasses!  Whether your wearing over-sized sunglasses to create that mysterious movie star look or a crystal embellished classic style for a more glamorous touch, sunglasses will come in handy to keep you from squinting on a bright sunny day.

I love the selection of trendy shades in every shape, style, size and color that I have found at Gaffos.com.

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The Tom Ford oversized shade is super chic!  For those of you who want to take your style factor to a whole new level it comes in some extra sweet colors like pink, fuchsia and lilac!

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Another shade I just love is the Prada Strass fashion sunglasses!  They have a thick rectangular ivory frame with whimsical black temples embellished with crystals.   They scream I’m a styleista!

Round smoke glitter sunglasses

High fashion round smoke glitter silver frames with wire temple .  Have just the right amount of retro.

Keep your styling simple by matching your accessories.  A small sophisticated clutch will take you from day to night, like this Prada nude snakeskin clutch from Neiman Marcus or this Chanel patent lipstick red clutch.  You can increase your glam factor by adding sparkling accessories like a ring, bracelet and earrings in gold or styles and colors that complement your ensemble and accessories.

Sonya and Angie

When choosing your handbag keep in mind that most of the day you’ll be sipping a glass of champagne with one hand while holding your cell phone in the other, so a small hands free bag is a stylish and practical option to take you from day until night.  I love the new playful multi color paillette baguette shoulder bag by Fendi, covered in festive paillettes in turquoise, orange, white and yellow hues.

Fendi Multi color Paillette Baguette

Another adorable option is the Givenchy Pandora mini box in exotic black and white snakeskin with orange color block.  It’s sure to standout against any white or coral ensemble like this color block tangerine and burnt orange linen sheath dress by Nicole Miller.

Givenchy Pandora Mini Box in snakeskin and orange

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Add playful texture to your attire with a feather hair accessory that complements your dress.

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Even though it will be warm and sunny during the action packed afternoon it could get a little chilly when the sun is setting and your dancing the night away at Riviera Magazines 7th Chukker After Party.  Don’t forget to bring a small complementary colored lightweight cashmere wrap, scarf, sweater or elegant jacket to throw over your shoulders at dusk to avoid the shivers.

 Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista | 5 Tips for Him | Opening Day of Polo Attire

WEAR: Sports Coats, Blazers, Patterned Shirts, Collared Shirts, Open Weave Twill Slacks or Chinos in white, khaki or colored and preppy attire

Opening Day of Polo is a festive affair and an opportunity for the well-dressed man to add a summer weight sports coats or blazer to his ensemble (jackets are optional) for a more refined style.

Summer-weave crisp cotton and linen button down collared shirts in both patterns and solid colors are a staple of a man’s Opening Day of Polo Attire.

The selection of pants worn to Opening Day of Polo range from dressy shorts in patterns and solids to Chinos in white, khaki and preppy colors.

White pants with a Glen Plaid sports coat in shades of blue will give an outfit a vacation look, especially when paired with a collared shirt in a complementary color like this tangerine mini check button down.

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COLORS: White, Light Shades, Crème Nuances, Jewel Tones and Preppy Tones

For the ultimate cool factor during a hot summer day of polo viewing, go with light, off white and crème nuances for your basic pieces.

If soft colors like pink, lavender, yellow and blue are unexplored color territory that you desire to venture, Opening Day of Polo is a great time to try these fashion forward colors out as one of your basic pieces such as your jacket, shirt or bow tie in a solid or print.

Shades of blue, stripes, madras, glen plaid, gingham check, mini checks and whimsical patterns are often seen on sports coats and button downs.

Combining preppy hues like navy, lime green and pink in solids and prints is another common for Opening Day Attire.

FABRICS: Linen, Cotton, Seersucker, Open Weave Twill and Poplin, Chambray and Madras

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista What to Wear to Opening Day to Polo Seersucker Madras- what to wear to polo Madras swatch- what to wear to polo.JPG

Navy Gingham Large Gingham Lavendar Gingham Pink Gingham

The well-dressed man must consider several essential components when selecting fabrics for the attire he will wear for viewing polo on a warm sunny day at Opening Day of Polo.

First and foremost, the fabric should be lightweight.  The finer the thread, the looser the weave, and the more porous the material is the more the fabric breathes and the less work your body has to do to stay cool.   An open weave fabric made from natural fibers vs. synthetic fibers is preferred.  Synthetic fibers are typically non-breathable and are more likely to hold sweat and air in.

Cotton is the most common staple textile in most men’s summer wardrobe.  It’s light and breathable and it’s less expensive than linen.

Linen on the other hand is also a light and breathable fabric but it has a texture that gives it character and charm and makes it a unique choice for a button down shirt or sports coat.  Some men dislike linen because it wrinkles too easily.  This cornflower blue linen and cotton blend sports coat is an example of a blend of cotton and linen that has a hint of the composition of linen without all of it’s inherent wrinkling.

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Other open weave fabrics which are a smart choice for keeping cool and looking good all day long at Opening Day of Polo, are other light weight open weaves such as; seersucker, twill, poplin, gingham, chambray and madras.  These fabrics are a popular choice for everything from sports coats to collared shirts, dressy shorts and even some trousers.

SHOES: Driving Shoes, Boat Shoes, Loafers, Oxfords (light in color)

Men, leave your jeans and sneakers at home on Opening Day (unless you’re tailgating, that is).  Your shoes can literally make or break an entire outfit, so be diligent on selecting what to wear on your feet.  Nothing says classy summer style more than a pair of suede loafers or driving moccasins in a light color.  Match your pants and shoes for a lengthening effect and overall summer style, like this white Ferrigamo suede loafer and putty chinos.

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Want to have your own stand out style on Opening Day?  Why not try on a colored suede shoe?  Try it in a shade of blue similar to your jacket.  Then use a neutral chino and a complementary colored cotton button down, like this mini check tangerine shirt, to break up the blues and avoid looking overly matchy.

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ACCESSORIES & HATS: Bow ties, Cuff links, Straw Panama Hats, Fedoras and Boat Hats and Sunglasses

Want to create a signature look on Opening Day that will ensure you will be remembered?  Then try on a bow tie for style.  Jill Courtemache in Solana Beach carries a wide range of bow ties and hats for every guy.  You can even get a bow tie and a boat hat with a color coordinated ribbon band from her store.

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista What to Wear to Opening Day to Polo Houndstooth Straw Hat Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista What to Wear to Opening Day to Polo Bowties

Remember when choosing a bowtie size that it should fit between the outside of a man’s eyes and the edge of the head to be well proportioned.   When choosing a color or pattern of bowtie remember to use different sizes and types of patterns like this yellow mini check patterned collared shirt, navy polka dot pocket square and tri-color shadow stripe bow tie that pulls all three colors together.

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista What to Wear to Opening Day to Polo Bowties and Pocket Square

Cuff links are hip and they look stylin’ when used in place of buttons to hold a man’s French cuffs around his wrist.  Cuff links add an element of elegance and style to any man’s outfit.  What better occasion to transform your ordinary outfit into something suave and debonair than Opening Day of Polo? Remember to match your cuff links to something in your outfit and to wear a blazer or sports coat that complements the ensemble for a polished appearance.

Opening Day of Polo is the perfect time to wear a hat.  A hat not only provides protection from the sun but it’s the ideal accessory to help to finish off an outfit, adding a sartorial statement piece.  Add a Fedora, Panama hat or other straw hat to achieve the look that’s the epitome of a well-dressed man.  A straw hat with a band that complements your attire or a hat in a complementary shade of your ensemble is the key to wearing a hat well.  If your attending Opening Day with a date and want to score a few extra points in style and with your date, add a pocket square that compliments your dates outfit.  This is how the stylish man rolls as you can see:

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If you want to look like a rock star and you don’t want to be squinting in the sun all day at Opening Day of Polo, then don’t forget to wear a pair of superfly sunglasses!  Stylish sunglasses will keep you looking sharp while staying focused and avoiding the glare of the sun.  The following are some of my favorite summer sunglasses for men in 2015:

Saint Laurent Mobster Style
These sunglasses add a little mobster style film producer

Prada 60's inspired shades
Heavy frame 60’s inspired shades that keep you cool and contemporary

Mitsubishi multiple colorways
Mitsu sunglasses have an edgy aesthetic with a somewhat rounded frame that comes in different translucent colors

Sonya Berg Zen Fashionista | Style Tip for Tailgaters | Opening Day of Polo Attire

WEAR: Casual, Relaxed attire

For those of you who have decided to enjoy Opening Day of Polo in a more informal setting while tailgating from the back of your car and picnicking with family and friends, the dress is more casual and relaxed.  Women will often wear casual sundresses, rompers or shorts in light and graceful fabrics and wear a fedora or simple straw hat for sun protection.  Men may opt. for khaki shorts or jeans and a polo shirt in a light color.  Simple leather sandals are a comfortable shoe option that works well for polo spectators who are tailgating.

San Diego Polo Club Tailgating

Now that you will all be dressed for the occasion, the most important part of the day is to have fun and celebrate, enjoy your time re uniting with family and friends, make some new friends and enjoy the adventure of action packed polo and a festive social scene at Opening Day of Polo 2015!


Thank you to our vendors:

Women’s Dresses: Matti D Clothing, Del Mar (turquoise geometric patterned dress, navy blue cotton dress, aquamarine strapless and vibrant blue strapless dresses) & Nicole Miller, at The Forum in Carlsbad (remaining dresses).

Women’s Hats:
Jill Courtemanche Millinery, Solana Beach, CA (turquoise with black and navy accents formal wide brimmed hat, off-white structured with off white ribbon shown with navy cut out dress and black wide brimmed hat with baroque print dress) & Del Mar Hat Company, Del Mar, CA (remaining hats)

Men’s Clothing: Nordstroms Fashion Valley

Make up: Rene Gonzales www.candemakeupartistry.com