Horse and rider will take to the field on a local farm in the “sport of kings” to help benefit children in need.

Dubbed the “Best Party of the Summer,” the Victory Cup Farm Bash polo match is partnering this year with Green Chimneys, a nonprofit organization in Brewster designed to help children with special needs receive treatment through animal-assisted and nature-based therapy.

The event is scheduled for Saturday at the Kirby Hill Farm in Pawling, with gates opening for general admission at 1 p.m. The polo matches are slated to begin shortly after the gates open, with the last battle scheduled for 4.

When former Sen. Greg Ball finished his second term in 2014, he redefined the purpose of the Victory Cup, transforming it from an annual political fundraiser to a private, for-profit event to benefit charities.

Ball became familiar with Green Chimneys during his years in office, and said he soon realized the impact the charity has on the lives of children with special needs.

Green Chimneys provides a soothing environment for children with mental health issues –– such as depression, trauma and autism spectrum disorders –– that allows them to interact with animals in a controlled setting. Under Green Chimney’s guidance, the children help take care of the animals on the farm. In doing so, they learn to follow directions and develop a sense of self-control.

“I’ve been impressed with Green Chimneys and their good works since representing them in the Assembly and then Senate,” Ball said via email.

Through the partnership with the Victory Cup, Green Chimneys will receive 70 percent of the cost of any ticket purchased with the promotional code “GreenChimneys.” The funds, however, aren’t the only benefits for the charity.

Jennifer Milillo, director of Marketing and Communications at Green Chimneys, said the potential publicity for the charity at such a popular event — 2,000 people attended in 2015 — was another reason for the collaboration. Read more…