Some people like to describe the game of polo as hockey on horseback. No ice of course, but this is a rough and tumble sport where the crashes between competing players are every bit as fierce as those between skaters chasing a hockey puck. Yet polo has the added dimensions of elegance and beauty, found as polo ponies of every hue make quick work of an area nearly nine times larger than a football field. Watching these powerful animals—and the players aren’t bad, either—while sitting in the California sunshine is just one reason to attend a San Diego polo match.
Take Part in Tradition
It is rather amazing that a sport originating in Persia, now called Iran, is here in San Diego. First played in the 5th century BC, polo has found a welcoming home in this major southern California city. The agreeable weather offers a playing season that lasts from early May until the end of October. Even if you choose not to play, you can still take part in the game. The horses’ hooves and the mallets take a toll on the polo field. It is traditional for spectators to take part in the “divot stomp” at half-time. This involves walking the field and stomping down the loose pieces of turf back in their holes. The San Diego Polo Club has personalized this tradition by pairing it with Korbel California Champagne.
The Wardrobe – See and Be Seen
The Kentucky Derby has its southern belle charm and England’s Royal Ascot is a parade of hats and upscale attire. Attending a polo match in San Diego means a trip to the local shops in Del Mar or La Jolla to find a light and airy, yet fashionable, new outfit. Some luxury San Diego apartments have shops and services on their ground floors, which are always a great idea when looking for proper polo attire, as some of the best outfits are from small, hole-in-the-wall boutiques. However, ditch the high heels; they’ll only get stuck in the grass. Bring sunscreen, sun hats and a pair of designer sunglasses. For men, jeans and khaki pants are cool, comfortable and classy when paired with polo shirts and a lightweight blazer. It pays to look your best while walking the field, champagne glass in hand, as you efficiently stomp down those divots. All that California sunshine could have you thinking about moving to closer to the San Diego Polo Club, so be sure to meet one of the local apartment brokers during the divot stomp and find out what apartments are available in San Diego.
For the Love of the Horse
People who love horses just can’t get enough of them. Going to watch polo in San Diego is one way to see these athletic creatures in action. Most of the polo ponies in San Diego are thoroughbreds or quarter horses and privately owned. That means these horses are tall, long-legged beauties built for speed. To prevent injury from an errant mallet swing or speeding ball, the owner will wrap the horses’ legs in protective padding. The horses are the heart of the game and they are well cared for and cherished accordingly.
Contribute to Charity
A typical San Diego Polo season allows fans the chance to take part in a number of special events. One example is the Father’s Day “Cigars & Cars” celebration that highlights two of dad’s favorite pleasures. Other special events include the annual White Party, where guests are encouraged to wear the traditional polo color before Labor Day and a biplane fly-in showing off antique planes. The planes arrive the Saturday before the match and leave late Sunday, allotting airplane enthusiasts plenty of time to get a good look. A portion of the proceeds from these and other events goes toward a number of charities. Among them are TERI, TROTT, WILDCOAST, San Diego Opera, and San Diego Symphony. Also on the charity list is Saving Horses, out of Alpine, California. This group helps rescue abandoned and abused horses.
Kids are welcome at polo matches, even those who may not be all that fond of horses. While the big draw is the game, the San Diego Polo Club also sets up a special children’s area complete with a bouncy castle, face-painting artists and special booths selling snow cones. Relax on blankets or lawn chairs, maybe even play a game of catch before the game starts—far away from the field, of course. Musicians add atmosphere and concession stands offer tasty treats. It’s not surprising that many visitors to the area do an impromptu San Diego apartment search after finding such a family-friendly venue. Bring lots of sunscreen and enjoy a fun-filled Sunday at the polo match. But remember: If you just can’t stand the thought of leaving San Diego, keep your eyes and ears open; one of the local apartment brokers could be sitting on the next picnic blanket over.
This guest post article was written and provided by Martha Keagan who is a freelance writer, full time mother and part time real estate and San Diego apartments broker.