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Oak Brook’s 2014 polo season gets off to grand start

Chuck Fieldman
cfieldman@pioneerlocal.com | @chuckwriting
July 8 9:45 a.m.

A warm, humid day and having some people out of town for the Fourth of July weekend didn’t prevent more than 500 people from turning out to watch Sunday’s opening day of the 2014 Oak Brook polo season.

Less than perfect field conditions because of earlier rain resulted in only one of the two scheduled matches being played. However, Jim Pehta, who co-chairs the Oak Brook Polo Committee with Kathy Maher, was pleased with opening day and is looking forward to the remaining matches.

“Everyone seemed to have a great time Sunday,” Pehta said. “Our Hat Day theme really worked out well. A lot of people participated by bringing hats or buying them. We had 80 to 90 people stand in line to have their hats judged.”

Hat Day was sponsored by Hoodoo Headwear, which awarded gift certificates as prizes in the contest categories of “Hat of the Day,” “Most Sophisticated Hat,” “Best Hat Couple,” and “Most Outrageous Hat.”

“The theme idea seems to really work well,” Pehta said, adding that July 13 offers a Family Day theme.

“The whole idea of that is to help families enjoy an afternoon of polo,” he said. “We’re going to have 100 polo balls autographed by the players, and we’ll give those out to the kids. They do that in baseball, and we’re going to try it here.”

Pehta said a new twist added to the traditional divot stomp proved to be very popular Sunday. The traditional divot stomp is a popular halftime activity during which spectators come on the field at halftime and stomp down torn up turf.

“We had a champagne divot stomp because we have a champagne sponsor,” Pehta said. “People just loved going out on the field with their champagne. We’ll continue to do that. It will be during the second match [July 13].”

Matches are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m. July 13 for Family Day, which also includes photo opportunities for children on a polo pony, face painting, balloons, and an appearance by Ronald McDonald.

Additional themes for 2014 are Classic Car Day, Aug. 10; British Polo Day, Aug. 17; and Argentina Day, Sept. 14.

General admission tickets are available for $15 for Oak Brook residents/$25 for non-residents and can be purchased online at www.oakbrookpoloclub.com.

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