It Girl strikes a pose

Brazilian fashion icon Paula Chermont’s  true passion has nothing to do with catwalks and flashing cameras. A model for designers such as Giorgio Armani, Yves Laurent and La Perla, she’d rather spend her time somewhere a little less glamourous: the horse stable. On Thursday, Chermont, who has been modeling since her teens, will compete in the AMG Miami Beach Polo Women’s World Cup. An avid equestrian, she rode in show jumping circuits as a young girl.

“I started riding horses when I was five years old,” she said via telephone from her home in Rio De Janeiro. “My father loved horses and used to show jump with me. He was my horseback riding companion.”

Those years with dad taught her well. Although Chermont s has only played polo for five years, she’s considered a natural at the sport “that tends to be male-dominated”. In her native Brazil, she is a crusader for the spectator sport. “In my country everyone is a fan of soccer. I wanted to change that.” In 2007, she formed the Carranca Polo Team, “the first Brazilian women’s team.” Chermont knows polo can be a dangerous game – accentuated by the fact that her partner is a half-ton thoroughbred. “My love for horses is so big, I don’t care about bruises or accidents,” she said. “I like the high adrenaline, excitement and risks.”

The South Beach Women’s Polo Cup III takes place 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. For tickets, go to