On Sunday July 22, the Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy Final was held at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, with Lucchese beating Restoration Hardware 14 -13. While the game provided riveting entertainment on the field, there was plenty of activity off the field as well.
The club has brought back the amusing tradition of Ladies Hat Day, with the Montecito Journal’s Richard Mineards serving as judge this year. Mineards awarded the Most Creative Hat to Terri Tokar for a hat she had made for the Kentucky Derby in 2011; the Most Colorful Hat to Blair Eadie, who was visiting from New York City, for an Eric Javits hat, and the Largest Hat to Carol Marsch for a hat she purchased in Kentucky. All three received a bottle of Chandon so, as Mineards quipped, they “can be beautiful and bubbly.”
Sponsor Belmond El Encanto had a large hospitality tent, where guests mingled, watched the match, and perused silent auction items for Youth Interactive, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit serving at-risk youth. It was part of Belmond’s pilot program with GO Campaign to serve area youth. Dubbed by Belmond as its “Local Hero,” Youth Interactive will be the recipient of other fundraising efforts as well. For more info about this amazing nonprofit go to youthinteractive.us.
At halftime, guests took to the field for the traditional divot stomp, many with a glass of complimentary bubbly in hand. And after the match and trophy presentation, DJ Fab spun the tunes for the lively Polo After Hours party, which follows all the Sunday matches.
The Sunday matches have been quite popular, with the club selling out most weekends this year. High Goal season continues through August, culminating with the Pacific Coast Open (PCO) August 16 to September 2, followed by 8-Goal Season and other matches until mid-October. There are a variety of seating options available each Sunday, including shaded stadium seating and clubhouse seating. For the PCO Final on September 2, there is a tailgating option as well.
On Fridays, there are preliminary matches, dubbed Happy Hour Polo Matches, from 4 to 6 pm. The atmosphere is more casual and relaxed than Sundays, admission is free, and there are discounted drinks and a small menu. During the PCO, these matches occur on Thursdays, then move back to Fridays through the 8-Goal Season in the fall.
For more info, go to sbpolo.com.
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By Gail Arnold