By Nicole Crosbie
MAPLE PLAIN, Minn. (WCCO) – The Twin City Polo Club in Maple Plain drew a large crowd Sunday as it hosted its 22nd Annual Twin City Polo Classic.
For attendees, the fashions were almost as important as the polo match. Even in the sweltering heat, the women looked stylish in gorgeous sundresses and stunning hats.
Mae Nies, who has attended the polo event for the past two years, said that seeing all of the hats is one of the best parts of the event.
“We like getting dressed up and we love horses,” Nies said. “We get to watch the horses and the polo match, and we love to see all of the fancy hats.”
From vintage fascinators, to floppy sun hats, to traditional derby hats, finding the perfect hat is all part of the fun.
Some women, like Shayne Barsness, were crafty enough to make their own hats. Using hats, ribbon and flowers that she found at local thrift shops, Barsness made hats for her whole group of friends. Barsness used vintage pearls in her jewelry line, Shayne & Coco, and she incorporated pearls into each polo hat for a beautiful finish.
Not to be upstaged by the fashions, the polo players showed off their exceptional riding skills and precise aim as they raced across the field in two matches. Nine up-and-coming polo players played in the youth match and eight talented polo players took part in the feature match. Racing at speeds up to 30 mph while hitting a baseball-sized ball with a bamboo mallet, the polo players and horses showed their athleticism and endurance.
The event benefitted the University of Minnesota Leatherdale Equine Center, which is dedicated to equine education and research.