When people hear the word polo certain images probably come to mind. The sport is often thought of as elitist, and its fans stuffy.
Stereotypes, however, were meant to be broken, and that’s exactly what Arranmore Farm and Polo Club has set out to do.
“I think some people, especially with polo, think of it as a snobby type of event. But, that’s not what Arranmore is about,” owner Shannon Greene Robb said. “We are taking people’s assumptions and turning them on their ear.”
Sure, you can come out, watch a match and wear a fancy hat, but you can also enjoy a few beers with friends while tailgating near the field.
“If you want to get dressed up, great. If you don’t want to, that’s cool. It’s about being outside and the experience,” Greene Robb said.
The club started hosting public polo matches in 2015 and has seen a sky rocket in interest from local fans. One weekly event, Wine Down Wednesday, quintupled in size from 2016 to 2017 and continues to grow.
Taking place from mid-July through August, Wine Down Wednesday combines wine tasting, tailgating and polo. Bring your food, bring your family and enjoy the 300-acre property. It wasn’t that long ago that this wasn’t even an option.
The farm has been family owned and operated since 1999, but first opened its doors to the public in 2011 with an event to help promote Greene Robb’s non-profit, Arranmore Arts. She hosted a concert called the Cabernet Cabaret and invited people to the club for an evening on the farm.
“Within six weeks, we had people begging us to put on another show,” Greene Robb said. And thus, began Arranmore’s “Cab Cab” concert series that continues today.
“Cab Cab is very approachable. You can bring a bucket full of chicken and some beer or you can set up table with candelabras and make sushi,” Greene Robb said. “It’s very ‘come as you are. It doesn’t matter.”
Kids are always welcome, and those under 13 pay no admission.
If concerts aren’t your thing, and neither is polo, perhaps a night of yoga sounds better. Arranmore has you covered there, too.
The club’s Sunset Yoga class will help you find your Zen, and you can stay for free wine and cheese.
While you’re there, you might fall in love with the property, as Greene Robb said most people do. So, it didn’t come as a huge surprise that in 2012 people began asking to host private parties and weddings at the club.
From baby showers to corporate events, festivals and fundraisers, Arranmore can accommodate it all.
“We’re a blank canvas,” Greene Robb said. “Whatever your imagination wants, bring it to us and let’s do it.”
As Arranmore continues to grow, Greene Robb has made it her mission to keep the atmosphere at the club light and family-friendly. That said, she also looking to host large, headlining acts on the property, which has been a dream of hers for years.
Popular rock band The Goo-Goo Dolls recently held a concert at Arranmore, drawing thousands of fans to the farm. Local non-profit CALS Angels approached Greene Robb about using Arranmore as a venue for the event.
“It worked out because they were working with a producer, so we were just serving as the venue,” she said. But, things don’t always go as planned.
Greene Robb didn’t go into details, but called the event “an incredible learning lesson.”
“We take great pride in bettering our events,” she said. “As a venue, we now know what we will allow and will keep our finger on the pulse of every detail.”
Taking care of all of this keeps Greene Robb busier than ever, but she said it’s a welcome change.
“Even though it’s a seasonal company, it’s like a full-time job. We’re planning and getting sponsors and getting people excited about events. It’s interesting to see how this has all evolved.”
—- Arranmore Farm and Polo Club grows into family entertainment venue . —-