By Michelle Baker | Photos by Julie Napear and Douglas Lees

(Above: The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and sharing the literature art and culture of equestrian, angling, and field sports. In a nod to that, the August 2019 cover shows a few of the priceless pieces in the collection. The cover is comprised of photos of the international match between England and the United States for the Westchester Cup, 1921. The Westchester Cup was founded in 1867, and was played for between the two countries seven times before the teams met again in 1921. The Americans won the best of three series, and the cup would remain in American hands until 1997. These images are from the F. Ambrose Clark Scrapbooks Collection, MC0031, National Sporting Library & Museum.)

Save-the-Date for the National Sporting Library & Museum’s 2019 Polo Classic! NSLM is the ticket to fun in September. Here is what you need to know and can expect at 2019 Polo Classic, hosted by Great Meadow, 5089 Old Tavern Rd, The Plains, VA 20198.

(Above: Prematch events include the traditional parade veteran and honor guard, the The Saint Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C. Pipe & Drum Corps and the Orange County Hounds. Gates open at 10 a.m. )

This event is fun for the whole family with pipes and drums, the parade of hounds, and a day of polo. As the sole fundraising event for the National Sporting Library & Museum each year, the Polo Classic supports everything they do. From exhibitions to educational programs to preservation of collections and more, your ticket purchase helps them fulfill the mission: to preserve, promote, and share the literature, art, and culture of equestrian, angling, and field sports. Founded in 1954, the museum is a nonprofit arts organization that consists of a research library and fine art museum.

(Above: The striking 2019 Polo Classic poster was designed by Greg Montgomery. This image, Pure Pendulum, was created for a poster to commemorate the NSLM’s 2019 Polo Classic. The American artist is known for the long-running annual poster series he began creating for the Travers Stakes in Saratoga in 1986. He applies his bold and colorful graphic style to the wide range of scenery one might encounter at equestrian events, whether a polo match or a horse race.)

“The 2019 Classic is a perfect opportunity to experience NSLM’s Mission in Motion.” -Jacqueline be Mars, Chair, 2019 Polo Classic Vice Chair NSLM Board of Directors

(Above Left: You may want to begin thinking about your outfit now for the 2019 Polo Classic. In addition to a serious game of polo, everyone seems to be serious about their look. Find a hat and join in the hat contest. Right: Jacqueline be Mars, Chair, 2019 Polo Classic Vice Chair NSLM Board of Directors.)

The library houses more than 20,000 objects and includes rare books and archival material dating from the 16th century. It is the only organization of its kind with a focus exclusively on turf and field sports. All of this takes place in support of NSLM’s mission to preserve, promote, and share the literature, art, and culture of equestrian, angling, and field sports. Proceeds from the event fund NSLM’s educational programs and exhibitions throughout the year.

Remember parking is premium. You won’t get to park on the field so get there early to find a spot. More than 1,000 are expected to be in attendance.

Polo Terms
Back Shot – Hitting the ball in a direction opposite to that in which the player is traveling.
Chukker – A period of play. Each game has six chukkers of play, each one seven minutes, thirty seconds long.
Hook – A defensive maneuver, in which a mallet is used to block a player’s shot at the ball.
Knock-in – This occurs when the ball goes over the back line, wide of the goal mouth.
Line of the Ball – The imaginary line created by the ball as it travels.
Near-side – The left side of the pony.
Neck Shot – A ball hit under the neck of a pony.
Off-side – The right side of the pony.
Safety – When the ball rolls over the back line wide of the goal mouth as a result of being touched by a defending man, the attacking team is allowed to hit a safety from 60 yards out to a defended goal.
Tail Shot—A ball hit behind the pony.
Throw-In – The throw-in begins at the start of the game, after each goal, and after the ball goes out of bounds. The ball is bowled in between two lines of players.

  • Founders’ Pavilion Table Sponsor – $10,000 SOLD OUT
  • Founders’ Pavilion Individual Ticket – $1,000 
    • Limited Number remain
    • One seat at lunch in the Founders’ Pavilion
    • $800 tax deductible
  • Tailgate Tent Package – $1,200 SOLD OUT 
  • Tailgate Space – $300 SOLD OUT
  • General Admission Car Pass – $40 
    • Up to 4 guests in the same vehicle
    • First-come, first-served tables and lawn space in General Admission area
    • Presale closes Aug. 25.
    • Passes available at the gate for $60, cash only

Tickets now available online or by calling Reid O’Connor at 540-687-6542 x35.

This article first appeared in the August 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.

X