MIDDLEBURG, VA – The 2021 NSLM Polo Classic was held Sunday, September 12, at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA. Spectators gathered to watch two prestigious matches, The Founders Cup, featuring TTR | Sotheby’s International Realty vs. National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM), and the Mars Cup, featuring Holman Hall vs. NetJets. Celebrity polo player and Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras returned to the field, as did Work to Ride alum Daymar Rosser.
Proceeds from the NSLM Polo Classic presented by MARS EQUESTRIAN™ benefit the NSLM in its mission to preserve, promote, and share the literature, art, and culture of equestrian, angling, and field sports, as well as to advocate for the conservation of open space necessary for these pursuits. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to local food banks in support of community members who have suffered loss and hardship the past year-and-a-half, and Work to Ride.
From left to right: Nacho Figueras, Wil Ballhaus, Andy Hertneky, and Bill Ballhaus battle it out in the Mars Cup. Photo credit: Erin Gilmore Photography.
The Founders Cup kicked off at 11:00 am with a ceremonial ball toss by NSLM Executive Director Elizabeth von Hassell. Annalise Phillips, Laura Farrell, Tano Vial, and Doug Barnes played for TTR | Sotheby’s International Realty while Debbie Nash, Bill Ballhaus, Tolito Fernández Ocampo (the highest rated polo player in Virginia), and Jonas Larguia rode on the NSLM team, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Calder. A well-matched game, after four chukkas the teams were locked in a 5-5 tie. The win went to TTR | Sotheby’s on account of their handicap. Phillips was awarded Most Valuable Player sponsored by Securiport, LLC., while the Best Playing Pony award, sponsored by BUCKEYE™ Nutrition and Tri-County Feeds, Fashions, Finds, went to Barnes’s Valentino.
After the first Dog Divot Stomp sponsored by NUTRO™, the Orange County Hounds, led by Hunstman, Reg Spreadborough, took to the field in NSLM Polo Classic tradition.
The six-chukker Mars Cup took place in the afternoon after a ceremonial ball toss by President of Mars Petcare North America Ikdeep Singh. Andy Hertneky, Daymar Rosser, Nacho Figueras, and Hilario Figueras played on the NetJets team, facing off against Wil Ballhaus, Bill Ballhaus, Tolito Fernández Ocampo, and Lucio Ocampo for Holman Hall, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Manuel H. Johnson. The Mars Cup was a family affair; both teams featured a father-and-son duo, Nacho and Hilario Figueras for NetJets and Wil and Bill Ballhaus for Holman Hall, and brothers Tolito and Lucio Ocampo played together on the Holman Hall team. The latter emerged victorious with a final score of 8-9. W. Ballhaus was awarded Most Valuable Player sponsored by Securiport, LLC. The Best Playing Pony award, sponsored by BUCKEYE™ Nutrition and Tri-County Feeds, Fashions, Finds, was Ventura, a chestnut named Taruha, ridden by Andy Hertneky.
A “Best Dressed Dog” winner Coco Chanel and her owner Ineke Kreeger receive their prize from Mars Petcare North America President Ikdeep Singh. Photo credit: Imagine Photography.
The next NSLM Polo Classic will be held Sunday, September 11, 2022.
The National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) is located in Middleburg, Virginia, the heart of beautiful horse country. Founded in 1954, the renowned research Library and fine art Museum highlight the rich heritage and tradition of country pursuits. Angling, horsemanship, shooting, steeplechasing, foxhunting, flat racing, polo, coaching, and wildlife are among the subjects one can explore in the organization’s general stacks, rare book holdings, archives, and art collection. The NSLM offers a wide variety of educational programs, exhibitions, and family activities throughout the year, and is open to researchers and the public. There is no admission fee to the Library. The Museum charges $10 for adults, $8 for youths (age 13-18), and $8 for seniors. NSLM members and children age 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Library & Museum hours are Thursday–Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.