2013 was the inaugural event for Polo by the Sea on the Gold Coast. It's back again in 2014, at Main Beach on the 31st of May. If you have never been to a game of polo, here's your chance.
Think of scenes from Pretty Woman – yes, you too can stomp divots, just like Julia Roberts in her chic brown and cream spotty dress. For the lure of polo is not just about the speed and agility of the horses, the excitement of the chukkas and the relaxing by the field in a very civilised setting, but is equally about the style in which it all happens and that means the clothes - more to the point the dresses.
Polo is pretty straightforward to watch as a sport. Each of the six periods of play are called chukkas and last seven mins each. Each team has four players and they mark their opposite number. Play starts from a line up at the centre and the ball is thrown by one of the two umpires. The aim is to score as many goals as you can. The team that scores the most wins.
The horses are called polo ponies and tend to be around 15 hands high. Their speed and ability to stop and turn quickly, along with stamina and the right temperament, are what are looked for when selecting a horse for play. When I mention speed, note that this is a game that is played at 60 kilometres per hour.
A Polo Lounge ticket will cost you $69 per person (plus Ticketek fees) for a Beer Garden setting, or a VIP Marquee entry, at the heart of the polo action, is $300 but is by invitation only. You may be able to acquire tickets from a limited quota issued to hotels and resorts with their accommodation package. There is also the option to purchase a Private Marquee should you wish to entertain friends, price tag $2200, or for corporate hosts there is a Corporate Marquee, costing $3300. Catering for both these Marquee options is extra and broken down into standard, premium and exclusive packages. It's not known as the Sport of Kings for nothing although it does seem to be a bit more down to earth in Australia, with many of the best players coming off the farm.
If you are keen to attend for the day on a lounge ticket, you will be able to meet the players in the setting of the polo lounge. Your ticket entitles you to entry, additional entertainment such as Fashions on the Field, and the chance to win door prizes. There's substantial food and snacks available at the bar. Champagne always seems a very suitable choice of drink for watching polo, so order a glass and enjoy a very civilized day on the field. Gather a few girlfriends or surprise your partner with a different kind of date and enjoy a great day out.