Although horses are usually kicked off the beach, this weekend 80 Argentine polo ponies will trot onto the sand for the II Miami Beach Polo Cup 2006. Players from Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil, and the U.S. will compete by day and party by night during this three day chukkerfest. Reto Gaudenzi, a long time polo player who founded the event with Bruce Orosz, is excited about the competition, which has grown to include six teams this year. ¡§We have a fantastic new site, a perfect field, and perfect setting!¡¨ Gaudenzi says with unbridled enthusiasm. ¡§It¡¦s a fantastic sport, very athletic. The symbiosis between the horse and rider, the beach, the beautiful peoplem. In this type of polo, you are much closer to the action, and it¡¦s sexier.¡¨
Keeping his South Beach priorities straight, Gaudenzi says the event highlight is ¡§the big party Saturday night at the Raleigh, with a fashion show, food, and DJ.¡¨ The tournament kicks off today at 1:30 with a parade of ponies on the beach between Fifteenth and Twentieth streets, and the real action takes place on the sand directly behind the Setai. Matches begin at 2:00 p.m. today through Sunday. General admission is free, but VIP tickets (ranging from $120 to $150) will give you access to champagne, food, and parties outside the arena. Call 866-468-7619, or visit www.miamipolo.com for details.