Last weekend I spent my Sunday at the Duke of Essex Polo Grand Prix. I’ve never watched polo before, I have never been greatly in to sports in general, but I actually had a really good time and understood the rules and game (mostly!) by the end of the afternoon.
As with most events in Essex, the occasion meant an opportunity to glammed up! Although I did regret my decision to wear heels half way through when I was sinking in to the grass. There were some amazing outfits on show and many girls looked really gorgeous!
The Sunday was the dedicated “Family Day” with a variety of rides to keep the children entertained; they also had a whole host of food stands on offer with everything from fish & chips to Thai Curry, Hog Roast and Jacket potatoes. As the weather was ridiculously hot it somewhat diminished my appetite but I did enjoy a delicious hog roast with stuffing – a first for me!
There were 2 polo matches during the afternoon, both with a half time interval and entertainment from a singer formally from “The Drifters”.
Here’s what I learnt from watching the game:
- A match is played in quarters of 7 minutes each.
- The riders switch ponies each quarter.
- Although they are called polo ponies they are actually horses, many ex-race horses.
- Penalties are often hard to spot!
- There is a half-time tradition of the crowd taking to the field and “divot stomping”.
I had a really great day; I would recommend it to anybody! Although the sunshine helped – I think it poured with rain last year which would ruin it somewhat!
Next year I am hoping to attend and have afternoon tea – at £75 it is somewhat pricey but you get full access to the VIP area and the photos of the cakes looked fantastic!
Find out more about the Duke of Essex Polo Grand Prix – maybe I will see you there next year!
(Photos by Tom Fish who I attended with)0