What goes on at Chestertons Polo in the Park
It is almost time!!! Time for the biggest polo party of the London summer! Chestertons Polo in the Park begins next Friday, June 3rd and I am clearly very excited about it. Last year I flew in from Bahrain, the two years prior to that I hopped over on an Emirates jumbo jet from Dubai. This year I will make the trek all the way from Chelsea, London, most likely in an uber. Haha. Whatever it takes, from wherever I am in the world, I always do my best to be in London for the unmissable Chestertons Polo in the Park.
Teams and the game
This year 6 teams from across the globe will be competing: Mint team London, Air Europa team Buenos Aires, Argentex team Dubai, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park team Hong Kong, Jnan Amar Polo Club team Marrakech and Navigant team New York. Check out all the teams and players here.
I will as always be cheering for team Dubai (Abu Dhabi last year), as those guys are like family to me, but team Hong Kong, who won last year, is definitely also a good team to bet your money on, and when they aren’t playing against Dubai I will be cheering for them.
Apart from the regular matches there will be one very important International Feature Match between IC Capital team England and Awakeconbal team South Africa on Friday the 3rd at 7 pm. For the full schedule click here.
This polo event is special because it is a different format to traditional polo, playing after the City Polo Series rules, an adaptation between arena and grass polo. I always love to watch high-goal polo where the 10-goal superstars battle for prestigious trophies, but as a spectator it can sometimes be hard to see and understand what is going on out there on the 300-yards long field. The layout of Chestertons Polo in the Park is very spectator friendly, the size of the pitch is substantially reduced, which is also why there are only 3 players on each team, instead of the usual 4. The polo pitch is surrounded by high boards instead of a low board and a safety line, meaning that polo ponies and players come right up to the spectators ( just don’t lean too far over and careful with hats and drinks!).
The rules are also slightly modified from the rules of regular polo, to simplify the game:
- The teams only change ends at half time, as opposed to after every goal in regular polo.
- The Lanson Perfect Start: the first ball of the game is not tossed in, it is placed at the middle of the field and a player from each team gallops towards the middle, however gets there first has the first ball. This is a very exhilarating start to the game!
- The 45 yard ring: goals scored from outside of the 45 yard line are worth double points.
Getting the party started
Aside from the 3-4 matches per day, there are also lots of other reasons to join in on the fun at Hurlingham Park on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of June. One of the highlights is The Great Polo Food Festival which is like a paradise for a foodie like me. Some of the best street food London has to offer, all in one place! The only question is which to choose…
Once your appetites have been satisfied, there are several choices of bars to attend inside the grounds. Last year’s layout saw a huge Mahiki bar along one side of the field, a large Lanson Rosé Champagne Tent at the end of the field, an extra exciting place to hang out when goals are scored! Worry not, there is a safety net to protect spectators from balls flying at up to 110 miles per hour!!!
The Pimm’s bus is one of my favourites, serving up large pitchers of this quintessential British summer drink.
The shopping village is another fun place to walk around and explore, with pop-up shops selling a plethora of clothing and accessories for the stylish Londoner. The La Martina store, being the most grand of them all, invites guests to come meet the players after each match.
Chestertons Polo in the Park is running a contest on Instagram and Twitter right now, awarding 4 tickets and a magnum bottle of Lanson Rosé Champagne to the best polo style. The last winner will be found this Friday, so use the hashtag #MyPoloStyle to get in the game. If you need some inspiration check out #MyPoloStyle blogpost from last year right here. I will also be spotting great polo outfits on the Saturday and featuring my favourites on here after.
Each of the 3 days has a special theme. Friday’s opening day is all about the featured match (there is a late admission ticket at only 10 pounds if you can’t make it in before 5 pm). Saturday the 4th will be the Little Miracles Drink Ladies Day, where prizes can be won and there is a vibrant atmosphere in the air. This is the most popular day and is always sold out before-hand, so make sure to get your tickets before they are gone! Tickets can be purchased here. Sunday is family time, so the day is kick-started at 11.30 with activities for the kids on the polo-pitch and continues with shenanigans outside of the polo field once the games start featuring a bouncy-castle, obstacle course, face-painting and lots more. This area also opens Friday, but Saturday is for grown-ups only:)
I hope to have given a good idea of what this fun event is all about and hope to see you guys there! Make sure to follow all the fun on my Instagram: PoloPeoplePlaces and my snapchat: PoloPeoplePlace (or screenshot the picture below and add me) And please come say hi if you see me walking around 🙂