After the rave reviews from last year’s St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament, the highly anticipated event had a lot riding on it. The well-established traditions of salmon-coloured trousers, wellies, and fancy dress in St Andrews was epitomised as guests arrived at Errol Park Estate in Perth for the 2016 Tournament.
Guests were divided between standard, VIP, and VVIP sections, all of which had great things to offer. As the sprawling grounds were spotted with benches, tables, and guests on blankets, the standard section provided ample room for guests to relax and enjoy the polo. Food carts from Blackhorn, On the Roll, and other groups provided ample choices for hungry spectators, and the large bars kept everyone refreshed all afternoon.
VIP guests could be seen enjoying their complimentary bottles of champagne at their pitch-side seating area while basking in the sunshine. Those lucky VVIP ticket holders relished in the abundant cakes and scones, which were a nice accompaniment to the bottomless supply of Bouvet Ladubay champagne that flowed from start to finish.
The polo itself was a phenomenal spectacle to watch, with talented players drawing the attention of all attendees. A crowd favourite was definitely the traditional stomping of the divots, as guests all poured out onto the pitch to mingle and pose for pictures with the horses while replacing the torn up turf. Whether you were in heels or Hunters, nearly everyone enjoyed the afternoon on the grass, or lounging on the various Lotus sports cars that were parked around the grounds.
Despite a small hail storm that forced guests under the tents, everyone rushed back to pitches to continue in the warmth of the sun once clouds cleared. While guests are bound to complain about the cold and the wind, we do live in Scotland, and the committee couldn’t control the weather. Regardless, guests donning both full suits and heavy jackets or short summer dresses and heels had a phenomenal time at the polo this year.
While queues for buses were crowded prior to and following the event, spirits remained high – particularly after the copious amounts of champagne guests received. There is something to be said about the lack of rubbish bins anywhere, as guests took to throwing glasses and bottles on the ground (if the wind hadn’t already blown them off the tables). Despite this, the event was overall a massive success, and I’m already getting keen for what next year has to offer.