Yes, we have all seen the celebrity magazines with the pictures of royalty such as Prince William and Princess Kate enjoying the Polo scene sipping expensive Champagne. But you do not have to be royalty to enjoy this exciting and fast moving sport.
I have been a fan of Polo since attending college in upstate New York. Our college had a highly ranked collegiate polo team. I had ridden horses since I was a young girl, and enjoyed going to the horse races with my parents growing up. So the love of horses was in my blood. However, I had not experienced the thrill of watching Polo until college. I was drawn to the beauty of the horses, the fast pace, the heart stopping action of watching these skilled players hitting this small bowl from on top of their magnificent horses.
A few years ago through my PR company, I met a British businessman and International Polo Player. While in the USA for business, he introduced me to a Polo Club that was not too far from my home. I was thrilled to venture out to attend a polo match.
In the gorgeous and scenic hills of the Brandywine Valley in Kennett Square, PA, the Brandywine Polo Club is one of the East Coast’s oldest polo establishments. BPC has a long history of bringing the polo lifestyle to Chester County’s elite equestrian scene and Philadelphia society. The Brandywine Valley is already rich in tradition, taste, and culture and brings to mind renowned names like Wyeth and DuPont. It is a fabulous place to visit for a weekend or a fun day trip. Combined with the museums and sites its lush green serene landscape make it the perfect setting for Polo!
I had been to many other larger Polo Clubs in my travels, but I was drawn to Brandywine Polo Club for its "home -like" setting. I now consider this Polo Club to be one of my favorites and I attend matches each summer. You can bring your own lawn chairs and picnic lunch or enjoy seating under their tent and dine on pre-prepared food. You don't feel overwhelmed as if you are in a large professional sporting event. Rather you feel like you are in someone's estate home enjoying Polo in their backyard. What I loved was the opportunity to sit safely close to the field and hear the players talking to one another as they tried to score for their team. The tradition of stumping the divots, as seen in the film" Pretty Woman" makes you think you are Julia Roberts, a fun mid- game tradition.
Polo matches are also great for the kids, as the sport moves very fast and there is no time for boredom, rather non-stop riveting action.
The Object of Polo is to move the ball downfield and through the goal in 4-6 periods of play, known as “chukkers.”
Each chukker is approximately 7 ½ minutes long. Most polo rules are for safety of the player and their horses. Horses are changed out each chukker so not to overstress the horse.
Primary concerns are the “right of way” and “line of the ball,” which is an imaginary line formed each time the ball is struck. The player who last struck the ball has the right of way and no other player may cross the line of the ball in front of that player. Crossing the line is the most common foul in polo. A penalty shot is a free hit from a predetermined distance into a guarded or unguarded goal. A dramatic pause in action often provides some of the most suspenseful moments in the game.
After the matches, you can meet the players and their horses or even try your hand at swinging a polo mallet.
Brandywine Polo offers Sunday Matches which are open to the public. You can also bring your leashed dog.
Gates Open at 1:30 PM. Match begins at 3:00 PM.
Affordable and fun, general admission is only $10.00, under 12 and over 75 are free!
Brandywine Polo is worth the trip, you will meet great people, see magnificent horses and perhaps feel a little like royalty.
Visit: http://www.brandywinepolo.com/ for more information.