As summer begins to take hold on the East Coast, one of the most iconic events of the season is finally back in NYC after a four-year hiatus.
Held at Liberty State Park Saturday, June 3, the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic brought out some of the most stylish folks in the world of polo, fashion and art. Emma Stone, Darren Criss, Jeremy Pope, Simone Ashley and countless others were in attendance in their finest polo ‘fits.
The event is of course brought to life by the sparkling minds at Veuve Clicquot, and it was hosted this year by the inimitable Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras.
One of the sport’s most wildly accomplished players, Figueras is the face of multiple brands, including Ralph Lauren Black Label. We had the opportunity to speak with Figueras before the match to talk about being back in NYC and the future of Polo.
Nacho Figueras with Delfina Blaquier
We’re back at Liberty State Park for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic for the first time in a few years. How does it feel?
Oh, it’s incredible to be back. I walked in today, and you see the New York skyline in the back and it’s just so powerful. Lady Liberty on the right, New York in the back. I think there’s no better backdrop for a polo field in the world than this one.
You’re obviously one of the most prominent polo players in the world. How do you continue to evangelize and push the sport out globally throughout everything that you do?
I do it. I love it. I do it with passion. I think that polo’s a sport that has all the ingredients that a sport needs to grow. We’re not there yet, but I think events like this that put polo in people’s eyes are great. We have more work to do. I think a docuseries probably would be a good thing. We are trying to get that going also, like what Drive to Survive did for Formula One. Something similar to that. So I’m always looking for things and ideas to promote the sport that I love, which has given me so much over the period of my life.
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You are also moving into other avenues. You’re still the face of Ralph Lauren Black Label, and now you’ve also gotten into architecture and design. Can you talk about the homes that you built and what’s coming up there? Those homes in Argentina are beautiful.
Thank you. I created a company called FDG, Figueras Design Group, with an architecture studio called the Estudio Ramos. We created these barns, and they became very famous. They were in AD and in many books, and since then we’ve been working on a few projects all over the world for not just equestrian developments, but also houses and hotels. I like it. I'm not an architect, but I have a great team of architects that I work with that help me have fun with that. Probably what I would have been if I hadn’t been a polo player. It’s exciting. I love it.
And your relationship with Veuve has evolved, obviously, now that the Polo Classic is also on in Los Angeles. Are there any plans to take the classic to other parts of the world?
That’s a question for Jean-Marc Gallot. He's the president of Veuve Clicquot. I’m pushing him. We were thinking about growing and making it not just in more cities in the U.S., but also the world. Then Covid hit and that slowed things down a bit, but we’re now back at full speed.
What’s one piece of advice for somebody who may be looking to get into polo or who may be looking to check out the sport?
I think Churchill said, “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man,” and I really believe in that. I think that horses are an amazing thing. If you have the opportunity to ride a horse and then play polo, even better. There are polo schools and polo clubs, riding schools and pony clubs all around America. You need to Google and find them.
I believe that [horses] are a great experience for grownups and for children. I think they’re a cable to the Earth. I think horses and nature are things that we should be doing more [with] since technology is taking over our lives. I think a sport like polo, with the combination of horses and outdoor activities, is something that I at least enjoy a lot, and I recommend it a lot. My kids do it, and I think it’s the best thing in the world.
What’s in the future for you? What’s next?
I go back home tomorrow, to Argentina. I’m there for a few weeks taking care of my breeding operation, and then I go to Aspen, CO., to play polo there in the summer. I have to go to Singapore. I have to go to California. Philadelphia in September. So all over the place.
Photography by: BFA