A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Audi International Guards Polo Club Westchester Cup 2013 at Windsor Park.
In a typically British way, I didn’t think I would need to know anything about polo before I set off (apart from checking the dress code – obviously)…but after the first bell went, I knew I should have googled it! So here’s my glamorous beginners guide to polo
1 – Chukker or Chukka – as in ‘you can go to your seats at the next chukker’...*waits to hope the chukker becomes obvious.* - This is a period of time within the game. Seven and a half minutes to be exact.
2 – The bell – ding dong – this sounds the end of the chukker. And was a very large bell if you must know.
3 – Ponies – one is never enough – players must change their pony at the end of each chukker. Think of it as kind of a sport speed dating. Sometimes the super professionals don’t even touch the ground between changes
4 – Goal – scored when the ball goes between the goal posts – sound too simple? To compensate for potential wind/turf problems, the teams switch directions after each goal. That’s enough to keep you paying attention and not getting carried away quaffing champers.
5- Divot stomping – hello – like as in Pretty Woman! This one I understood, but in case you missed the film where Richard Gere takes Julia Roberts to the polo, this is where one takes to the field at half time to stomp the grass back into its rightful place.
7 – Royals – as in Prince Charles – this was his first outing since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed baby Prince George. Prince Charles handed out the Cup to Great Britain, the winning team and was swamped by well-wishers (see below - he's in there somewhere!)
8 – Dress code – the brief was ‘like Ascot but not as strict’ – I wore a French Connection dress, Pied a Terre courts, Chloe Python handbag and a Sara Tiara hair band from an amazing designer called Sara Colacicco who sells from Portobello market every Saturday.
If the ladies weren’t wearing a dress, then they were in signature white jeans – SO POLO! Everyone looked simply fabulous and I even developed a soft spot for the super dapper gents wearing check suits.
9 – After-party – Boujis sponsored the after-party in a huge marquee spilling out into the gardens. Tunes were courtesy of DJ sets from Groove Armada and Pete Tong– imagine Ibiza but in the English countryside and you get the gist
11 – Friends – social network – polo is a great day out with friends or the whole family. I took along my best friend Emma who took to the polo crowd like a duck to water. My favourite part was when a man asked for her number….and then asked her to write it on a £10 note. As you do.
Claire Etchell is PR & Marketing Manager at Donna Ida
With thanks to
And of course David Gandy @DGandyOfficial