My general life ethos is “why not?” so when Coast recently invited me to join them at MINT Polo in the Park, who was I to decline. Chukkas, Charles & Camilla, Champagne and (Jilly) Cooper were the extent of my knowledge of the Sport of Kings and I was looking forward to learning more.
The annual event is held at the Hurlingham Club, considered by many to be hallowed turf as the rules for the modern game were established here. The earliest records of the sport are from Persia in 600BC but there is much debate about where polo was actually invented with India, China, Iran and Iraq all contenders. The Brits of course are firmly in charge of its governance! In an effort to make the game easier for newcomers to follow in a similar manner to Twenty20, MINT Polo in the Park has simplified the traditional rules and made the game quicker and simpler.
One of the traditions of the game is at half-time when the crowd descends on the field to “tread in the divots”. This is basically fixing the turf by stomping in the bits that have been ripped up during the game. Be sure to avoid the ‘steaming divots’ aka horse manure. It really is quite a sight – make the audience work why don’t you!
The main thing I learnt though is that Polo In the Park is really all about the quintessential summer social occasion. The event is very much a fun day out with a posh festival air. There were lots of families as well as a crowd of Made In Chelsea/TOWIE/Sloane Ranger pretty young things dressed to impress that kept the Mahiki tent heaving.
Coast had their style hunters out spotting the best dressed ladies.
My friend and I made the list!
Here are a few of my favourite outfits – you can check out all the Coast pics here:
For chaps, coloured trousers were definitely THE look and it seems yellow trousers are the new red trousers.
I did leave knowing marginally more about the rules of the game then when I arrived. More importantly I learnt that the ‘Sport of Kings’ is about Style Queens!