After a short hiatus, Beach Polo is back, and it’s taking over the sands at W South Beach this weekend from January 5-7. Between more than 100 ponies, champion polo players, an Après Polo bar immersion, and pop-up retail village, this comeback kid is set to be the hottest three-day takeover in Miami Beach. Tito Gaudenzi, the founder of Beach Polo, talks about what we can expect from this year’s championship cup and its exciting return.
How did Beach Polo come about?
Tito Gaudenzi: I started doing Beach Polo with my father in 2005 and we were involved until 2008. We’re happy to bring it back. I have great partners and have been working on this for 5 years and it’s a great honor to be back here in Miami on the beach doing Polo.
What can we expect for this year's 2018 event?
TG: You can expect amazing polo, some of the best polo players in the world—from all over the globe really—coming here to compete for three days on the beautiful sands of Miami. We have a packed house. We’re so excited. We have great vendors on the side of the field and great activities and parties surrounding the event.
How many teams will be participating?
TG: We have six teams participating in the main event, two women’s teams competing for one game on Saturday and a celebrity game to benefit the Bass Museum, the charity, on Sunday.
Who are the teams’ sponsors?
TG: Well, I have to start with David Yurman being that I play for David Yurman. We have Chateau D'esclans, W South Beach, La Martina, McCallan, and Karma.
What are you looking most forward to this weekend?
TG: Honestly, it’s been such hard work, not only organizing it but also being able to play in it, so my moment I’m looking forward to is getting on that horse tomorrow for the first time and seeing everything that was built and all the hard work we did, and taking a deep breath and knowing we did it. We’re back.
People remember the beach polo event from years back, what do you want readers to know about this one that makes it different?
TG: I can’t speak to anything that happened after 2008, I wasn’t involved and I wasn’t there. I just know we organize tournaments all over the world—some of the largest with top quality both organizational and the sponsors that are involved—so we’re very keen on making this event here an annual event.
Tell me more about the “comeback” of Beach Polo
TG: The comeback is very special for me. Like I said, we worked so hard for five years on this. We have great sponsors, great teams, I have my partners Marc and Melissa Ganzi, Fernando Torres, and Bash Kazi who have really helped me to be able to do this and make this happen. It means everything to me especially because this is why I first came to Miami and I live here, this is my home now. This is extra special.
What makes Miami the ideal city for Beach Polo?
TG: Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and its very vibrant, very cultural, very international. It just fits with the oldest team sport in the world. You see people who travel here from all over the world—it just works. It’s a match made in heaven.
Photography by: photography courtesy of tito gaudenzi