Thursday, September 23, 2010
Your cocktail is obviously in danger, risk it
From spring to fall, polo matches bring the world to see Northern Virginia. On many weekends there will be two or three tournaments close by. In perfect honesty, as long as I have been around horses, polo has been more of a sporting event (for the teams) and a social event (for all) than it is a spectator sport (if I was paying close attention I would spend a lot of time clutching my heart and grinding my teeth, it is harrowing).
It seems I am not the only one who feels this way. Entire tents have been erected for the half-attention of uncommitted spectators. Like this one, from this past weekend.
If I am to be comprehensive in this manners thing we have going here then I need to inform you that while there is all the usual good manners required at polo, there is something else you should know if you intend to be a spectator at a polo match: The tradition of the Divot Stomp is an unspoken non-negotiable attendee mandate. You will rise from your chair, leave the tent, and take to the field on foot to replace divots en masse with the rest of the gallery. Period.
There were just too many weak-souled people who remained in the tent; revelry undisturbed by tradition. But there are those who know you need not abandon your cocktail in order to be in the good graces of the polo community. It is about balance: Both literal (you might be in kitten heels) and figurative (figure if you have had more than four you need an escort on to the field).
One other piece of advice springs to mind in looking over the pictures: If you are going to take to the middle of the field for the divots, then, really - concentrate. It is far better than standing around chatting when you are supposed to be working.