Twilight Polo kicks off the 2016 season on Saturday, May 14, with Military Appreciation Night. The West Point Glee Club will sing the National Anthem, flanked by the U.S. Army Caisson Platoon’s Mounted Color Guard. The matches honor our military with representatives of the Army and the Navy playing alongside professionals, including Charlie Muldoon, Scott Gray, and John Gobin, manager of Great Meadow Polo, to name a few.

An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 enthusiasts are expected for opening night, and half-time activities feature the ever popular children’s Tug ’O War and ice cream., both sponsored by Novant. The professionals take the arena for the final match and rock it with the speed of their ponies and lightning fast reflexes.

Fireworks follow the matches, but don’t worry: plans are in place for a delay of 30 minutes after the final chukker so that all polo ponies can be transported safely off the premises before the lights are doused and pyrotechnics fill the night sky. Dancing under the stars rounds out the evening with music provided by the famous D.C. deejay, Seyhan Duru.

With the growth of Great Meadow Polo Club, Gobin has organized early matches for amateurs, starting at 6 p.m., throughout the season. At 7 o’clock, a mix of amateurs and professionals take the arena. The feature match begins at 8 p.m.

The Great Meadow Polo School, taught by Whitney Ross and Gobin, can get you on a horse and swinging a mallet in your first lesson. No previous riding experience is necessary, and lessons take place at Great Meadow in the arena. For information, please visit: greatmeadowpoloclub.com or call 540-253-9845.

On May 14, all railside boxes and tailgate spaces are sold out, but general admission is available for opening night: $40 per carload at the gate, $35 per carload pre-sale online and at all area Wegmans. Blocks of 10 general admission car passes for $175 make Twilight Polo a great family and friend outing for only $17.50 per carload.

Food is available on the grounds, and you’re welcome to bring chairs, food and cooler to set up on the berm. Although everyone at Great Meadow loves animals please observe the “absolutely no dogs rule” by leaving your pets at home.

The presenting sponsor of Twilight Polo is Greenhill Winery and Vineyards, which will be selling their wine every night throughout the season, which continues through September 17 with two exceptions: no Twilight Polo on the first two Saturdays of July. Returning sponsors include Langenberg Law, Wegmans, Right At Home, Novant, and BOWA.   

On Sunday, September 11, the National Sporting Library & Museum will hold its 6th Annual Polo Classic fundraising event, featuring two matches, four chukkers each. Celebrity VIP players, so far, include Nacho Figueras and, quite possibly, John Walsh

For information about group sales and availability of railside boxes ($250/per night), tailgate spaces ($180/night), for the spaces that accommodate larger groups, such as the Entertainment Decks ($500/night) and the even bigger Pavilion ($1,000/night), please call: 540-253-5000 and visit: greatmeadow.org