Florida Winter Polo
Florida is inarguably one of the best places to spend your winter. Snowbirds already know this and so do most polo people. There is so much high-goal polo to watch and lots of opportunities to play polo regardless of your level. With over 70 polo fields in the Wellington area, you are sure to find some chukkers to take part in or watch from the sidelines.
My mom lives in South Florida, in Fort Lauderdale, so I have been visiting Wellington for several years, being a flight attendant on private jets, my schedule is unpredictable and I often have lots of time off and then jet off again for several weeks. So for the past 5 winters, Florida has been my destination of choice between work flights.
One of my favorite places to practice polo as a newbie is Flying Cow Polo with Kylie Sheehan. I met Kylie a few years ago by recommendation from a friend, Kylie is a US Polo Association approved trainer and a PPP approved trainer 😉
She is so patient with me but also pushes me to get juuust outside my comfort zone, which is exactly what you want from a trainer. Not to mention the lovely ponies she has, for every level. I have ridden many different horses with Kylie at Flying Cow Polo, sweet and calm horses and then later she tells me that the mare I just rode played in the open a few weeks before #MindBlown. And there are some really nice trail rides around Flying Cow.
And there is so much polo to watch in Wellington, the staple IPC Sunday polo attracts lots of visitors with the champagne brunch and after-parties, I may have been to a few of these. Plus the newly launched World Polo League, fast and furious 26-goal polo boasting some of the top players in the sport, Adolfo Cambiaso, Pablo MacDonough, Pelon Stirling to name a few (basically the full La Dolfina team played the WPL, just on different teams). I thoroughly enjoyed watching this fast-paced polo, with live commentary from Jan Erik and his mildly (or wildly) inappropriate jokes on the sidelines and on days that I was comfier at home or by the pool I watched the games on PoloChannel.com with great and informative commentary from Gus Whitelaw and one of the players as guests in the booth, my favorite was Pelon Stirling.
There are loads of women’s matches too, from the US Women’s Polo Open to the Wednesday league at Grand Champions and lots of other little leagues and tournaments around, it is on my bucket list to play in these someday, it didn’t happen this year as I had surgery at the beginning of the year. I got an umbilical hernia out of nowhere, resulting in surgery, bed rest (and binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon video, if you haven’t watched it go do it now!), and not being allowed to ride or even do any abdominal exercise for 8-12 weeks!! Basically the entire season.
Well, next year when I come to visit between flights I am enrolling in boot camp with Kylie and getting into tournament-playing shape. Who is with me?!? Send me an e-mail if you want more info, Diana @ PoloPeoplePlaces.com
Splendid summary. Great advert for the game location and folk there. Second on one’s bucket list to view the Argentine Open at Palmero and notwithstanding the grand recreational riding as described does nothing to quell the desire to ride east west across Pategonia. Life’s way too short.