Situated just outside the elegant coastal town of Vero Beach, Florida, Windsor is an exclusive sporting enclave that sits upon 425 lush acres. It boasts such amenities as an 18-hole golf course, eight tennis courts, a gun club and, most notably, an impressive equestrian center, complete with a full-size polo field. That was added at the behest of Canadian businessman W. Galen Weston, who with his wife, philanthropist and former Ontario Lieutenant Governor Hilary, founded the private residential community back in 1989. They enlisted celebrated urban designers Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk to bring to life their vision for a village by the sea.
Since that time, polo has remained an integral part of the community. The biennial Windsor Charity Polo Cup has become the social event of the season, and this year’s affair was no exception. Cohosted by Hilary and Salvatore Ferragamo (grandson of the esteemed Italian footwear designer), the event drew more than 2,000 attendees from around the world. Proceeds provided support to those struggling with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and helped fund related research, benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research on a national level and the Alzheimer & Parkinson Association of Indian River County locally.
Overseen by Windsor’s Director of Equestrian Operations Max Secunda (himself a professional polo player), the match featured an all-star lineup of international athletes, including Ferragamo, Argentina’s Lucas Criado, Brazil’s Rodrigo Andrade, John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted fame and the crowd-pleasing Nacho Figueras, who in recent years has become the poster boy of polo. He and wife Delfina Blaquier (both equine aficionados and Ralph Lauren models) are considered the power couple of polo and are on a mission to help the sport gain mainstream popularity.
The cloudless blue sky and above-average February temperatures made for a perfect day for polo. Dressed in their finery, guests perused Porsches and the luxe wares on offer in the retail village (think J.McLaughlin and India Hicks) while sipping on Whispering Angel Rosé and the signature Indian River pink grapefruit margarita. The lively crowd then retired to their seats in the field-side tent to savor a three-course luncheon designed by Windsor Executive Chef Robert Meitzer.
A kids’ match kicked off the festivities. Spectators were in for a treat as the headlining match was one of the most exhilarating in the event’s history, with spectacular feats of athleticism from both horse and human on full display. Come halftime, the crowd took to the field for the requisite divot stomping then enjoyed a spirited performance by traditional Scottish band Vero Beach Pipe & Drums. Team Pezuñas Caliente, captained by Figueras, narrowly beat out Team Falasiri, captained by Andrade, with a final score of 9–8.
A visit to Windsor on a sunny late-winter afternoon makes clear why generation after generation continues to flock to this village by the sea. After all, it’s not simply a place; it’s a lifestyle. And for the sporting set — particularly equestrians — it’s a dream destination.