The winter equestrian capital of the world, players and spectators alike flock to Palm Beach in January to welcome the arrival of polo season. Set in sunny Florida, there are many reasons to enjoy a day at the polo in Palm Beach, especially when staying at the conveniently located Chesterfield Hotel. Take a look at our rundown of what to expect once the first chukker kicks off.
The staple sport of Palm Beach’s Wellington Village, the polo fields are just a short 30-minute drive from The Chesterfield Hotel. Come January, Wellington welcomes players and spectators from across the US and abroad, who converge on vast, manicured grounds for the stylish, sporting display.
Sitting at the heart of the Palm Beach polo scene is the International Polo Club Palm Beach, a world-renowned club that hosts the highest goal polo in the US. Alongside its nine pristine polo fields, the club also houses two 18 hole championship golf courses, two club houses and a pair of croquet lawns. Signalling the start of polo season, it’s around this particular cluster of polo fields that the activity takes place. There’s a range of seating available depending on your budget, and whilst the mighty grandstand, field tailgating, and traditional lawn seating are all good fun, it’s the Pavilion Champagne Brunch that provides the ultimate luxury experience. A new addition to the 2014 season, the Veuve Clicquot VIP Airstream Lounge is also one of the best places to see and be seen, positioned field side with great views of the match.
The Palm Beach polo season sees 16 weeks of intense equestrian competition hit the fields of the IPC. Opening day welcomes the return of the Herbie Pennell Cup, followed by the ever-popular USPA Gold Cup in March and ending on a high with the final match of the 111th U.S. Open Polo Championship on April 19th. Whether you’re gearing up for one of the big matches, or just want to experience a taste of polo in Palm Beach, the real event to take part in is the customary half-time divot stomp – grab a glass of bubbly and head onto the field to fill in the turf before settling in for the second nail-biting half.
Polo wouldn’t be polo without a few social events, and this year is no exception. The IPC Grand Marquee hosts gourmet brunches and after parties throughout the season. Sponsored by the likes of Maserati, Belvedere Vodka and Veuve Clicquot, to name but a few, it’s well worth slotting one of these into your diary.
If all this sounds like a bit too much activity, why not take a break at one of the IPC restaurants – whether it’s fresh seafood and steak at the Mallet Grille, evening drinks and live entertainment at The 7th Chukker, or a soothing treatment at the impressive spa and fitness centre, you’re sure to enjoy a day at the polo in Palm Beach.
Header Image: IPC Palm Beach © LILA Photos