On the Saturday morning following Opening Ball, many students (some still fighting their hangovers) gathered for what I hope is to become a new St Andrean tradition: Opening Chukkas with the Polo Club.
The event was a wonderful taster for freshers who have never witnessed the spectacle that is polo on the beach. It was also a teasing reminder for returning students who just can’t wait until the Charity Polo Tournament in April. While this event wasn’t as alcoholic as the famed tournament, complimentary mimosas were offered to attendees. Although the drinks were in the form of Buck’s Fizz, this was one of the rare events in St Andrews that was completely free.
Playing began on West Sands at 10:30 and continued until 2:00, with two levels of competition between the St Andrews and Cambridge teams (and their 25 polo ponies) that participated in the matches. Students were asked to dress for the occasion, the implication being garden party attire, and consequently the majority of attendees were decked out in chinos, smart jackets, and dresses alongside wellies and Barbours worn to account for the weather.
While there was wind and chill, the sun remained out for all of the matches. The event was a pleasant beginning to the weekend and I hope that matches such as these will become a more frequent tradition in St Andrews.