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Praying for sun: Rinton Oldoh in action on the polo field for South Canterbury against Port Hills at Queenstown Polo's Shield tournament in January

Queenstown Polo boss Jonathan Gabler’s praying to the polo gods for a couple of quintessential Queenstown summer days next week.

The Malaghans Road polo facility will be hosting the second annual Silver Cup tournament on December 20 and 21 – but Gabler’s hoping the third time’ll be a charm when it comes to the weather.

The rain bucketed down during the first Silver Cup, last November, and the second day of the Shield exhibition match, in January, was called off because of bad weather – soon after the sun came out.

Gabler says they’re looking at the weather forecast every day at the moment and he’s keeping his fingers firmly crossed.

“Look, you play in wet weather, it’s not uncommon to, but of course we’ll be praying to the polo gods to give us a properly delightful Queenstown evening, and afternoon, but if it’s just lightly raining you play on and people rug up, as they do in the mountains.

“And, if it’s a gorgeous day, it’ll be Queenstown at its best and that’s obviously what we’re hoping for this year – we’ve had enough bad weather, it can’t possibly do it again.”

But, just in case, he’s got a contingency day planned on the Sunday.

“Teams know they can’t hit the road until Sunday night, unless we play the Saturday, which is what we’re planning on.”

Four teams have entered the tournament, this year being sponsored by New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty, three of whom are travelling down from Christchurch.

Gabler says tournament hospitality’s being provided by local businesses In2Food and Gibbston Valley Wines, while Estrella is supplying the beer, and he’s hoping to organise some French champagne as well.

Tickets are strictly limited to 250 for each day of the tournament – Gabler says sales, to date, are strong.

This year they’ve also introduced a competition on the Saturday, with prizes for the top turned-out lady and gentleman.

Gabler says polo attire is best described as “country glamour”, but there are some rules.

“Wedges [for ladies] are highly recommended … definitely not high heels.

“No denim, no [jandals], sunhats [are preferred], no caps. Fascinators are OK.”

Tickets for the Silver Cup, priced from $54.25 for an adult and $28.62 for kids aged 10-17, are available through Eventfinda.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz