A Glamorous Beginner’s Guide to Polo

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

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress1 – 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

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress4 – 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.

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress6 –Players – There are four players on a polo team and all seem to be very handsome chaps. The teams all look super smart and all wear very smart white trousers.

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!)

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fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress8 – 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.

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dressIf 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.

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress9 – 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

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress10 – Celebs – your party essential – celebs included Billie Piper and Laura Whitmore but my favourite was the super suave David Gandy, he knows how to work a white suit

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dressClaire Etchell, David Gandy & Emma Spencer

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.

fashion blog ruth crilly, donna ida, london fashion, london style, polo style, glamour, beginners guide, how to, dress code, glamorous, dress12 – Drinks – only the best – Pimms, Champagne and the odd cider. Polo is a fabulously boozy affair

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Claire Etchell is PR & Marketing Manager at Donna Ida

With thanks to

Boujis - Twitter @boujis

Audi International Guards Club Polo  - Twitter @guardspoloclub

Sara Tiara  @saratiarahats

And of course David Gandy @DGandyOfficial