Posh ponies and high-fashion hats come together for a good cause.
The sun was shining overhead and a breeze kept the polo ponies cool at the 36th annual Polo For Heart. The velvety lawns of Fox Den Farms, just north of Toronto, provided the ideal backdrop for the charity event that ran from June 18-21, 2015.
Polo For Heart is Canada’s biggest charity polo event, and has raised over $5 million to date. This year’s proceeds were donated to the Heart & Stroke Foundation and to the Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation.
While relaxing under the Ritz Carlton sponsors’ tent, Michael Sifton, whose father, Col. Sifton, started the event, explained: “I grew up on a horse, and polo is a great game that combines teamwork with the added challenge of being on horseback. Very few sports aren’t played on your feet, and unless you have teamwork, you’re not going to win.”
The large white Ritz Carlton Polo Pavilion overlooked the manicured polo field, providing a sophisticated oasis to dine, and dance to the live band. For the evening gala event, Polo Under The Stars, tiki torches and dramatic chandeliers added a warm glow to the festivities. Despite a call for torrential rains, over 700 guests comfortably mingled while watching the nighttime game, dining on lobster tacos as competitors vied for crystal trophies.
On June 19th, Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin perched on the back of a convertible as part of the half-time parade. She and Mr. World Canada (who is also an Amazing Race Canada contestant), Jinder Atwal, judged the fancy hat contest.
The CEO of Heart & Stroke Foundation, Tom McAllister, praised Polo For Heart as a community event with real staying power. “It’s in its 36th year, and many things don’t last nearly as long. It has a wonderful tradition of bringing people together to celebrate an exciting sport, support a cause that was very close to the heart of Col. Sifton, and help create survivors.”
Images by Milos Tosic