Planning Underway for America's Polo Cup


(Sunday, December 9, 2007 7:32 PM EST)

The Land Rover America's Polo Cup match between the United States and Italy may be six months away, but polo fans from both nations already are getting excited about the event.

The five-foot America's Polo Cup Perpetual Trophy, which traditionally is transferred to the challenging country's embassy for the months preceding the match, recently was unveiled during a reception at the Italian Embassy.

The Italian competitors for the fashion and culinary events to be held the night before the polo match also were revealed.

“The competition begins now,” said Tareq Salahi, co-chairman of the America's Polo Cup.

Italian ambassador Giovanni Castellaneta's wife, Lila, announced that Chef Lidia Bastianich, a star of public television, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the culinary challenge.

Chef Fortunato Nicotra, who is executive chef of Bastianich's award-winning restaurant, Felidia, in New York City, will lead the team of Italian chefs.

Fashion designer Renato Balestra, whose clients include the queen of Thailand, Saudi Arabian princesses and first ladies of the Philipines and Egypt, will represent Italy in the “Rockin' the Runway” fashion competition.

“We are happy and honored to play in the America's Polo Cup,” Castellaneta said. “It will be a unique opportunity for people to share a pleasant atmosphere and relaxing time together.”

Also at the event was Virginia Tourism Corporation vice president Rita McClenny, who said that the America's Polo Cup is a good way to “create enduring relationships,” and this year will be the Commonwealth's chance to “extend a hand to Italy.”

Representatives from the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, the National Italian American Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Multiple Sclerosis Society all expressed how excited they are to be partners with the Land Rover America's Polo Cup.

The upcoming America's Polo Cup will take place May 9-10, 2008, at Historic Morven Park in Leesburg. Proceeds will benefit the Journey for the Cure Foundation.

For more information, see the Web site at

(The Italian Embassy has not given final confirmation on Lila Castellaneta's competitor announcements.)

The trophy for the Land Rover America’s Polo Cup is unveiled.
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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