Hundreds will be flocking to Chester Racecourse this weekend to see hooves thudding, players competing and champagne glasses clinking at the LDF International – but is your etiquette up to scratch for the big event?
Chester Racecourse has enlisted the help of the UK’s leading expert in etiquette and good taste, William Hanson, to provide tips to help new spectators get ahead of the game…
· Check the dress code – different courses and events at each racecourses will have different expectations but ‘smart casual’ is the norm for those not in private enclosures. For men, a sports coat or jacket with an open-necked, collard shirt, smart trousers, such as chinos, smart jeans or action slacks, and smart shoes is ideal. Ladies get your best summer outfits at the ready. Heels are not advisable – wear your flats or wedges for stomping the divots, girls!
· Get with the lingo – if you are heard to call the ponies ‘horses’ then prepare for social relegation! You should call them ‘polo ponies’.
· Know the rules – if you are attending your first polo match then brushing up on the basic rules before hand may not be a bad idea. Do you know, for example, that teams change ends after every goal? Spectators can read up on the game and its rules athttp://www.ldf.co.uk/polo2014/index.html
· Drinking – louche behaviour and getting drunk is really not the done thing at polo. That sort of behaviour is best left to other, more proletariat sports. Enjoy your champagne and Pimms on the Roodee but know your limit and stick under it! Men - if beer is offered in a bottle, ask for a glass.
· Divot stomping – during half-time, the tradition of divot stomping takes place. This is where spectators descend onto the field and stomp the turf that has been kicked up by the ponies during play back into place. Don’t be afraid to join and help out. An ‘I don’t do divots’ attitude will not go down well. Plus, if you find a silver bottle top during the stomp, you’ll have chance to win an Osprey handbag, Folli Follie watch and voucher, Karen Millen voucher or a Cheshire Cheese and Wine Hamper courtesy of Cheshire Oaks!
The LDF International Polo Weekend starts tomorrow and continues on Saturday. Bookings can be made through the Chester Racecourse official website, www.chester-races.com, or by calling on 01244 304 610. Tickets available on the day.
For more information, please contact Chloe Vinden @ MC2 on 0161 236 1352