Horseplay on the Beach

Never heard of Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras? Well, you’ve probably drooled over him. Figueras is a polo player with a mega Ralph Lauren modeling contract, a mane of dark hair, sultry brown eyes, and an Argentine accent that leaves wobbly knees in its wake. When he takes to his horse at this week’s AMG Miami Beach Polo World Cup, throngs of women with fancy binoculars will focus their lenses exclusively on his saddle. Held on South Beach between 20th and 22nd streets, the polo tournament used to be about the studs and their studs, but now the voyeuristic thrill of watching mounted ponies extends to women riders as well. The South Beach Women’s World Cup will take place Thursday at 11 a.m. The ladies have their own version of Figueras: Brazilian supermodel Paula Chermont, who has plenty of bounce in her own right. Figueras and Chermont might be the star attractions, but the tournament has become a legitimate fixture on the polo season’s annual calendar and draws some of the best players in the world. The men get started Friday and finish with finals Sunday. As you might expect with a sport steeped in high society, there’s a bunch of nonequestrian horseplay, including fashion shows, cocktail hours, and enough afterparties to sate even the most hard-core socialites.
April 21-24, 11 a.m., 2011

 
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