“do you know the rules of polo?” Katey asked as we were cruising out of the comforts of our inner city limits.
i just looked back at her with a confused look on my face, “you try to score on your opponent while on horseback…with a stick?”
it’s like soccer…but on horses.
content with our definition, we continued on to the Calgary Polo Club for the Veuve Clicquot Classic.
the rules didn’t matter so much in my mind as the pretty dresses, fancy hats, and champagne did.
just call me Vivian Ward in my polka dots. Katey is a much classier Kit De Luca.
and if you don’t get my Pretty Woman reference, we can’t be friends.
if you were curious to know the ins and outs of polo, here they are:
- a polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide, the largest field in organized sport
- a team is made up of four polo players
- the object of the game is to move the polo ball downfield, hitting the ball through the goal posts for a score
- polo teams change direction after each goal in order to compensate for field and wind conditions
- a polo match lasts about one and a half hours and is divided into timed periods called chukkers
- each chukker is seven minutes long
- play begins with a throw-in of the ball by the umpire at the opening of each chukker and after each goal
- players must change horses after each chukker due to the extreme demands placed on the pony
now we know…but you kind of figure it out as go…and soccer on horses.
the best Pretty Woman moment was at halftime when spectators get to go onto the field to participate in a tradition called “divot stomping” to help replace the divots created by the horse’s hooves. “watch out for the steaming divots.” …seriously, can’t be friends if you don’t get it.
the rest of the afternoon was filled with festive bubbles and delicious appetizers as we cheered for each goal.
a slightly embarrassing fact, i still don’t know how to properly pronounce veuve clicquot – even after sister sent me google pronunciation instructions. #frenchfail
i do know how to drink it, though…
and act casual in front of any stand & repeat. i swear i try to be normal, then it just doesn’t work. that bottle was pretty heavy – my arm workout for the day.
have you ever been to a polo match? are you any good with french?