The essence of Lancaster Polo: A delightful Sunday for all

By on August 19, 2015

Celebrating its 75th year, Lancaster Polo Club in Rothsville delivers a thrilling sports experience to area patrons looking for a unique way to spend a Sunday afternoon outdoors with family and friends. In fact, some fans never miss a Sunday — and new fans are taking the club’s popularity into a field of its own.

Every Sunday, carloads of fans are greeted at the entrance and directed through the gates at Forney Field to see majestic horses and their caregivers preparing for the day’s polo match. Spectators then move along the path to find a place to park, tailgate and watch the match. Forney Field offers a BYOB setting where small-scale grilling and leashed dogs are welcome.

Polo is a sport rich in tradition and action-packed! A polo match lasts almost two hours and is divided into timed periods called chukkers. Each chukker is seven minutes long as horses and riders vie for position and shoot for goal at either end of a 300-yard field. A professional announcer calls the plays from the mid-field press box and offers helpful explanations of riders’ moves and strategies as they occur.

During half time, spectators walk onto the field to participate in “divot stomping” where they replace the divots created by the horses’ hooves. Before, after and between chukkers, folk music softly plays through the field speakers, and there’s a friendly hello between friends. Children play with their frisbees, soccer balls and other summertime gear. For most people, “a perfect day” is inexpensive and stimulating — Lancaster Polo Club delivers!

Isabel Lark of Lititz hosted a tailgate during the White Party at the Lancaster Polo Club last Sunday. She served “white” food, wore a big white hat, and decorated the table with white hydrangeas from her garden. (Photo by Duncan Alderson)

Isabel Lark of Lititz hosted a tailgate during the White Party at the Lancaster Polo Club last Sunday. She served “white” food, wore a big white hat, and decorated the table with white hydrangeas from her garden. (Photo by Duncan Alderson)

Upcoming events include:

Aug. 23 – Taste of Britain/MG Car Show

Aug. 30 – Caribbean Theme Tailgate Competition

Sept. 13 – Porsche Cup

Sept. 20 – Reading Symphony Orchestra

Sept. 27 – Chili Cookoff Competition

Matches are every Sunday through Oct. 11 at scenic Forney Field, 70 Church Road, in Rothsville. Gates open at 1 p.m. Matches start at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person; children under 12 are admitted free. The Club offers tent and canopy rentals for private parties, corporate gatherings or any special occasion. Annual tailgate spots are available. To learn more, visit lancasterpolo.org.

Jaca White Spangler is a third-year volunteer with the Lancaster Polo Club. She lives in the Hempfield area with her husband Reid, and son Carson.

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