Even if you’ve heard of polo, there’s a very good chance you’ve never actually seen a match played. And that, my friend, is a huge mistake — especially when you have Oak Brook Polo Club just waiting for you to visit. If you’re an old hand, if you’re uninitiated, if you just need something to do on a Sunday afternoon, here are eight reasons you need to catch a polo match before the season’s over.
1. Two Words: Pimm’s. Cup.
Definitely adults only, the Pimm’s Cup cocktail (served at the Pimm’s Chukker Bar) is Oak Brook Polo’s signature cocktail. Made with just-verging-on-bitter Pimm’s No. 1 liquor and fizzy lemonade and topped with strawberries, mint, and cucumber slices, a Pimm’s Cup is honestly one of the most delicious and refreshing drinks out there. Order a pitcher, sit back, and enjoy the show.
2. Divot Stomping
If you’re the kind of person who likes to get in on the action, divot stomping is for you. During halftime, all are welcome on the polo field to stomp the divots — patches of grass and dirt that the horses tear up — back into place. A chance to walk the actual polo field and have a Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” moment? Sign me up.
3. The Mallet Challenge
Are you up in the stands thinking about how easy this all looks? Well, probably not. But if you’d like to try your hand at the mallet portion of the game, Oak Brook Polo Club is happy to oblige. With the help of actual polo players, you can climb aboard a wooden horse and see how far you can whack the balls. Spoiler alert: It’s extremely difficult!
4. Fashion Show!
If you’re more clotheshorse than horse-lover, this event is for you. You want dresses? We’ve got ‘em. You want natty suits? We’ve those too. You want fabulous hats and fascinators? We’ve got a “best hat contest” featuring both. Come in your finest and prepare to leave the tiniest bit jealous.
5. Tailgating: It’s Not Just for Football
Instead of a parking lot at Soldier Field, crack open a cold one from your fieldside seats atop lush green grass and watch the fast-paced action.
6. Champagne Sabering
Another adults-only treat, champagne sabering is a time-honored tradition at polo matches. Giant, wicked machete + bottle of French champagne = what could go wrong? Only kidding — there’s a technique to it that pops the cork right out and leaves the precious champagne safe to drink. The element of terror just heightens the mood!
7. Meet the Polo Players
If you or your kiddo is an aspiring equestrian, meeting the polo players is a fantastic opportunity. An autographed ball or a picture with a player are both ways to form memories that will last a lifetime. Plus, if that picture turns out nicely, your holiday card is set for this year.
8. And the Crowd Goes Wild
If you love the NFL or MLB but find driving downtown or battling the drunks at Wrigley exhausting, then polo is for you. The crowd is as excitable, the sport as dangerous, the players every bit as skilled — and on horseback to boot! But people are polite, kids are welcome, and your seat is actually comfortable (especially if it’s the Saddle Club’s luxury Room & Board furniture). If you love live sports but could do without the game-day hassle, come out to a polo match instead.
So what are you waiting for? Check out the schedule of upcoming matches.