Laurent: Following weeks of abstemious tee-tolitarianism, shackled to the sober steps of the library, Ludovinci and I thought we might take to the country airs and release the drinking hounds. As an all-day event at the stunning Errol Park Estate, the St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament seemed as the perfect excuse for such a venture. It was no small-time affair – indeed, one of the largest St Andrews events with 1700 spectators, and 12 polo teams from across the UK. Little did we know just quite what a riot this event would prove to be.
Ludovinci: With access to VVIP there was no need to pay for food or drinks (except when my partner-in-press-crime ran off with a crab claw from the food truck), a ticket price worth every penny. Champers and sandwiches covered the tables as we arrived and were duly replenished during the afternoon with an assortment of cakes.
Laurent: Ludovinci speaks mainly of the ‘VVIP’ ticket, which included access to an appropriately named ‘Champagne Garden’, quite the alternative to a bog-standard beer garden. Each table of ten had access to twelve free bottles of Bouvet-Ladubay champagne, which certainly kept us giggling.
Ludovinci: Another quirky facet of the Polo Tournament is the array of colors that come out of the wardrobe. Summery dress inspired all sorts of quirky outfits to be ironed out on Friday evening in anticipation for the fashion display that took place on the Saturday. Amusingly some poorly thought costumes came to surface, while other rather forcé combinations were actually very pleasing. Some ludicrous guests even wore feathers to decorate their hats, as if a hat in itself wasn’t enough (cough* Laurent). Polo tournament is a highlight in the year if only just for the spectacle that can be observed.
Polo, however, is also a reason for attending this tournament. A highlight for the enthusiast was the England Ireland match which saw a definite change in speed and aggression, and even more mesmerizing for a poor soul like myself who can hardly balance on a horse standing still. When matches finished the Latest and snazziest electric Toyota sped across the field to the keen interest of onlookers. However, above the Bouvet-Ladubay, the horses, and the colorful attires, the attraction that grabbed the most attention was the arrival of a shuddering red chopper. As it descended the crowds flocked to the rails to admire the machine ruffle down to earth only to see it fly off 5 mins later – but an impressive feat worthy of praise
Laurent: Far more than a civilised day out, Polo earned its badges. A very new event as such, it has very definitely made a place for itself as one of the crowning events of the St Andrews social calendar. Though the representatives from the associated charity Help for Heroes were probably quite appalled at this festival of tweed-infested student bamboozlery, spectators will certainly hail cheers to chukkas, buckets of Bouvet-Ladubay, and the St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament.