Oxmoor Farm welcomes the inaugural Woodford Reserve Polo Cup presented by The Trifecta and produced by Josh Merideth, creative director of Makers–Agency
By Laura Ross
Photos by Josh Merideth
Every loyal Kentuckian can “talk horse” around Derby time, but are you up to date on your chukkas? The time is now to brush up on your polo lingo as the Woodford Reserve Polo Cup presented by The Trifecta and produced by Josh Merideth, creative director of Makers–Agency, comes calling on September 11 at Oxmoor Farm.
The idea for the event bubbled up post-Derby and planning has been feverishly underway. Merideth is no stranger to big events, with more than a decade of soirées like the 21c Museum Hotel Derby party, Oaks and Derby brunches and lounges, the Pimento Cheese Social and Churchill Downs’ Supper Under the Spires events are just a few of his memorable highlights.
“We had a really successful Derby this year, including the Derby Lounge and Oaks brunch at the Omni Hotel, and we got to thinking. What should we do now that the world is back?” said Josh Merideth. “I floated the polo idea and it worked.”
Merideth quickly gathered his main sponsors, The Trifecta, the legendary Baccarat and Woodford Reserve, and The VOICE of Louisville as the exclusive media sponsor, then partnered with the Louisville Polo Club to help field teams of polo players, mixed with local and nationally ranked pro equestrian athletes.
“After a pandemic year, we’re ready,” he added. “This is a great segue back outdoors for a luxury event. Polo is played over ten acres, so you can come out, enjoy a luxury experience and be with your own group in a tailgate, or immerse yourself fully in the hospitality tent. You craft your own experience.”
The sport of kings will be on full, lavish display at the event. The five teams – The Baccarat, Louisville Thoroughbred Society, The Trifecta, Verité and Woodford Reserve – will take to the field to compete for a custom Baccarat crystal championship trophy and over $100,000 in players’ gifts.
“Polo in Louisville has been around for years,” said Merideth, “but it’s never been done on this level here.”
The event will get underway at 2 p.m. with The Trifecta Polo Party for guests to mix, mingle and enjoy music and the atmosphere. As they arrive, guests will enjoy a Woodford Reserve cocktail or champagne and board limousine shuttles to the polo fields further into Oxmoor Farm.
Like Derby, the focus is on the horses, fashion and fun. “The party atmosphere takes center stage,” said Merideth, adding, “You’ll see fashionably dressed ladies and gents, enjoy luxury service and watch the polo, which is played over a ten-acre field. You are so close to the action and it’s just a great time.”
The Woodford Reserve Polo Cup will run from 4 to 7 p.m. The four participating teams will play a round-robin tournament with a championship match. A trophy presentation and celebration will crown the final moments of the event.
The custom gift packages for each polo player, worth over $10,000 each, include a custom magnum bottle of 100 point rated Verité wine, a custom-designed and engraved set of Baccarat polo player rocks glasses, a custom set of The Trifecta-Baccarat flutes, a custom commemorative Woodford Reserve barrel head, and an autographed Woodford Reserve bottle.
VIP guests in the 4,000 square foot main hospitality tent, located in center field, will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres from the Louisville Thoroughbred Society, a premium open bar and more. A Verité $1,000 wine room, pop-up Louisville Thoroughbred Society Members Club and premium viewing lounges with a DJ will also be featured.
“Verité wine is a seriously beautiful wine,” said Merideth. “And, guests will enjoy a 40-foot full open bar, with luxury seating courtesy of Summer Classics.”
VIP Tailgate spots will be pre-furnished with a 10×10 tent, as well as 10 white garden chairs, but will not include open bar or food service. Guests can pre-purchase polo picnic baskets of gourmet foods, as well as bottles of Taittinger champagne, Whispering Angel Rose wine, Stonestreet wines and Woodford Reserve bourbon. VIP tailgate guests may bring in food and beverages that remain within the tailgate tent.
The VIP Hospitality tent is ticketed and reserved for guests 21 and older, but the general admission and tailgate packages welcome guests of all ages. Limited VIP Hospitality tent ($225 per ticket), VIP Tailgate ($500 for a group of ten), and general admission ($50) tickets are available at MakersPoloClub.com and are selling fast. All tickets must be purchased in advance. Omni Hotel is the official hotel for the event, with special event rates on the website.
Charity Woodford Reserve, Baccarat and Trifecta cocktails will also be available for purchase for $500 with proceeds going to Work to Ride, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that provides scholarships and encourages disadvantaged urban youth to experience a working farm and learn how to ride horses, play polo and grow a love of equine sports. “Woodford Reserve and Baccarat created a special bottle of Woodford Reserve that is paired with hand-blown crystal decanters and glasses,” said Merideth. “The special craft cocktail pour will benefit charity and guests will keep their custom Baccarat glass.”
Merideth hopes to build the event each year, to strengthen Kentucky’s pride in classic equestrian events and provide a luxury outing each autumn to hold fans over until Derby. “While the luxury polo scene usually stays in Miami, Los Angeles or the Hamptons, my goal is to marry polo and its athletes with Kentucky, and solidify this equestrian event more into Kentucky’s fabric,” said Merideth.
“I really want to give fans a Derby-style experience in the autumn,” added Merideth. “My goal is a beautiful, 70-degree day, full of amazing polo. We’ll pop the champagne, and everyone will go home safe and happy with a memory they will never forget. And hopefully, they’ll foster a love of polo that will bring them back year after year.”
Woodford Reserve Polo Cup
720 Oxmoor Ave.
Louisville, KY 40222