Polo gets casual for weekend tournament in Ladner

The Vancouver Polo Club is inviting everyone to enjoy polo in a casual and fun-filled setting right here in Ladner.

This weekend the club hosts its West Coast Classic Polo Tournament from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The club is located at 3948-88th St. near the Boundary Bay Airport.

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Now in its second year, the West Coast Classic will feature teams from across the Pacific Northwest and allows the public to view the sport in a more casual setting. The event is also in support of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“Teams are coming from Victoria, Washington, Kelowna (and) last year we had some from Calgary,” said club director Claudia Tornquist. “The idea is more of a family event, people come and tailgate, bring their own picnics and lawn chairs, we will have a few food trucks and really enjoy the day.”

General admission is $20 per car load or $5 per person.

On Saturday, there is also a VIP 19+ event where you can enjoy shaded seating and a bar in a VIP tent. Tickets are $25 per person or $300 for a table of six.

The Vancouver Polo Club opened in 2014. Since then, the club has been offering polo lessons and clinics, practice games, tournaments, and corporate and charity events at its facilities.

Earlier this summer, the club hosted the Pacific Polo Cup, an annual spectator tournament with the Southlands Riding Club.

“The Pacific Polo Cup is an opportunity to dress up, socialize with friends, enjoy the champagne and is certainly more of a traditional polo event,” added Torquist. “We are a relatively new club. We started out at the Southlands Riding Club and three years ago bought our own premises in Delta. At the time we started there were two polo players – my husband Tony and myself -- and now we are around 20 members. We are probably one of the fastest-growing polo clubs in North America.”

Tornquist said she and her husband were avid polo players in London and when they moved to Vancouver several years ago, they wanted to join the Vancouver Polo Club.

“But that club didn’t exist, so we started our own,” she said. “You can only make a club work if you attract more people to the sport and we have done that.”

The club facilities in Ladner include a grass playing field, a practice field, on-site horse boarding and a clubhouse.

“We have instructors, club ponies, equipment. People don’t need to have their own horse or be riders, anyone can come and give it a try,” she said. “You don’t have to have any previous polo experience, or riding experience either. You can just come and we will equip you with everything. People see polo as a big, expensive entity, but really to start it’s not. Just come and we’ll set you up with everything and give it a try.”

To learn more about the club, see: http://www.vancouverpolo.com.



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