How to Spend It: Polo and pageantry

Gear up for this year’s Polo Classic ­— and don’t forget your saddle

On Sunday, August 4, the annual Polo Classic will bring droves of attendees to cheer on the area's best polo players  and of course, enjoy a cold beverage or two from the sidelines. "You're right next to the horses, and you can feel their sense of energy as they go by," says Polo Classic chair Craig Robbins.

Played in the state of Minnesota for more than 70 years, the sport of polo continues to draw new fans and novice players alike.

Want to join the fun? You'll need a horse. Beginners should start with an experienced polo pony, which can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000, depending on age, experience, and ability. Horses can be purchased from local or regional players, or at opportunity auctions in South Carolina and Florida. "Most horses with training can play polo," Robbins says. "But the thoroughbred is the horse of choice."

You can also lease a horse for about $200 to $500 per month. Prices depend on the horse, arrangement, and boarding accommodations.

You'll need club membership. A beginner's membership at the Twin City Polo Club runs $665, compared to the usual $2,650.

Lastly, you'll want to stock up on equipment, which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. Things like a helmet, saddle, bridle, mallet, knee guards, polo boots, white breeches, and a blanket with matching leg wraps are the essential pieces.

Not ready to buy all that? Even if you're not a member, you can find polo lessons at the club for $50 to $100 per hour, which includes everything you need to give the sport a swing. And all are welcome to enjoy the afternoon of pageantry and polo on August 4.