The Hall of Fame Gala, 2015
On Friday the 13th of February, polo players, patrons, friends and fans from around the globe gathered in tribute to four extraordinary men and two magnificent horses joining the ranks of the greats in the Polo Hall of Fame. Honored for their parts of polo history were Juan Carlos Harriott, Stephen “Laddie” Sanford, Iglehart Award Winners Frederick P. Mannix and Col. Michael C. Sifton, and the great Horses to Remember, Katrina and Sue Ellen.
The Gala began with the Grand Reception sponsored by Melissa and Marc Ganzi and Grand Champions Polo Club. Guests were greeted with bubbly and appetizers while enjoying a performance by guitarist Victoria Cardona in the exhibit area and a stroll through the silent auction items assembled by the committee chaired by Olexa Mandelbaum.
Melissa and Marc Ganzi also graciously served as General Chairmen of the event; John Wash and International Polo Club Palm Beach sponsored the seated dinner.
The awards ceremony begin with Horses to Remember. Louise Stephaich, daughter of the legendary polo “phenom” Tommy Hitchcock, accepted on behalf of her father for his great pony Katrina. Master horseman and 10-Goal Hall of Famer Tommy Wayman was present to accept the award for the outstanding mare Sue Ellen, a horse bred by Tommy and now owned by Nacho Figueras.
The Posthumous Philip Iglehart Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to polo was awarded to Canada’s Col. Michael C. Sifton and was accepted by his son Cliff Sifton, joined by his son CJ and brothers Derek and Mike to share the proud moment.
Next, to receive the Living Iglehart Award, a life-long player and supporter of the game in both the United States and Canada, Fred Mannix, stepped to the podium. Family and friends had journeyed from the far reaches to honor both Mannix and Sifton, pioneers of polo representing important parts of the sport’s history in North America.
Accepting for the Posthumous Hall of Fame award for Stephen “Laddie” Sanford, an 8-goal patron and dashing icon in the decades of polo preceding WWII, was his grand-nephew, Pierre Manigault of Charleston, S.C.
The finale of the evening was the presentation to Juan Carlos Harriott, a true hero in the sport of polo and 20-time winner of the Argentine Open. Harriott is widely considered one of the best who ever swung a mallet and was responsible for establishing a new benchmark of excellence in the sport that influenced many players who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Juan Carlos, now 78 years old, came with many members of his family from Argentina to receive his award.
Additional sponsors helping to make the evening successful were Pam and Wayne Garrison who sponsored the evening’s entertainment, and providers of the wine and spirits: Margaret Lipman Orthwein, Lipman Brothers, Brown-Forman, Bacardi USA, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fetzer Vineyards, Jekel Vineyards and Korbel.
The Museum is grateful to all its gracious sponsors and also to Alex Pacheco for his photographic support for the exhibits and for the dinner, and to Melinda Brewer for donating portraits of the Horses to Remember, and to the volunteers who help make this event possible: Maria and Vincent Feola, Debra Massey, Melanja Jones, Krystal Zaskey, Eric Monahan, Natasha and Matt Retting and Chris Vining.
Juan Carlos Harriott & Family
Fred Mannix & Family
The Sifton Family & Friends
Melissa Ganzi presents to Louise Stephaich
Marc & Melissa Ganzi, event chairmen
Kris & Alli Kampsen, Nic Roldan
Tatiana & Mariano Aguerre
Gonzalito & Maria Pieres