That’s right, a Polo match in the middle of downtown Louisville at Waterfront Park on the Great Lawn. The Polo match was the closing event of the 2015 Kentucky Bourbon Affair sponsored by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. I wasn’t sure how they would play any sport with a ball on a field that slopes 2-3 degrees and ends in the water but, they did it. Turns out they change ends of the field with every goal so it may not be what they are used but, it’s a fair game for both teams. Oh and at least two balls ended up in the river.
Sylvester Stallone once described the sport of polo as “trying to play golf during an earthquake.” Imagine riding a horse up to speeds of 35 miles per hour, leaning over the side of the horse to strike a ball on the ground with a long mallet in order to score a goal with seven other players and their ponies trying to do the same thing on a field 9 football fields large. You can visit Tops in Lexington website to learn more about the official way to play the game.
The morning’s festivities kicked off with a VIP Kentucky Proud brunch prepared by Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. A five-course meal was served on a beautiful salvaged barn-wood table adorned with gorgeous wildflowers (you can see it in the slides below.) And of course, plenty of Bourbons to sample thanks to Heaven Hill Distilleries, Jim Beam, Michter’s, and Town Branch.
Following brunch, four polo teams competed to be the Kentucky Bourbon Affair polo champion. All riders won a Kentucky Bourbon Affair commemorative mallet. This year’s winning team was the Heaven Hill team. They walked away with their mallets, a few bottles of Kentucky made Bourbon, a box of cigars courtesy of Delicia the Cigar Vixen and a complimentary Bourbon shower thanks to Eric Gregory, Kentucky Distillers’ Association President. The MVP horse was garnered in a garland filled with Bourbon Barrel Bungs.
Here is who made up each of the polo teams this year. Thanks to the Lexington Polo Club for the horses.
Heaven Hill Distilleries – Winner of the Match
- Dan Lunham
- Chad Middendorf
- Jackson Hoodland
- Sean Curtain
- Will Bowland
- Chet Lott
- Abby Jones
- Emilio Enciso
- John Van Schuick
- Trey Zoeller
- Neil Orburg
- James Miller
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