The sunshine came to Portsea on Saturday, together with the shortest of dresses and shorts, low cut tops and a generous serving of neon. My first visit to the Jeep Portsea Polo promised a Flemington-esque day on the green, surrounded by the scent of the ocean and a fashionable (and first class) crowd in a Birdcage by the bay.
But what I pondered on the (lengthy) drive home was about the sport of Polo itself, and its audience. A stereotypically refined sport (sometimes called the sport of kings, according to Wikipedia, but I think that must be something they attribute to all sports on horseback), the game involves 8 players, 4 a side, on horseback. They play to score goals over a number of periods, known as chukkas, and like other sports involving horses it seemed only a small percentage of the crowd was actually focused on the game rather than the activity taking place in the marquees.
The thirteenth outing for the Jeep Portsea Polo, one of three Polo events quite well known in Melbourne (together with the Polo in the City at Albert Park and the Christmas Polo at Werribee) bought an audience of those wanting a day out and an opportunity to dress up – quite possibly the first for 2013. And dress up they did.
Every trend that graced the catwalk in 2012 showed up at the Polo, and then some. While the Spring Racing Carnival elicits some* decorum from its patrons, the Polo bought out the shortest of shorts, singlet tops and barely there dresses – all in the brightest shades of pink, yellow and green.
The boys did us proud, dapper in 7/8 pants, button up shirts and a boat shoe – there were even some hats to be seen – but the girls as a collective appeared to have spent too much time at music festivals this summer and forgotten the basic rules of a more high-end event.
A reminder, the basic rules of the Polo are as follows:
- Choose to display your décolletage, or your legs. A lady never emphasises both. (Ditto, lips or eyes ladies!)
- If you have seen the fabric of your frock made into a hi-vis vest, it’s probably best left at a building site.
- Wedges and flats are best at the Polo. A closed toe works best. Trust me.
- Never take off your shoes. Refer above.
- Champagne is to be enjoyed, not guzzled. Food is not optional.
- Just because you can see a ‘celebrity’ does not make them open slather for chats, photos or blatant staring. Let them enjoy the day too.
- The girls manning the doors of the marquees work hard, have to stand in one spot all day, put up with drunk people and smile the whole time. Be nice to them.
- Buying a ticket to the Polo will not make you fabulous by association.
- There is only one road in and one road out of Portsea. Take a bus if you can.
- And remember, one road means no escape. Don’t drink and drive.
Onya Magazine would like to thank Peroni and Amuk for their hospitality.
*This term is used very loosely.
Image credits: Jennifer Estrada