Pony Tales – the 7th Annual AMG Miami Beach Polo World Cup

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On April - 27 - 2011

Friday picturesBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

The seventh annual AMG Miami Beach Polo World Cupthe largest beach polo tournament in the world, brought a whole lot of riding, romping, kicking, rearing, and occasional biting to the sands behind the Setai hotel over the weekend- and we are not only referring to the horseplay. Thousands of polo enthusiasts, gussied in their polo finery, gathered in the VIP tent for four gorgeous days of socializing, sipping Grey Goose cocktails, dancing, and, cheering on their favorite players from around the globe. 

Mercedes-AMG performance brand returned for a second season as title sponsor of the world-class sporting event, which benefitted Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami and the National Foundation for Missing and Exploited Children.  Alongside the well-trained thoroughbred horses at the matches, Mercedes-AMG displayed its own brand of “horsepower”- high performance vehicles including the SLS AMG Supersports car and the all-new 2012 CLS63 AMG, with engines designed for peak performance- built for speed, stamina, agility and maneuverability much like that of the polo pony. 

Team Mercedes-AMG, which included America’s Most Wanted host, John Walsh and number one female player, Sunny Hale, wore aFriday pictures limited-edition polo shirt designed by Mercedes-AMG and La Martina (for sale at the tournament), with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The shirts are still on sale at the La Martina store in Aventura Mall for $175.

After four days of fierce competition from the other teams, a resilient Raleigh team, comprised of Bash Kazi, Pelon Escapite and Luis Escobar, defeated the 2010 defending champions, Hublot, to take the AMG Miami Beach Polo World Cup title, with a final score of 10-6, set before a record crowd.  Before, during and after the matches, Grey Goose spokesmodels kept the crowd hydrated and happy with polo inspired cocktails including L’Orange Trot, Le Citron Back Shot, La Poire Pony Goal and Le Citron Safety. 

“This year’s event was the most successful to-date,” said Bruce Orosz, founder and president of The Polo Life, producers of The AMG Miami Beach World Cup.  “We set a record attendance each day as a result of the tremendous buzz that spread throughout Miami Beach during the course of the week.  This year’s world-class level of play raised the bar for years to come and the fierce competition between the players in the arena kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.” 



Mayor Matti Bower, Michael Capponi and Commissioner Gongora

Mayor Matti Bower, Michael Capponi and Commissioner Gongora

Michael Capponi’s Alluring Birthday Bash 


In the 1999 action thriller, The World Is Not Enough, James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot while protecting an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can’t feel pain. After a boat chase on the River Thames, Bond saves the girl and the world, without so much as getting a hair out of place.  

Much like James Bond, Michael Capponi has become well-known for confronting and ameliorating seemingly impossible situations, parlaying his shrewd entrepreneurial skills and his relationships with the affluent and influential to aid his Humanitarian causes.     So it came as no surprise that Capponi chose The World is Not Enough as the theme for his Bond-inspired birthday party aboard the Allure Shadow, a three story, 220 foot yacht on April 16, which doubled as a fundraiser for Haitian relief efforts- each of his 800 guests were required to make a donation prior to boarding.  

During the glamorous affair, Capponi received a well-deserved, long overdue Key to the City from Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and Vice Mayor, Michael Gongora.  Capponi’s most recent project involves the revitalization, restoration and rebuilding of Le Village de Port-Jacmel, one of the oldest cities in Haiti, which Capponi plans to convert into a major destination in order to help create thousands of jobs and to help the Haitian people stand on their own. To quote a Haitian proverb:  “Piti, piti, wazo fe nich li.”
(Little by little the bird builds its nest). 

In the past we’ve joked that for his 40th birthday, Capponi would have his party somewhere in space, with a Star Trek theme or the like (“beam us up, Captain Capponi”).  After all, he did have us trek to Paradise Island for a most over-the-top weekend extravaganza atop a mansion built into a tree-house on Nygard Cay (think Swiss Family Robinson meets Nim’s Island) a few years back. 

It appears that next year’s birthday celebration will once again require guests to leave the 305…however, we are fairly certain the destination will be on Earth… 

“On the anniversary of the earthquake in 2012, I think we can stand here at the beginning of the new Jacmel,” Capponi said. “We can invite all of our friends from around the world with major bands and performances and give these people jobs.” 

Brush up on your Creole folks!

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