Culture Spotlight: San Diego Surf Polo Club
Posted on September 10, 2017
With a storied history dating back to the earliest polo matches held more than 100 years ago and first played on Coronado, the San Diego Polo Club (now the San Diego Surf Polo Club) has remained a favorite of aficionados and newcomers to the sport. Willis Allen, an avid polo player in his time, founded the original Polo Club along with his son-in-law Harry Collins and some 30 local polo players. For the last three decades, the matches have taken place inland on the broad, green San Diego Polo Fields in Del Mar.
The Polo Club has undergone big changes recently, most notably in handing over its property lease to Surf Cup Sports in August of 2016 through a public bidding process. Although for the past 20 years Surf Cup Sports has predominantly been known for operating youth sports including soccer and lacrosse, it has now adopted the current polo playing programs, policies, and staff of the original Polo Club. The management of the newly formed San Diego Surf Polo Club is implementing many improvements, including restoration of all five existing polo fields and the Crest to Coast Trail, along with the building of a new arena and barns.
The Club has also introduced a year-round polo school, known as the San Diego Surf Polo Inter-Scholastic program, where two youth polo teams will compete nationally. “We want to present the sport of polo in a well-planned and accessible manner for all of the members, players, sponsors, guests, and spectators to enjoy,” says Nour-Dean Anakar, president of the San Diego Surf Polo Club, LLC. In addition to this youth program, the new school also offers professional trainers teaching all levels of riders. Beginners even get their first lesson for free.
Additionally, The Club has launched a new World Ambassadors Polo Cup Series, which features international matches between team USA and visiting teams from nations including Mexico, Argentina, India, China, Switzerland, and Morocco.
The 31st season opening of polo kicked off to a winning start in June, with more than 4,000 spectators watching from the edge of their seats as both local and international polo players raced back and forth across the field chasing that little white ball. The season continues every Sunday through October with two competitive matches per day, featuring special intermission entertainment in partnerships with various companies and charities. Spectators are invited to dress to the nines and sip a glass of Champagne, while stomping down the divots on the field during the half-time tradition.
On September 3, join polo players in all white at the annual Polo Club White Party. Enter promo code RANCHANDCOASTPOLO for 20 percent off any VIP or garden table ticket. sandiegosurfpolo.com Antoripa Dey