For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, I’ve been test-driving beaucoup de maquillage this spring. To incorporate something into my minimal daily routine, or use it to amp up for a night on the town, it has to be easy, high-quality and the impact has to be worth the time spent applying it. Which new products made the cut?LashFusion XXL gives big lash bang for your mascara buck, even though it retails for a not-cheap $28 in Canada. The pinecone-shaped wand works surprisingly well, covering your lashes with one swipe (I give it two or three for uber-length) without clumping — at all. There’s even a feel-good aspect — Fusion Beauty says the nutrient rich formula will encourage lash growth.I hadn’t tried Ceramic Glaze nail lacquer before, but now the polish ($10.99 at Shoppers) will be a go-to. Besides Papaya Sunrise nailing my current fave color, a hybrid of orange-red, it goes on super-smooth and dries shiny. Most impressive: I can get away with one coat if I’m really slammed for time. Shown here from left to right, new colors for Spring/Summer 2015 include Freshly Laundered, Papaya Sunrise and Honolulu Hibiscus.Southern Alberta is having an unusually early spring. These photos were taken a few weeks ago, when the ponies still had their winter coats. During the shoot I discovered this hairy crocus-like bloom, growing wild.One makeup item I can’t live without — moisturizing lipstick or gloss. Since I usually apply it while driving, and almost always without a mirror, neutral shades work best for me! Lip Fusion Lip Plump Color Shine in Sugar fits the bill. Its wand magically has the right amount of gloss, preventing overgooping. Unlike some plumpers, it doesn’t turn my lips numb. I do feel a little warming after I apply, so it seems like the “revolutionary micro-injected collagen plumping technology” is trying, however I can’t say I’ve noticed a visual. So I’m not sure if it’s worth the $41 suggested retail price.
It’s a cloudy day here in Calgary today, with thunderstorms looming. I’m worried that polo might be postponed this evening, but for the most part, it’s been an incredible summer, weather-wise and polo-wise. In fact, Calgary has a long history of amazing polo. I’m standing with a piece of it in this photo — my horse, Simon, has been playing in the area for decades. For those of you who missed it in this month’s edition of Calgary Polo Style, here’s my article on our local Sport of Kings:
Deep Roots in the Old West
Calgary polo had its beginnings as the sport of cowboys
Polo is known as the sport of kings, but in Calgary it would be more accurate to call it the sport of cattle ranchers. Long before organized rodeo blazed a trail through the Canadian West, polo was a cowboy sport.
Formed in 1890, the Calgary Polo Club is the arguably the oldest in North America with consecutive annual play. Thanks to Southern Alberta’s passion for horses, the club not only survived two world wars and the Great Depression, it flourished. Even though the local equestrian community kept the sport alive in typical low-key cowboy style, there have been plenty of bold-faced names along the way.
Alfred Ernest (A.E.) Cross, best known for being one of the “Big Four” cattlemen who founded the Calgary Stampede in 1912, was a polo lover first. He established the Calgary Polo Club in 1890, along with several friends from the exclusive Ranchmen’s Club. Although his A7 Ranche is said to be the oldest ranch in Canada still in the hands of its original owners, Montreal-born Cross was more than a cattleman. His professional pursuits included the brewing business, the film industry and politics.
Not to be outdone, Henry Bruen Alexander, the first president of the Calgary Polo Club, built some of downtown Calgary’s most impressive sandstone buildings. His real estate legacy includes the Alexander Block, which still stands on Stephen Avenue.
Calgary polo was also buoyed by many of the remittance men who came to Wild Rose Country to expand their fortunes. Originally from England, Colin Ross was one of those “drawn to the profit potential in western Canada’s burgeoning cattle kingdom,” according to the Historical Society of Alberta. After using family money to invest in property in the foothills, his obsession with polo led him to be known as a millionaire polo player. In 1907, the Los Angeles Times raved about his unbeaten Calgary team, which traveled across North America to meet rivals’ challenges.
All of these men most likely played at Owen’s Race Track, in today’s Elbow Park. It was rented by the Ranchmen’s Club for polo games and “manly sports,” duly noted in the Minutes of Ranchmen’s Club Committee in August, 1895. Also in the minutes, and true to polo-party form, gaining approval for a license to sell beer was a top priority. And despite the official written record, the manly sport of polo wasn’t limited to men. As early as the 1920s, a women’s team organized in both Kamloops and Calgary traveled to the first international women’s tournament in New York.
As the city of Calgary grew and developed, the Polo Club hopscotched through several pieces of real estate, including fields in Hillhurst and Chinook Park. In 1959, Jim Cross (son of A.E.) helped the club put down its final roots by providing land in Okotoks.
As the club settled into its new surroundings, the aggressive sport of polo continued to attract aggressive business leaders. Mr. Charles Hetherington, President and CEO of Panarctic Oils Ltd,received his USPA rating in Calgary in 1959, eventually serving as Canadian governor for the association. Playing into his 70s, his enthusiasm still infuses every game played at the Hetherington Field at Calgary Polo Club.
Meanwhile, history marched on — so much so that it alarmed Fred Mannix Sr., an avid player since 1957. Mannix commissioned author Tony Rees to write a book about the history of polo in Calgary. Interviews with “old-timers,” as Mannix fondly calls them, not only led to lost trophies, but a wealth of material that couldn’t be limited to Calgary. The book, now proudly displayed on many a coffee table, became a much larger project, ultimately titled Polo, The Galloping Game: An illustrated history of polo in the Canadian West.
Some of the players featured in Rees’s book are still on the field. With its 10-player dynasty, the Roenisch family is particularly noteworthy. Clinton “Kink” Roenisch started playing in 1933, at age 44, instilling a passion for the game throughout his clan, continuing to the fourth generation with Daniel, who plays as a 3-goal professional at the Calgary Polo Club today. Daniel benefits from double Southern Alberta polo DNA: not only was his dad, Rob, a 5-goal professional at his peak, his mother Julie was the top-rated female player in Canada with a two-goal handicap and the first woman ever to play in the U.S. Open. She also helped to bring serious women’s polo back to the club for the first time in half a century.
Besides ensuring past history was duly noted,Fred Mannix has helped power the future of Calgary polo, by passing his love of the sport to his sons, Fred Junior and Julian.
The brothers compete in the World Polo Tour with their team, Alegria. 22-year old Julian, rated four goals, wears Alegria’s maple-emblazoned team jersey for North American competitions, leading the team to victory in the US Open this spring.
Fred Junior takes over for matches played in the mecca of polo — Argentina. A rare combination of patron and pro, 29-year-old Fred is one of the world’s best players, rated six goals in North America and nine goals internationally. Perhaps, after making Team Canada when he was just sweet sixteen, the stage was set for this Calgarian to make history. In a sport that only a few hundred Canadians play, he’s the first in 76 years to compete for the coveted Argentine Triple Crown. He’s the second Canadian in 120 years to compete in the Argentine Open. This summer he’s back on home turf, training for the forty-goal polo waiting for him this fall in Argentina.
Besides the local ranchers, pros and CEOs, the Calgary Polo Club has had no shortage of visiting VIPs. Actors Tommy Lee Jones (Men In Black, The Fugitive) and William Devane (Knots Landing, 24) have played in club tournaments. Flames goalie Mike Vernon traded his hockey stick for a mallet a few times. Jetting in from England, Prince Charles took time out from Stampede to take in a match and the professional head of the British Army, Charles Guthrie, stick and balled at the club. Lady Patricia Mountbatten Brabourne has also been a recurring field-side fan.
As the historic Calgary Polo Club plays its 2014 summer season, those bold-faced names, along with all the unsung heroes of the sport and the club, continue to write and rewrite the story of polo in Calgary.
To read the full issue of Calgary Polo Style, look for it at the Glencoe Club, Ranchmen’s Club, Bankers Hall Club, Silver Springs Golf & Country Club, Eau Claire YMCA, Calgary Winter Club and Bearspaw Country Club.
I’ve always said that polo is a stylish sport, but now you don’t have to take my word for it — Calgary Polo Style makes it official.The launch of the new magazine (brought to you by the folks behind Avenue) took place at the Calgary Polo Club, natch, with cocktails and the Canadian Open. Anders Knudsen of Red Point Media offered up an athletic bowl-in for the 20-goal game.His brogues were made for bowl-ins.Not many people in Calgary realize that polo is played here all summer long, just half an hour south of the city. Seven fields are just waiting for folks to roll up backwards in good ol’ gas guzzling SUVs and tailgate while taking in a game, like those watching Fred Mannix in jersey number 4 trying to keep an eye on the action behind him, without getting steamrollered in the process.Fred Junior and the other players were motivated by Rich Roenisch’s beautiful bronze trophies.The Ranch House had plenty of seating on its grand balcony overlooking the field, but I found it easier to avoid wardrobe malfunction by standing. Shoulders back!Those in the know, like Miles Durrie, Editor of Polo Style, always seem to end up on the berm, where the height offers fabulous viewing … and great acoustics for all those swear words in Espanol. The berm is also where The Men Of Polo tend to hang out if they’re not playing… … with their eagle eyes on Julian Mannix, keeping his focus despite the pressure from the opposing team.Back to footwear. It’s important to make the right choice for a night that includes a divot stomp. Wedges work wonders for the ladies, especially when they’re Tory Burch.The divot stomp is really just a jaunty half-time opportunity for a fashion show on the field.This Calgary Polo Style reader shows his support in style.Calgary Polo Club President Anne Evamy talks speech strategy with Anders. They’ve got both the verticals and the horizontals covered.Besides cataloguing the good life surrounding my favorite sport, Calgary Polo Style puts players in the spotlight. Not only did I make the official roster (yes, you’re reading that right, I’m a minus one — and I’m in good company)……I may have written an article or two for the magazine. Now that I’m a writer, instead of a television journalist, I spend a lot less time on my hair.
If you didn’t receive a copy in the mail or with your Globe & Mail newspaper, check out the free stands at the Glencoe Club, Ranchmen’s Club, Bankers Hall Club, Silver Springs Golf & Country Club, Eau Claire YMCA, Calgary Winter Club and Bearspaw Country Club. Congrats on the launch, Polo Style!
O, Canada! Where else would you want to spend Canada Day? The Calgary Polo Club celebrated our country’s birthday in style, with two polo games and tailgating to the max.The 20-goal game, Alegria vs Hawks, was a fast-paced match and thrilling to watch. Nice reach, Fred.But it was tough to concentrate on the game, with a record crowd partying in grand Canada Day style, along the edge of Palmer Field.Former event planner (and American!) Heather Lilly took Canadian color-coordination to a whole new level with her multi-tiered treats. Spectators competed in a foot mallet competition between games, discovering that hitting those balls can be a little tricky. Back to the real game. It’s always nice when there’s a throw-in right in front of your tailgate. But in this instance, may I suggest utilizing the zoom function?Luckily, the play moved away from the sidelines, and Mr. One was ok. Happy Canada Day!
The first game of Calgary Polo Club’s 2014 season was the perfect time to debut the official team jerseys of… wait for it… Team Blue Besos! In Club League, we’re assigned new team members each week: three regular players and a professional. Even though these guys may be my mortal enemies next week, last night they were the best teammates a girl could have. That’s super-pro four-goaler Big Joe Henderson, from South Africa, on the left. Moi and Simon, next. Doug Byblow playing his inaugural Calgary game. And Francesco Galdon, whose Argentinian heritage means he has polo in his DNA.Simon can barely contain his excitement about our new shirts.Just look at them! Kudos to Cal-Crests Ltd. The Calgary custom apparel company did a stylish, speedy job.The same Blue Besos dream team plays again this Saturday at 11am, in a Club League round robin: 6 chukkers of fantasticness. For fans of either polo or tailgating: come out and enjoy both at the Calgary Polo Club. Gracias for the superb team photos, Heather Lilly!
I need another pony.This is Simon, the star on my string of one, at Calgary Polo Club last summer. To play 4-chukker Club League this summer, I need at least two ponies. I’ll have to double them (play them for two chukkers each), which isn’t the best, but it’s within the rules — and at my mellow pace, it’s not too hard on them. Right Simon?Part of my Palm Springs mission, besides enjoying a break from the brutally long Calgary winter, was to come home with another pony. For advice, the first person I turned to was Kyle Fargey. He’s a 3-goaler who runs the polo schools at Calgary Polo Club in the summer and Eldorado Polo Club in the winter. Since stick and balling a horse can be totally different than playing one, it’s advisable to try a new one in a game. Even though his ref shirt makes it look pretty serious, Kyle organizes friendly matches all season long. The horse he’s helping me with here is Lobo, one of his school string. I’ve ridden Lobo many times and he’s one of my faves. Just one little problem — he’s not for sale.I love Lobo, Kyle! Why don’t you just sell him to me? It would make this weekend a lot easier.Another problem? My budget. It wasn’t big, but I had a strategy, visiting the second last weekend of the season in Indio, when players would be looking for good homes for their older, slower ponies, to make way for their own new acquisitions. Tucker was the first pony I tried.Great chukker, Tucker! Boy, did we have a good time. This 16-year-old desert pony has played 4-goal most of his life. This year he played 1-goal at Empire Polo Club, which is still pretty darn fast. But he was perfect for me, with an easy-going, adorable disposition.But it’s a big world out there, with a lot of horses to become emotionally attached to. Next was Carlitos. His owner is so fond of him, he wasn’t even officially for sale. Saddled up, his hide bleached out from the sun, Carlitos looked mellow. When I took him out to stick and ball, it was love at first ride. Super-responsive with a comfortable canter… but then the mellow gave way to a need for speed that my riding abilities just couldn’t handle.Still, look how cute he was afterward! I found myself thinking that if I got him off the oats, and he realized he wasn’t playing 8-goal any more, maybe he’d slow down for me. Then I had to get a grip. Pretty pony or not, I can’t go buying a horse I can’t play in a test chukker. Still, thanks for your help, Bree!Over my long weekend in the desert, I tried so many ponies I don’t have pictures of them all. I only remembered to grab a shot of Tango at the last second — after trying him turned into an hour of pro Santos Arriola analyzing my swing. Thanks Santos! Unfortunately, Tango was too much horse for me. I’m not ready yet to stop on a dime and turn like lightning. I need a pony that will help me out when I give him mixed messages and wrong signals! Or at least ignore them.
Check out this video shot by Santos, giving all the right signals, in both Spanish and English.Back to Tucker. I was getting serious about him. Time for another chukker with Kyle’s Coaching League. Wish we had video of us scoring a goal in the first minute! It just added to the love story.I didn’t mind his knock knees — he felt sound in the game.Conveniently, Calgary vet Candace Crosby, was also playing in Coaching League that day and was available to do a vet check. Many polo peeps will tell you they don’t do a vet check on an older horse, because they just won’t pass. But in addition to his asking price, I was looking at an added cost of almost $1000 for the 3-day trip to Calgary and his border papers. I knew I needed someone to be logical. Because I was swooning over Tucker.After checking his teeth, Candace told me he was probably older than 16, although in polo, you almost don’t need a vet to tell you a horse is older than the owner says. It doesn’t mean they’re lying. For some reason in this sport that I can’t figure out, no one seems to know exactly how old their ponies are. However, I’m not ageist — I like older horses. I was told Simon was 24 when I bought him, but others have put him closer to 100.Candace did a thorough flexion test, checked his toed-out conformation and gave me a long list of issues. They didn’t appear to affect his game, but I had a lot to think about.Palm trees and pools make contemplation easier. If I didn’t have to ship Tucker to Canada, I probably would have bought him, but I decided not to go for it. There was another horse I really liked, but I got out-bid. So now, with June practice chukkers starting soon, I’ll be pony shopping in Alberta. Hopefully another steed will come my way and I’ll be in love all over again.
“Inspired by an afternoon in the city, with a brisk walk through Central Park or a visit to the museum, this collection speaks to my Fall staples – a great peacoat, a pair of sunglasses and the perfect touch of color on my lips and cheeks,” says AERIN Founder and Creative Director, Aerin Lauder.
I’ll be kicking my leaves around Calgary instead, but the colors in this collection work in the Rocky foothills just as well as they do in NYC. I’m going to forgive Aerin for her treacly quote because I love her makeup so much. And I wouldn’t turn down a great peacoat if one came my way.
AERIN’s fall palette has a trio of eyeshadows: Smoked Navy and Midnight Shine, with the soft neutral Barely There to start your canvas. Also included is Soft Beige blush — you won’t need too much with the dramatic blue tones. I’ve been wearing AERIN makeup for a while now and the eyeshadows apply with true, even color. They never seem to crease, even hours later. Once the sun starts setting earlier, I love me some smoky eyes. Take your smoldering gaze even further with Kajal Eyeliner in Skyline. The inky black hue defines the inner lids in one easy fluid stroke, or can be softly smudged on the outer lids for a more intense look.Reach for the sky with Evening Light, Bohemian and City Rose. I’ve been wearing Bohemian non-stop as a neutral. It has the perfect slidey-ness in a gloss, giving that full pout without goop, somehow tasting good with no flavor at all while soothing chapped lips.Or go full drama with full-on lipstick: the NYC-inspired Madison and Mercer. We can all use a little New York in our lives.Even if our lives seem to revolve around four-legged ones. Once Simon goes out to pasture for the winter, I’ll have time to channel my inner makeup artist — ie, no sunglasses in a story about smoky eyes.Shot on location at the Calgary Polo Club.
In the video, shot at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, Britney ditches the patron (played by an English model who exaggerated his riding abilities to get the gig) for polo pro Mariano Gutierrez. Good move, Brit.In real life, Mariano “Guti” Gutierrez spends much of his workday at a flat-out gallop…… so it’s no surprise that around the barn, he likes to enjoy his tranquilo time dressed casually. I figured his favorite fashion items would be trademark Argentine attitude, like the Alpargata shoes that Toms has appropriated, but the boy from Buenos Aires doesn’t wear much of his country’s traditional clothing.Still, when I join the 5-goaler at the back barns of the Calgary Polo Club, I find him at a table covered in the makings of the ubiquitous Mate, the must-have drink of Argies everywhere.
Mariano never planned on being a polo pro, even though he started playing when he was 7. It wasn’t till after he logged a few years in law school that he was lured away by the siren call of the white ball. After a dozen years of playing in places like Paris, Deauville and Aspen, the 34-year-old came to Calgary to play in Fred Mannix’s 20-goal league.
Meanwhile, he has several businesses back in BA. “Soccer there is like hockey here,” says Mariano. The polo player takes full advantage of that, renting synthetic turf fields by the hour. He also has a skateboard shop which sells surf and skater styles. But don’t expect to find him in a pair of board shorts any time soon. “I dress casual,” he says. “Very casual.” And he’s low-maintenance, cutting his hair only twice a year……unlike his ponies, whose manes are shorn on a regular basis.At the game, his Converse are usually close by.Even his mallets are low-key. No flashy paint job on these babies.His only act of conscientious color coordination is a burgundy helmet to match his horses’ burgundy wraps — btw, buen trabajo Amanda!This pony switch could qualify as flashy, except it’s just part of the game for Guti.After riding into the Calgary sunset, Guti plays in Buenos Aires this fall and Indio this winter. Hasta luego, Mariano. Come back next year!
Happiness is… … being told by your dermatologist the week of a big party that your cancer scar is not ready for another round of lasering, setting the stage for scab-free socializing.Happiness is a borrowed Roberto Cavalli dress and Fendi bag. And looking much, much classier than you planned for the Calgary Polo Club President’s Ball.Happiness is being able to wince your way to the car an hour later, where you have a pair of backup shoes, after realizing your feet are not yet ready for high-heeled prime time.Happiness is also no shoes at all. And wearing white after Labor Day, because games continue through September at the Calgary Polo Club.
Taking in a game at the Calgary Polo Club is always an exciting way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but when Team Veuve is playing, look out.Welcome to the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Calgary Polo Classic.As mallets clashed on the field, the Ranch House morphed into Maison Veuve. Signature orange umbrellas served a vital dual purpose — protecting the beautiful people from the sun while keeping the champagne cold.Power player clan of the day: Bill Lloyd of Black Watch Property, Bev Jarvis of Urban Development Institute, Margot Seaman and Josh Morrissey, recently scooped up by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL draft.Just in case there wasn’t enough on the field, Maserati and Ferrari had extra horsepower ready to roll.Patronus president Cathy Butler, polo apropos in her Ralph Lauren tank, with South African polo pro Warren Lurie, taking a brief bubble break from his hectic summer match schedule in the 6 goal league.It’s all in the details: you can never have enough equestrian-style accessories, as evidenced by Cathy’s covet-worthy gold Gucci.Meanwhile, there was a game to watch and more champagne to drink. Remax’s Gordon Ross reminds us he’s both a gladiator on the polo field and in his sandals. Beside him Lawrence Roeck, director and producer of Diablo, starring Clint Eastwood’s son Scott, takes time out from pre-pro to take in Team Veuve.Polo fans were too polite to tell me to get out of the way while I seized the limelight, courtesy portrait photographer Barbara Blakey. Perhaps they realized the world would be a better place with my farmer’s tan recorded for posterity. Sunglasses, Dior. Dress, American Eagle. Hat, random Jysk offering for $3.50.At halftime, the genteel and well-heeled are put to work. And when a divot stomper is this dedicated, you know a future polo patrona can’t be too far away.In the yellow jerseys, Team Veuve went on to win the day. ¡Enhorabuena! to Roberto Foster, Chris Fochuk, Daniel Roenisch and Pedro Orellano.Polo and champagne, the perfect pairing. Vive la Veuve and carpe diem at the Calgary Polo Club!