Greenwich Polo Club wraps up unforgettable season

Barton (red jersey) charges to victory in the last afternoon of public matches at the Greenwich Polo Club this season (photo by John Ferris Robben)

By: Liz Leamy

Three weeks ago, the Greenwich Polo Club wrapped up its 2020 season in showstopping style with a one-two series of matches featuring its famous characteristic showcase of superb high-goal teams, players and ponies.

In this exciting final round of matches, Altaris and Barton rode away with the day’s top honors with the players and their charges all wowing the spectators with their terrific power, skill and stealth, hitting speeds of up to 40 miles an hour as they would fly up and down the massive Conyers Farm field.

Along with this extraordinary athletic standard, the atmosphere at the GPC was golden across the board, something that seemed to be very much appreciated by spectators all throughout this memorable season. Last August, the famed GPC kicked off the 2020 season with the annual East Coast Open Championships of which White Birch, the famed GPC-based contingent victoriously had clinched the title back in mid September.

Right from the outset through to the final series of matches, the GPC knocked the proverbial ball out of the park on all counts, particularly in terms of how its staff and management handled the well-being and safety of everyone there to insure a good overall experience during this challenging pandemic period.

At all of the matches, spectators, who comprised an outdoor reduced capacity crowd, consistently followed the mandated CDC guidelines of wearing masks and maintaining healthy social distance from one another.
They would sit in either designated spread-out spots in the grandstand, small round tables in outlined areas along the sidelines or in the cordoned-off tent areas.

Each week, visitors were handed sealed plastic bags containing red sanitizer packets and programs upon entering the Conyers Farm grounds by GPC staff members, while hand sanitation dispensaries were set up all around the field for everyone to use during the matches.

Without a doubt, it was something to see the entire GPC community come together in such a focused, concerned and committed fashion and made for a comforting, safe and pleasant experience.

“This has been a very successful season. We commend the Greenwich Polo Club for being able to bring the excitement of the polo season in a safe and secure environment to afford us the opportunity to share the Barbados with everyone here,” said Eusi Skeete, Vice Consul, Director USA and Senior Business Development Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., a GPC partner whose tented area was always popular stopping ground with spectators this past season.

Certainly, this turned out to be an exciting, fun and unforgettable season at the GPC on all counts, especially considering the fact that afforded individuals the opportunity to be able to enjoy this extraordinary sport in such a safe and positive manner.

On any given Sunday, spectators could regularly be seen smiling, chatting and laughing together while watching the matches, a heartwarming sight that made for an uplifting and high-energy environment.

“This has been a great experience. It’s so nice to be outside with people watching such an incredible sport,” said Sophia Scarpelli, a Greenwich resident who grew up in town and is the owner and proprietor of the Sophia’s, the popular unique boutique jewelry and gift shop on Liberty Way that features authentic period costumes and also a consigner of estate jewelry. “The grounds are so spectacular and it’s wonderful to see people enjoying the day in such a safe and conscientious way.”

Meanwhile, the fashion showcase at the GPC this season was as spectacular as ever, with spectators wearing outfits that ranged from bright-hued dresses and pantsuits to smart pants, blazers and shirts among other things, which made for a fantastic collective visual every week, to say the least.

Perhaps the best thing of the entire season, however, was the fact that those individuals who had the opportunity to spend time at the GPC were able to enjoy being outdoors in such a breathtaking setting so they could enjoy world-class polo.

This, coupled with the fact that the GPC is based in Greenwich, reputed to be one of the most storied, historic and exciting towns in the U.S., is also why the whole experience there this year was a win-win for everyone on all counts.

“You leave here feeling so inspired and uplifted,” said Skeete. “The next stop [for us] is the Barbados. The sport is such a huge part of the whole experience there and the Barbados is the polo capitol of the Caribbean. After that, we’ll be back here again next summer.”