Kentucky has its Derby on the first Saturday in May. And Virginia revels in its point-to-point races, dashed across the foothills in the Blue Ridge every spring and fall.

But all year long, the most combative leg of equestrian sports (with its busiest season from December through April) takes place in Florida.

The International Polo Club Palm Beach is the world’s premier polo destination, says club marketing manager Caroline Roche. “It hosts the most prestigious tournaments and players,” she says. “It’s a hub for all things polo.”

Thousands come to see seven tournaments in season, played on as many fields. Admission’s free during the week, so tailgaters abound, especially during semifinals and finals. “The whole field is lined with cars, like a steeplechase,” she says.

Sundays, it’s a different story. Feature matches cost $10 for general admission, $20 for a seat in the pavilion and $125 for an all-you-can-eat buffet in the covered seating area.

From Feb. 9 through April’s end though, there’s the Gauntlet of Polo, featuring the very best horses and riders. “If the team wins a series of three, there’s a million dollar prize,” she says.

That’s why it’s called the sport of kings.  

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