On July 12, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club held a casual and fun Tropical Nights soirée for members, their guests, and the general public.
When each of the 250 or so guests arrived, they were greeted with the soothing steel drum sounds of Ross Harper, a colorful Aperol Spritz, an extensive ceviche bar, and other enticing appetizers. Guests included polo patrons, polo players, club sponsors, and trustees. Abundant heat lamps created near tropical temperatures and ensured that ladies with tropically-attired sleeveless dresses stayed warm while mingling and dining on the main polo field. A buffet dinner featured kebabs, coconut shrimp, and other island cuisine. After dinner, the Bryan Titus Trio provided the tunes, and guests danced well into the night.
If you missed the party, there are still plenty of opportunities to experience the club this year. High Goal Season started earlier this month and goes through Labor Day. Next Sunday, in addition to being the Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy Final, is Ladies Hat Day. The Montecito Journal’s Richard Mineards once again will select the finest hats in a few categories and the club will bestow prizes on the lucky winners. The Silver Air USPA Pacific Coast Open (PCO), frequently dubbed the most prestigious tournament on the West Coast, runs August 18, August 25 (semifinal), and September 1 (final). Polo continues into the fall, with the 8-Goal Season running mid-September to mid-October.
Sunday matches involve more than just polo watching. People watching is great fun too. And there’s the Pony Parade to kick things off, the half-time divot stomp where guests are invited onto the field for complimentary bubbly and stomping of the divots, the trophy presentation, and the After-Party, to which all ticket holders are invited. The club has been close to selling out most Sundays, so it’s best to buy tickets early. Seating options include general and shaded grandstand seating, box seats, lounge seating, and cabana seating.
While Sunday polo is the main event, Friday Happy Hour Polo is a more casual event held each week, 4 to 6 pm. It runs through August, though it moves to Thursdays for the PCO weekends. Admission and parking are free, and there are happy hour drink specials.
The club also offers riding lessons and polo lessons for beginners and experienced riders and players. For members, the club has eight tennis courts, a swimming pool, a fitness facility, and member-only events. For more info, go to http://sbpolo.com.
Send invites to gail@Independent.com.