Saratoga Polo

My wife was asked to write a blog about the polo matches here in Saratoga by SaratogaLife. I tagged along to take some pictures to illustrate the blog. I had never been to a polo match before. In short, I was just simply blown away by the whole thing. Now I know why they call it the Sport of Kings! In Saratoga, you can get really close to the action if you avoid the grandstand and go to the back of the field. As you can see in the photos, we were really close to it all! I was using a zoom, but it was a short one. I had to hand hold the camera, since the action was so fast that a tripod would not have been practical. It was a slightly overcast day, so there was not a lot of contrast. But I think the photos turned out pretty well. Mostly due to the subject matter 🙂

The players were amazing, but even more amazing were the ponies themselves. They were so well trained, and started and stopped on a dime. As you can see, they are beautiful animals, and from what I understand, quite an investment. Due to the speed of the action, I got to practice my panning shots. My little Nikon lens was up to the task. I was using my automatic mode, which meant I could simply hold the shutter down and blaze away. There was literally no time to mess with aperture or f stops. If I had tried to use my manual focus lenses I would have been screwed and would not have gotten very many good shots.
The passion of the players was impressive as well. You can tell these guys (there were no women that I saw-sorry ladies!) really put their hearts into this. It is so much more than a sport to them. Take a look a the face of the rider below.
Needless to say, I am hooked! I plan on going back every year. I suggest you look up your local polo club, if you have one in your area, and attend a match. I think you will be as amazed as I was!
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