The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club is opening its doors to the public on Saturday, August 9, for its annual polo festival, offering a great family day of food, drink, fun and, of course, polo.
The club was founded in 1986 by the late Bryan Morrison (manager and publisher of music legends Pink Floyd and Wham) and the legacy is now continued by the club ownership of his son, Jamie.
It’s the 14th year of the festival, and attendance there has been growing year on year.
Heather Lodder, events manager at the club, is keen to push last year’s excellent attendance of around 2,000 even higher this year.
“It’s a totally unique event for this area,” she said.
“That’s why the festival is so special for people from all walks of life.”
Mrs Lodder says that, because of polo’s elitist image, it doesn’t get much coverage in sports pages and many people assume that the festival is not for them.
“It is not pretentious at all,” she said.
“There really is something for everyone on the day - whether you just want a hot dog or fancy champagne and caviar, it’s all there.
“You really can go in a just spend a fiver, or you can go in and spend £500! It’s up to you. We just want people to realise what a beautiful place it is and what a great sport polo is.”
The event will be running as a ten-day tournament, but on the 9th, those in attendance will be able to soak up the atmosphere of finals day.
Finals for 2 goal, 10 goal and the Ladies event will all be taking place during the day from 1pm onwards.
By day, families are encouraged to bring dogs and enjoy the beautiful grounds. Children’s entertainment is available, with plenty of stalls and activities to keep them entertained.
'Have-a-go’ polo is also being hosted, so that everyone can try their hand at the game.
There will also be plenty of small pets for children to cuddle, as the event is raising money for the Animal Sanctuary in Dorney, who will be bringing their cuddliest rabbits to their stall.
“We’re very keen on charity work,” said Mrs Lodder.
“Last year we raised money for the Katie Piper Foundation so this year we are just switching from helping humans to helping animals!”
After 7pm, people can enjoy cocktails by the main pitch, hosted in a huge stretch marquee by new local family company 'Rocksalt’, until the event ends at 2am.
Entry starts from as little as £10 per car if bought in advance via Groupon or Kweekweek and is £15 on the day.
Visit rcbpolofestival.com for more information.