Archive » August 2, 2012
By Pat Murphy, Contributing Writer
Superlatives! The Polo Classic was an unforgettable afternoon with handsome gentlemen astride beautiful horses, playing a historic game which originated in India.
Joel and Charlotte Baker were the most gracious of hosts and welcomed several hundred people, who were having the time of their lives. The VIP tented section was full of our most stellar citizens and they started the afternoon sipping champagne.
The ladies wore beautiful hats, and it is amazing how that can add to an atmosphere of gentility that has somehow been lacking in today’s America. Dressage rider Christina Doren’s chapeau was so excruciatingly spectacular that she was awarded a huge basket of tantalizing items. Donna Small’s cute hat included feathers from husband Tom’s fishing lures. Pat Hoffman’s hat could be aptly described as a beautiful giant fruit bowl. Leigh Layman’s garden hat matched her champagne-colored chiffon dress. At one point, the wind picked up Karla Zuehlke’s big straw hat and sailed it right into someone’s strawberries and whipped cream. Kathy Hauenstein’s ivory-colored shoes were last worn at the Henley Rigatta, on the river Thames, some 20 years ago.
Guests included: Henry and Christie Metz, breeders of Arabian horses from Egypt (but we always talk about Iowa), Harold Williams, Nancy Englander, Michael and Phyllis Hennigan, Ron and Shirley Heck, George and Christina Lindemann, Leanne Overton, Joe and Katie Russell, Angela Slater, Jenelle St. Marie, Michael and Karhy Gordon, Lisa and Angel Isovich, Paul and Kathie Slavick, Dick and Nan Walden, Dan and Jeanette Webster, Mary Bahnken, and Neil Zuehlke got loose to accompany his wife, Karla.
Also decorating the premises were mega-stars Richard and Pamela Harris, Janice and Larry Edwards, Richie and Jessie Condit, Tina Carroll with her two beautiful daughters, Mike and Phyllis Hennigan, Barbara Crist, Bob and Kelley Witt, Rob Maguire and Laurie Ullman, Mary Sorensen, Christine Morehart, Richard and Sharon Kline, Estelle Stanley, Eric and Lindalee Baumgarten and Tony and Ann Pejsa.
Larry Popkin, the answer to American tennis, gallantly helped ladies into the vans. Don and Bobbette Johnson socialized. That light-hearted winemaker, Norm Yost from Flying Goat Cellars, was there with Kate Griffith. Bob and Sally Corlett were seated with Dennis Jorgensen, and Mike and Sandy Focht, who brought their granddaughter Sabrina.
Former race car driver Dan Gerber has just completed another book, this one titled Sailing Through Cassiopea. He says that he can show you the big W in the sky. Every once in a while, Dan gives a reading of his works and absolutely charms his audience. Pat Roberts brought her beautiful sculpture for the silent auction and her daughter Laurie snapped photos. Suzan Hamilton Todd wowed us with her drawings.
The Baker’s polo field is located on a high bluff with clear blue views of the Valley. Fred Steck of Rancho Latigo was one of the sponsors. He’s a cutting horse rider, but there were no cattle or cowboys out there, only plenty of expert horsemen. Col. Rick Layman has Lord Louis Mountbatten’s original book on polo, so he could give us a little narration as the game progressed. “The time periods of the game are called chukkers,” said Rick. “Because the play is so vigorous, they change ponies between each chukker.”
The polo game started with a procession of Sheriff Brown’s mounted color guard followed by the two polo teams. The Cinque Stelle team was composed of Jeff Hall, Ashton Wolfe and Joel Baker. Platinum Plus team members were (that Sigma Nu from USC), TJ Barrack and the world-famous Gracida brothers, Memo and Carlos. They came from Argentina to play as a favor to their friend Joel Baker.
A stirring rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” was played on a trumpet by Larry Hill. Everyone arose, gentlemen removed their hats, ladies placed their hands over their hearts and former soldiers saluted. As the game progressed, Dale Schwetz kept us all informed on who was doing something spectacular on the field – and there was plenty of that!
The winning team was Platinum Plus and everyone assembled at their goal post for the presentation of the trophy. This marvelous event was held to help People Helping People.