Royals to the polo are like moths to a flame, and the World Polo Championships, to be played at Sydney Polo Club’s picturesque Richmond Lowlands headquarters from October 21 to 29, will be no different.
But don’t expect to see Meghan Markle or a pregnant Kate Middleton out stomping the divots.
While organisers were keeping names under wraps at the well-heeled, Pommery-fuelled lunch to celebrate its launch on Wednesday, it’s believed that it could be Maharaja [king] of Jaipur Sawai Padmanabh Singh, who plays for India.
But WPC CEO Peter Higgins, who was wiping his brow with relief after being granted an 11th-hour permission to host the event at just 5pm the evening before, said the real blue blood lies within the Australia team.
“We have polo royalty here today,” he said proudly from the podium, before asking the team to rise for a round of applause.
With eight Olympic-grade polo teams preparing to descend on the northwestern suburb for the nine-day event, including Argentina, Spain, Chile, and England, it is the US who are being touted as the early favourites.
But Australian captain Jack Archibald reckons they have as good a chance as any.
“Playing on homegrown soil, we are in with a really good shot this year. We have a great team and good horses,” he said.
While the chukkas are going on on the pitch, arguably the real action is on the sidelines, but just don’t get polo fashion mixed up with racewear, says a vintage Chanel-clad Georgia Higgins, daughter of Peter Higgins, who also works at the SPC.
“Definitely no heels; you don’t want to be sinking into the grass. It’s all about colours, no black, but you can do black and white and it’s hats not fascinators,” she said.
WPC ambassador and lifestyle influencer Kyly Clarke, who hitched a lift to the launch with Sydney Helicopters, is hoping to make a family day of it bringing along husband, retired cricket captain-turned-commentator Michael Clarke, and their daughter Kelsey-Lee, 23 months.
“He is so busy but I think he’s really keen on coming, and we are hoping to bring Kelsey Lee as well. Polo has the biggest playing field of all sports and she just loves to run; we’ll see what happens,” she laughed.
“The WPC is a real family event. There’ll be face painting, stalls, jousting, so it’ll be fun take to take Kelsey Lee along.”
It was his first time in Sydney, but Jimmy Choo certainly made up for lost time over sunset drinks and a private dinner hosted by American Express at Cafe del Mar, Darling Harbour, on Tuesday evening.
The iconic shoe designer, made famous by Princess Diana and Sex and the City, let his hair down after a few drinks and showed off his comedic side regaling all with his stories of the late princess, Prince Harry, how he next wants to make shoes for singer Adele, and advice on how to keep your girlfriend happy – “buy her a dozen or so pairs of Jimmy Choos, of course”.
He said he “loved” Australia and would be back again, describing Australian style as “laidback”.
Choo no longer has any association with the global brand bearing his name, having sold his half-share in the luxury fashion house in 2001. He now goes by the name “Professor Jimmy Choo” to prevent copyright issues.
A pair of shoes from his couture line starts at $5000.
There ain’t no party like a Kookai party.
Somehow the brand’s bosses Danielle Vagner and Robert Cromb, who are amicably divorced, are able to come together every year and throw one of the most highly anticpated soirees on the Sydney social calender – one that everybody actually wants to attend.
Never ones to do anything by halves, this year they turned Otto at Wooloomooloo into their runway with model, laywer and soon-to-be actor Jessica Kahawaty opening and closing the show.
As seen on Sundays in The Sun-Herald’s S liftout.
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