Polo began among the tribesmen in ancient Afghanistan with the severed head of an enemy wrapped in canvas as a ball. For some reason—our guess is that it lacked the glamour that emerging empires look for in their national game—the sport never caught on until the Indians replaced the head with a wooden ball. The Brits loved the game, and now we do, too. If racing is “the sport of kings,” then polo is “the sport of emperors.” The third annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic on Governors Island will include real royalty when Prince Harry takes the field—and this is not just an event for the fashionable to be seen: Proceeds go to the American Friends of Sentebale, which was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to benefit orphans in Lesotho infected with HIV/AIDS. Tickets are $250 each, which includes not only prime seating but a gourmet picnic basket, a picnic blanket, and a VIP ferry ride. (Not bad compared to the cost of a decent seat at Yankee Stadium, which comes with zero goodies!) There is also free public seating in a bleacher area with highly recommended barbecue and a tacqueria, so either way, you are in for a treat.

Sun., June 27, 2010