Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Polo Anyone?

This Sunday past was a planned day at the huge Polo fields in Indio, Ca.  The Empire Polo Park encourages tailgate parking; with barbecues, picnics, open liquor, on blankets and/or lawn chairs.  We opted to attend.
Hector and Chico (Portuguese Water Dog) checking out the polo field.
Last Sunday's Polo event was a large one.  Hundreds of interested spectators were on hand.....and many, many were Canadians.  And what an event!
Our spot on the east field sideline.
Not knowing the rules and never having attended an event before, we read up on the rules and regulations.  Although an elite sport (and very costly to participate in), we spent a most pleasant day watching two major events.  The last match featured an American team competing against a Canadian team.  Great fun. It was a close game but Canada ended losing by three points.
Sideline barbecues were prevalent and the wafting smell of burgers and hot dogs made us hungry.
Between matches, we fired up a barbecue and cooked up some burgers and hot dogs.  Nothing beats an outdoor barbecue lunch.
This sport requires a very good skill set with the horses and mallets.
At the speeds the riders/horses can generate and to hit the small white ball with a mallet takes a fair bit of practice.  And these contestants were very skilled.
And there is some shoulder checking too...
Opponents ride side by side and will shoulder check each other.  Anything goes to prevent a striker from hitting the ball.  And they can hit it a long distance. That gets the speed of play going very fast.  It is captivating to see when the action heats up.  To hear the horse hooves on the turf is delightful. In our view, this is a lovely spectator sport.
The skies darkened and threatened but the rain stayed away.
The Empire Field grounds are stunning.  The gardens and small lakes are a gardener's delight and a tourist's mecca.  Just walking the grounds is reason enough to go there.
Beautiful gardens.
Chico is taking Hector and Diane for a walk between Polo matches.
Parking costs $10/vehicle.  The event itself is free.  Throw in a self made barbecue and the entire day was an exceptional one.  And we learned all about the sport too.  FYI:  Each rider has four to five thoroughbreds.  And each horse is required for a match.  The horses must be changed out often during play.  At an average cost of $35,000/horse; including feed, housing, veterinarian costs, grooming, training, transportation and more, one quickly concludes that it is a sport for the rich.  One Canadian team was sponsored by REMAX Realty.
Our tailgate barbecue.
Jeanette and I were going to take our truck to the Polo event but when I went to start it on Sunday morning, the engine would turn over but the diesel would not fire up.  Oh...Oh!  Something was up.  And we had no warning of an impending issue.  The truck was running great only the day before. We left the truck for later, changed vehicles and headed out to polo.
Preparing to take our dually to the Ford dealer in Cathedral City.
I spent a fair amount of time checking out possible problems/solutions online, on Sunday evening and early Monday morning.  The online consensus led to the belief that our FICM (Fuel Injector Control Module) was at fault.  Without warning, the little motherboard dies.  Sure enough, the Ford dealer was very quick to diagnose the FICM as the problem.
A ride - courtesy of AAA (BCAA) RV Plus coverage
Off to the Ford dealer
One never knows when a FICM will quit working but in our case, it happened only a few months after the warranty expired.  Uhmmm, it makes one wonder if the mother board - inside the module  - was programmed for that eventuality.  I am speculating.....with no foundation.....and with no evidence.  LOL
Snow on top of Mount San Jacinto
We have experienced a cooling down here in the desert.  The lower temperatures, increased winds and overnight rains have been the norm, these past couple of days.  It is windy today (Tuesday) morning.  But it is shaping up to be a very nice and sunny day.  The sky is clear and the temperatures are set to return to seasonal highs.The winds are to abate later.
Clouds are gone....
And that's the way it has been here in the Coachella Valley; home to many cities, including Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indio, Desert Hot Springs and more.

Thanks for dropping in.


  1. Now that Poo match sure sounds like a fun day, good value for your money and a great new experience.

  2. Maybe you will have to trade those Iron Horses for a more flesh and blood kind and get into this Polo game. Looks like fun!

  3. Too bad about the truck going for a ride on the back of a tow truck! Hope the repair is a quick one!

  4. Wow--that is a sport for the rich I would say!! Hope the truck is back up and going soon!

  5. The cooler weather has made it's way here too. We got rained on playing ball on Monday, but it has been sunny ever since. Hope the truck fix is an easy (inexpensive) one.