Did you know there were polo fields in Oswego, IL? Me neither. To be fair, they have only been hosting games open to the public since 2015. I found out about Arranmore Farm & Polo Club by accident. We were invited to attend a concert there (but can’t go). Neither my husband nor I had heard of this venue so I Googled it and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a polo field. I have always wanted to attend a match so I channeled my inner Pretty Woman and attended the Women’s Polo Invitational. Whoo whoo whoo!
There are a few options for watching the game (VIP tailgating, Lounge Seating, and General Tailgating). Seeing as we were newcomers to the whole polo experience, we chose the general tailgating. Arranmore allows you to bring in your own food and beverages but there were some food/drinks available for purchase as well. Even better, the dress code was “be comfortable”. There were some men in jackets, some women in dresses and derby-style hats, and others in just shorts and button-down shirts.
If you get there before the match begins (gates open an hour or so before), they allow you to walk around the farm and through the stables. I was never that girl who dreamed of having her own pony, but they are beautiful creatures close up.
The polo match itself was extremely entertaining. It’s probably a good idea to read up on the rules of play before you attend so that you know what is going on but it is not necessary. The skill to ride and control a horse while trying to hit a ball, about half the size of a soccer ball, with a mallet is a talent that I have so much respect for now. Plus, the field itself is huge (300 x 160 yds). So when a player gets on a break-away all bets are off. It was truly a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Arranmore Farm & Polo Club hosts two weekend tournaments, weekly local polo matches on Wednesday nights, and some concerts during the summer months. You should check it out!
Oh, and just like in Pretty Woman, they have the spectators come out on the field in between matches to help stomp the divots – just make sure you avoid the steaming divot!