GAY POLO!

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    Apr 06, 2014 12:37 AM GMT
    Just came back from the gay polo tournament in Palm Beach/Wellington, Florida, that I posted about here recently. It was great! I tried unsuccessfully to upload some pics, so I'll keep trying.

    We had a tent next to the playing field, the custom being you operate a bar and have food for everyone who drops in, many spectators having merely bought admission. A good deal for them, they just go from tent to tent for free drinks & eats. All while you watch the polo game. Sorta like an upscale tailgate party.

    We and our friends (8 of us in all) like it so much we're gonna do it again, only next year getting a double tent/pavilion, rather than the single we had. Just 2 of us have ever been equestrians (me being one, believe it or not, the other still has a horse he rides in dressage), but it's just a fun time for everyone. And the non-stop drinking! Madre de Dios! Once again I'll encourage others of you in the area at the time to look into it.

    Plus it benefits the Gay Polo League, and charities that they in turn support. Pics to follow, if I can make this f***ing photo site work.
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    Apr 06, 2014 12:40 AM GMT
    The annual gay polo tournament at the Palm Beach International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida:

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    Apr 06, 2014 1:21 AM GMT
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    Apr 06, 2014 6:14 AM GMT
    I presume gay horses too?
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    Apr 06, 2014 1:38 PM GMT
    The gin martinis and Bellinis were flowing, and so were our friends. I told this guy in the navy double-breasted that he was channeling Noel Coward.

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    I'll have to dig out one of my old double-breasted sports jackets for next year, too (and make sure I can fit into it):

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    Apr 06, 2014 1:57 PM GMT
    There are several playing areas on these polo grounds. This field is ordinarily for practice and has no grandstands, but the Gay Polo League prefers it for the ability to set up individual tents & pavilions on the grass for more of a party atmosphere during their annual tournament.

    Many tents have themes with matching costumes - it is gay, after all. And even contain residential amenities like sofas, carpets & artwork, for the skybox effect. We hung a simple chandelier in ours. But it also allows for much more casual (and sillier) attire than the main field's stadium does, and unlimited movement around and socializing.

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    Apr 06, 2014 4:15 PM GMT
    Of course boys will be boys, here with their own versions of the extravagant ladies hats at Royal Ascot Day:

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    Apr 06, 2014 5:12 PM GMT
    Some of the tents on our side of the field. Which measured 300 by 160 yards (274 by 146 meters):

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    Apr 06, 2014 5:31 PM GMT
    The players are young, fit & trim, good looking, and needless to say, wealthy. A player must have at least 2 polo ponies for each game, which are specialized thoroughbred horses, rotating them between the 4 chukkers (game periods, also pronounced chukkas). Some bring more, to ensure even fresher mounts. It's possible to rent a horse, especially in Wellington, but even that's not cheap.

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    No fat asses in THIS sport, though maybe some sweaty ones:

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    Showing one half of a simple open goalpost, center. A goal judge waves a white flag to signal a score, the viewing distance to the posts being too great for hand signals as in US football. Do bring binoculars, and long zoom camera lenses! Some of these hand-held digital pics I took with a Leica image-stabilized lens that's the equivalent of 600mm on a 35mm camera.

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  • turtleneckjoc...

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    Apr 06, 2014 9:14 PM GMT
    This looked like a great event! And it doesn't get more posh than Wellington.....are these guys locals from South Florida??

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    Apr 06, 2014 9:50 PM GMT
    turtleneckjock saidThis looked like a great event! And it doesn't get more posh than Wellington.....are these guys locals from South Florida??

    Yes, the Gay Polo League (GPL) is based in Wellington, and my understanding is that the majority of players are South Floridians. Our friend with us, who rides dressage, knows a number of them. And I've attended some of their fundraiser events down here in Fort Lauderdale, so I've met a few in the past myself.

    Although there was a Rolls Royce with New Jersey license tags at one of the tents, so it does attract a wide attendance.

    I mentioned it was coming up in another thread, but not given with a lot of prior notice, I must admit. You might consider coming down for it next year. Plus other matches they have, that you can check at their web site:

    http://www.gaypolo.com
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    Apr 07, 2014 1:01 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidAs I read through the very thorough description provided of this event, another, similar event came to mind: icon_razz.gif

    And to continue your clip, jump to 5:00 below, when the divine Audrey Hepburn makes her entrance, in a stunning but anachronistic dress for Edwardian England.

    But suspend disbelief, and soak up the luscious Cecil Beaton designs, and the incomparable direction of gay George Cukor. And try to also forget that Prof. Higgins would never be allowed into any Ascot enclosure without grey morning clothes, no matter what his connections.

    And of course this is what some of the spectators at the gay polo tournament were trying to emulate, however inadequately.

    I'm suggesting to our friends that we try to simulate an Edwardian Era Ascot Day for next year's tournament. Would take some doing, and some costuming, grey top hats and all that, and maybe someone in a gown.

    But one of the guys is already well known for his prominent handlebar mustache. I'll bet he'll be an easy sell on the idea. The holdouts will likely be the President of the local leathermen's club and his partner, they always go everywhere in harnesses and such. Kinda difficult to integrate that into an Edwardian Ascot theme. But we'll see...

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    Apr 07, 2014 1:22 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    I think it would be a hoot to go all "Ascot Gavotte" next year. icon_razz.gif

    BTW... My Fair Lady is my all time favorite musical (though An American in Paris is a close second). In the clip I posted, look at what happens at 2:50 with the 2 "older" women!

    Then you must come and join us. We're talking about engaging a double tent next year, having more friends with us. We share the cost equally, but as I also said above, anyone with a general admission ($25 this year) can drop by and visit, have a free drink and some eats.

    I knew the scene at 2:50 without even having to scroll to it. Oddly I have a seriously defective short-term memory, an everyday handicap, but my long-term memory for movie scenes and dialogue is nearly photographic.
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    Apr 07, 2014 1:48 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    We actually might do that next year. Please publicize the event again next year so I can have it on our radar.

    Ah, so you knew the part I was talking about without having to look at the clip - those 2 ladies always make me laugh when I see that part - apparently they made a lasting impression on you too! icon_lol.gif

    Any movie scene makes a lasting impression on me; in a way that's my curse. While at the same time I can't remember what I had for breakfast today, and where I'm supposed to be at any given moment. icon_sad.gif

    Well bookmark the Gay Polo League site yourself, so you have it. The annual tournament is typically in April.

    But I'm sure I'll banner it here again. Especially if I'm attending, and most definitely if I succeed in doing that Edwardian Era theme. But there are 6 other friends (not counting my husband), maybe more next year, so the majority rules. What I'm proposing would be a lot of expense and involve tons of effort. We'll see what happens...

    http://www.gaypolo.com
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    Apr 07, 2014 3:50 AM GMT
    OK, another thought, related to late Victorian-Edwardian: Oscar Wilde!

    If dressing for an Ascot enclosure would be a challenge (grey morning coats and top hats are not the easiest to find), then foppish Wilde.

    Well, plenty of time to consider. And I have to deal with 1 couple that wants to make everything leather bondage, no matter what the occasion. How that relates to polo I can't imagine. Except that the players wear tall leather riding boots. icon_confused.gif
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    Apr 07, 2014 2:38 PM GMT
    With the new morning I think I've got the plan for next year. And of course it was right in front of me, the idea shown in some of those pics above. An answer that will meet the practical outfit criteria I had already determined:

    - Nothing bulky or uncomfortable. You walk around a great deal, and will be sitting, too.
    - It must be cool, or at least not hot. It was 85° F with sunny skies on Sat, no shade on the field except under the tent canopy.
    - Yet there could be rain. A light rain won't cancel the match, only a heavy downpour.
    - Outfits can be comical & campy, but not clownish, a fine distinction. This is polo, after all, not a Halloween party.

    What was the golden era of US polo? The 1930s. What is my favorite style? Art Deco from the 1930s. BINGO!

    We can wear double-breasted suits & sports jackets, like some of us already own. And wide-brimmed fedoras or Panama hats, perfect against the sun. Even a white yachting cap would work. An umbrella won't be incongruous if needed. A martini glass or champagne flute are the perfect hand props, and so are binoculars around the neck. Too bad none of us smoke cigarettes.

    And I'll bet I can get one of the leather boys into a skirt & jacket, he loves drag, for a Katharine Hepburn look. Thereby preventing both of them from going bare-chested with studded harnesses, since his partner will want to compliment him.

    The tent decoration I'll do myself. I'll design a large Art Deco banner in period font and have it made. I'll have 3 deco columns built to cover the tent frame poles in front. I already have an Art Deco "fountain" design in mind for them.

    If another friend of ours joins us (or maybe even if he doesn't), who's one of the most famous Art Deco & retro furniture designers in the US today, I'll ask him to give us any old pieces kicking around his design studio and factory, "seconds" stuff he's not gonna sell. The rest of us can contribute accent pieces and art work that I know we already have.

    Gawd, this could be spectacular!