As told to Christie Galeano-DeMott
Photography by Billy Coleman
Styling by Francesca Lopresti
The sands of South Beach have hosted scores of affairs, from swimwear fashion shows to decadent food festivals. After a decade away, the Beach Polo World Cup will return to Miami’s pearly beaches in January.
As the elite polo crowd descends upon South Florida, the weekend schedule will be teeming with lavish daytime VIP viewing parties under sprawling beachfront tents and exclusive evening cocktail receptions and fêtes at iconic venues from the Delano South Beach to W South Beach, Bal Harbour Shops and Ora Nightclub.
Supermodel and former Victoria’s Secret Angel Inés Rivero has a passion for playing polo and helping others—making her the ideal ambassador for this glamorous and stylish four-day equine sporting event, which supports The Bass art museum. Here, in her own words, Rivero shares how the sport of kings will make its triumphant return with the help of an angel.
“Polo becomes an addiction. When I was growing up in Argentina, my dad played polo as a hobby, and I would spend every weekend at games with him.”
“I never thought I would actually get on a horse and play. When I was a kid, there weren’t any female polo players. It just wasn’t an option.”
“I modeled for 20 years, and my career in fashion took me everywhere. I also know it is the reason I am right here today.”
“Up until four years ago, I hadn’t been on a horse since I was a child. I bought a house in Millbrook, which is horse country in upstate New York. Being in that environment got me excited to get back on a horse. It was never my intention to grab a mallet.”
“Polo became an emotional outlet for me. I have always been a polo enthusiast. When I started to play, it let me reconnect with my essence. It brought me back to my childhood and let me renew my love for horses, my favorite animals.”
“But you can’t just love horses. To be happy in a polo environment, you have to really love being in the stables—the smells and drinking mates or beers after the games.”
“I love supporting my friends, so when Tito Gaudenzi, the founder and CEO of the tournament, told me about this very personal project, I wanted to help make it happen. It’s a real pleasure to be playing in the charity game on Sunday.”
“I have never played polo on the beach, so I’m excited to try something new. I have played in field tournaments, but I only have a short time to prep for the sand.”
“Why revitalize the Beach Polo World Cup? I say why not? Polo is an excellent sport so getting more people acquainted with it is a great idea.”
“Giving back is very important. The charity beneficiary for the celebrity polo match I will be playing in is The Bass art museum. I am also a big supporter of TECHO, a youth-led organization that was founded in Chile but is now all around Latin America and the Caribbean. Its mission is to eliminate poverty by building communities.”
“The one thing I am most looking forward to at the tournament is reconnecting with the polo community.”
The Beach Polo World Cup will welcome six international teams from January 4-7 on the sands in front of the W South Beach on Miami Beach.
Photographer: Billy Coleman
Stylist: Francesca Lopresti
Hair: Adrien Coelho
Makeup: Caroline Monge
Photo assistant: Miguel Mori
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue.