Mamatoga Review: Saratoga Polo

One of my all time favorite summer activities in Saratoga, a close second to the racetrack, is Saratoga Polo. Located just around the corner from Skidmore (don't trust those offhand directions from me, instead follow the POLO TODAY signs that pop up on match days) the Saratoga Polo Club was first established in 1898 and has enjoyed an immensely rich history throughout the years. Played on Whitney Field, spectators can choose to watch from either the tailgating side or the clubhouse side, admission is $25 per person at the clubhouse (children 12 and under are free) and $25 per carload on the tailgating side ($40 for reserved parking). The clubhouse is a beautiful facility, with a stocked bar, air conditioning inside and rows of seats and tables available for reservation outside next to the field. There is food by Kim Klopstock and The Lily and the Rose available at the clubhouse if one gets a little hungry as well. The clubhouse is a bit more formal, and I've seen everything from big track hats and dresses on patrons straight over from the races to dressy casual, but remember, leave those spike heels at home if you're going to be stomping any divots in between chukkas! There are usually a few kids and dogs scattered about on the clubhouse side but the tailgating side is usually the more family friendly of the two options. Tailgating is always a fun option, you can bring your own picnic, and for adults looking for a little something to sip while watching the ponies canter about there is a little drinks cart that goes up and down the sidelines selling beer and wine and other drinks. Don't feel out of place if you're a polo spectator novice, they have an excellent announcer who helps explain the game in between goals and their website is a great place to bone up on the rules and terms used. Polo won't be played in inclement weather, so if you're planning on going but the weather is iffy I would suggest checking their facebook or twitter pages for updates on any cancellations. My number one tip (besides keeping your eye on the ball!) is to make sure you bring sunglasses and/or an umbrella for the tailgating side, the setting sun can make it hard to see the match over there without them! Polo is played every Friday and Sunday through September 4th, the matches start at 5:30 and the gates open at 4, I recommend getting there early for the tailgating side. They are offering a special this week, $15 online unreserved clubhouse tickets on Friday July 29th for their Veuve Clicquot Women's Challenge, which can be purchased through their website. [slideshow]