– Scottsdale Events – The 2013 Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower –
We attended our second Scottsdale Polo Party last weekend and it was even better than last year! Take the excitement of watching polo matches, couple it with luxury cars and Arabian horses, then add some food and drink and shopping – and you have the perfect event.
Throughout the year, events had been scheduled to promote the “Polo Party”and get everyone excited. One of the differences I saw this year was the opportunity to have a tailgate party and bring your cars right up to the side of the playing fields. There were private corporate boxes and several spectator stands in place that I hadn’t noticed last year. And, as a true indicator of the support being put behind the show is that this year, it was called The Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati Polo Championships: Horses & Horsepower… An apt description.
Upon entering the event, Maserati cars were in abundance! We had to go a bit further to see the very impressive Ferrari’s. And to the right of the walkway, there were many vintage cars, including a Cadillac convertible that must have been 12 feet long! (How did I ever learn to parallel park in those days??)
We strolled outside the arena area and enjoyed taking a close look at the cars on display courtesy of the Porsche Club. Several years and models were on show and the proud owners were around to discuss their cars as well as show them off.
I also noted a larger number of participants in the the private tents that offered jewelry, art, boots and information on Polo Clubs for children and adults. The Scottsdale Convention and Visitors’ Bureau was also there handing out valuable information on Scottsdale and all that it has to offer.
The longest lines I saw were for the food booths, always popular at an event like this as the food goes so well with the very, very cold beer being served to adults. And, they didn’t forget the kiddos as they had soft drinks and other items just for them to enjoy.
The Arabian Horse Show is coming on February 13, 2014 to WestWorld and there was a group of owners and their horses showing off their beautiful animals adjacent to the event field. The riders brought their horses out for the attendees to see and even posed with folks for pictures.
Now – on to the reason for the show – the polo matches. We watched the match between The University of Virginia team and the Work to Ride Program team. Polo has been played at the University of Virginia for more than 50 years and the team attracts young, talented players from all over the country.
The Work to Ride Program team is out of Philadelphia. The program was founded in 1994 by Lezlie Hiner and is dedicated to teaching polo to inner city youth. It has been extremely successful and has made history with their first African-American polo team in the nation in 1999. In 2011 it was the first African American team to win the National Interscholastic Polo Championship. We watched them compete last year and it was great to see them again.
As always, the Arizona Polo Club was out in full force encouraging people to try out the sport and advertising their upcoming polo matches and events. I even saw a set of child sized polo mallets and balls. It’s never too early to get youngsters excited about the sport.
The growth of this event in one year has been amazing. Last year, there were about 9,000 people and this year it grew to over 12,400. Top notch sponsors, outstanding polo events for everyone to enjoy, auto displays, private tents and tailgate parties all add up to an event rapidly becoming “the event of the year” for Scottsdale.
I am always intrigued by the fashions worn by the attendees. This year I noted more and more young people dressing in sports jackets, the ladies in dresses and large hats and one group of polo enthusiasts even donned “horse head” masks. All in good fun.
Next year should be even more exciting. It is slated to take place October 24-25, 2014 and will overlap with the United States Polo Association’s Annual Meeting, which will bring even more global enthusiasts to the event.