Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
77° F Dallas, TX

Horsing Around

By Barry Fleming |

Polo may be generally associated with British aristocracy and the titter set, but in Dallas, it’s very much the sport of flashy business tycoons and real estate developers.

That doesn’t make polo any less fun to watch, however, and around here the place for polo is the Willow Bend Polo and Hunt Club on F.M. 544 in Piano. Pack up a tailgate picnic and head north for an evening in the country watching this elegant melding of horse and sportsman. The club’s 1985 season runs through July 28 with matches open to spectators on Friday and Sunday evenings. Games start at 6 p.m. both nights. Admission for Sunday matches is $6 for adults, free for children under 12; Friday matches are free for everyone.

If you’d like to learn to play, Willow Bend offers a series of five “get acquainted” lessons for beginners, and you don’t have to be a Willow Bend member to take part. Players start out on wooden horses, but all equipment is provided for them as they advance. Cost is $250.

The next level in Willow Bend polo is the club program, which allows novices to hone their skills while actually playing. Club players must pay greens fees, membership dues and equipment costs. Startup costs hover around $10,000, mostly for the polo pony, but, as Willow Bend publicist Nicole Gill-Ottinger says, “That’s no more than owning a boat.”

When you’re ready to buy tack, uniforms and other polo equipment, you might consider Texas Polo, located downtown. Vincent Meyer opened this polo outfitting shop in The Brewery, supplying aficionados with “everything but the horse.” Meyer knows his business and his customers: Texas Polo has supplied leg wrappings and game balls for the ponies of the world’s most famous polo player-Prince Charles.