Photos by Tiffany Bri
In a most unexpected place to find style, Enumclaw has become a seasonal hub for polo chic. The Seattle Polo and Equestrian Club brings out pockets of fashionable city dwellers looking for a “town & country” balance in their social lives at the annual Seattle Polo Party. The event, recently held on a hot August weekend, brought newcomers and established art patrons alike for sunshine and old world sport, culminating with two matches on Sunday. Cameron Smith, the host of the party, was only seen in passing in between matches as he was playing on the field most of the day. His mother, Ruth Ann, chatted up the guests while sporting an elegant black and white dress to match her black and white hat.
The attire all around was right for a polo match—men in sunny leisurewear, women in wide pants, dresses in pastels, floral prints. Perhaps most importantly, there were the hats. In anticipation of the hat contest being held at halftime of the final match, Vanguard Seattle photographer Tiffany Bri and I surveyed the crowd in search of the best hats. There was everything, ranging from homemade art pieces to blatant brand statements. The hats had a competitive but playful nature, but were also practical, as the sky was nearly cloudless.
The crowd included families, young couples, old couples, or the families of the polo players themselves. Near the field were all the trailers with the horses of different teams and we could walk among them to check them out. The horses were groomed with their manes perfectly brushed and cut, and their tails perfectly braided. Done as safety precautions for the horses and the players, it just happened to match the clean manner of the style of the event onlookers.
Polo is a new event to Seattle, so this weekend was a first-time and intimate exposure for many guests. The field became wonderful for people-watching between chukkers, as guests were invited to stomp the divots and get the field ready for another round of play. It was great to see people in such formal attire playfully dancing and jumping in a polo field.
We got another thrill between chukkers when the polo players came to the VIP tent for refreshments. Their rugged, sweaty grace seemed to enchant attendees. The whole affair was delightful, and moving between the VIP tent and the charming vignettes created by tailgaters, it was plain to see that the annual polo party is becoming a new tradition for families and friends, a perfect way to enjoy summertime sport in the country.